The StepintoCity’s Program for Companies provides a proven methodology that drives international entrepreneurs to “think global” earlier in the process – in principle, from Day One. It is a fast, efficient and cost-effective way to

 

  1. Get a preview of the state of the art companies in the space
  2. Validate the company’s core value proposition not in a vacuum but in a global market context
  3. Identify potential gaps and opportunities relative to the best in the space
  4. Sharpen company’s value proposition, targets, differentiation and positioning

 

In this program StepintoCity matches the company with a domain specialist who benchmarks the company against global competitors through a series of interviews with industry experts from his or her network. A senior executive from USMAC provides an additional perspective and oversees the project.

 

 

Project Process

 

  • Step 1Company Qualification Interview
    •  The qualification process is an initial interview with the founders to validate the compatibility of the team and company with the program and to lay the groundwork for identifying the right domain expert to work with the company.
  • Step 2Mentor “Deep Dive” with Team
    • Through one or two web meetings – as needed – the mentor/expert will do a “deep dive” with the founding team to get a clear understanding of the company’s value proposition, target customers and overall business model.
  • Step 3Independent Mentor Interviews
    • Based on the knowledge gained through meeting and interacting with the company the mentor will conduct 3 or more interviews with people in his or her network to further validate or invalidate some of the key assumptions and thereby get to a benchmark of the company against the “best-of-breed” companies in the space. In our experience, one or more of these are usually based in Silicon Valley.
  • Step 4Benchmark Write-up
    • Mentor does a write-up of his/her findings to share with the Company.
  • Step 5Debrief with Company
    • Final web conference to debrief with the Company around key findings and recommendations.

 

 

Program Outcomes

 

  • Innovativeness
    • How does the technology/solution stack up against other solutions that are addressing the same or a similar market? Is this a breakthrough technology or an incremental improvement?
  • Value Proposition and Target Market
    • How strongly do we believe the core value proposition will resonate with the customers in the company’s – currently defined – target market.
  • Timing
    • Are there other trends in the environment right now that we believe will serve as drivers for this solution. If yes, what are those trends, and do we think the timing is right?
  • Market
    • Do we believe the company has defined an initial market segment that is small enough for it to successfully dominate? Are there “follow-on” segments which together make up a big enough market for the company to be venture fundable (if that is the strategy).
  • Competitive Advantage
    • Is there a real competitive advantage there? Will the company’s current competitive strategy allow it to compete in the US market or what needs to change?
  • Customer Acquisition/Distribution
    • How adequately does the company’s customer acquisition strategy address the challenges in the US market?
  • Team
    • How do the key people on the team compare to the teams they will be competing against? Are there specific gaps or issues that need to be addressed?
  • Recommendations and Next Steps
    • The report will include recommendations about the overall business strategy and concrete next steps the company should take.
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