Featured Startup Pitch: Lemonsqueeze is focused on helping European companies overcome the challenges to a successful U.S. market launch

By Editor October 23, 2013
Mik Stroyberg, Lemonsqueeze

Mik Stroyberg, LemonsqueezeBy Mik Strøyberg, Lemonsqueeze founder and CEO

Elevator Pitch: Lemonsqueeze helps European companies establish a foothold in the U.S. and ease the transition into the U.S. market. We study customer companies’ DNA and act as a catalyst for a successful U.S. launch, conducting market research, developing roadmaps, creating leads, cultivating partnerships, and—most importantly—building a world-class sales force to execute growth strategies. We’re a turnkey agency that makes it possible for European companies to rapidly enter the U.S. market and quickly gain traction in North America.

Product/Services Description

European companies are eager to enter the U.S. market, and it’s easy to understand why: a company with a potential customer base of 20 million in its home country can increase that base by more than 330 million when it expands to the U.S. But pulling off a successful U.S. market entry is easier said than done. Getting the visa is the easy part—building a whole new network of contacts, contractors, partners, and sales professionals is much more difficult. The cultural divide can make it even more challenging: European companies must understand their new market and be able to translate their value proposition in a way that resonates in North America. Typically, they have only one chance to get it right: if they don’t gain traction quickly, it’s game over.

That’s where Lemonsqueeze comes in. We serve as a single point of contact for European companies that are launching North American operations. We’ve been there; our team has deep operational experience in both the U.S. and Europe, and a proven track record of success in scaling European companies up to the U.S. market. We analyze markets, identify opportunities, map out strategies, create lead generation plans and reach out to partners on our customers’ behalf. We build and manage best-in-class sales forces in the U.S. to help clients quickly rack up sales wins to sustain operations and gain venture capital firm confidence.

Founder’s Story

I started my career at Berlingske Media, a Danish media group that operates leading newspapers, websites, and national and local radio stations. I held a number of product management and sales leadership positions, most notably head of consumer sales, and I launched Sweetdeal, an ecommerce platform that currently operates in Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Poland, and Holland. After that, I moved on to Issuu, a leading digital publishing platform.

At Issuu, I was director of consumer engagement and U.S. sales, where I gained additional experience with global expansions, specifically with scaling a Europe-based company up for U.S. operations. I launched the company’s commercial office in New York City, and built the North American commercial operation from the ground up, forming agency, advertiser, and publisher relationships, including partnerships with Fortune 500 companies and leading media outlets.

That’s why when I’m meeting with European companies that want to launch U.S. operations, I can truly tell them I’ve been there: I know exactly what it takes to start up operations in North America, and clients can benefit from my experience. In addition to my experience at Berlingske Media and Issuu, I also serve as a mentor at Startupbootcamp, a global accelerator that works with companies worldwide, which gives me additional insights into global expansions.

Marketing and Promotions Strategy

At Lemonsqueeze, we’re currently focused on getting the word out about our expertise and capabilities. We’re working with European contacts and talking to prospective clients about how we can help European companies succeed in the U.S. We’re doing media outreach and are active on social media. We’ve also made contact with European embassies and consulates.

Market Opportunity

There’s enormous potential for growth because, once European companies establish successful operations in their home countries, they naturally gravitate toward the huge U.S. market. Savvy company leaders will realize it’s not as simple as getting a visa and hopping on a plane—succeeding in a brand-new market and different culture takes specific expertise.

Our name, ‘Lemonsqueeze,’ speaks to capitalizing on opportunities. It’s a play on the idiomatic connotation of squeezing a lemon, which has a very different meaning in the U.S. than it does in Europe. ‘Squeezing the lemon’ has a negative connotation in Europe—it suggests someone trying to get more out of something than they deserve. In the U.S., it has a positive, optimistic meaning, something along the lines of making the most of what you have, as in the expression: “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.” That’s a symbol of the cultural divide we help European businesses successfully cross at Lemonsqueeze.

How Lemonsqueeze Is Different

Lemonsqueeze is the only agency of its type, so competition isn’t an issue. There are individuals and organizations that provide some of the components that can help companies transition to a new market, but we’re the only turnkey agency with the relevant experience and proven track record. That makes us unique in the space.

Business Model

Market strategy and sales agency.

Current Needs

Sales executives.

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Lemonsqueeze_logoWebsite: www.lemonsqueeze.com

Founder: Mik Strøyberg

Headquarters: New York City

Year Founded: 2013

Twitter: @LemonsqueezeNY

Facebook: facebook.com/lemonsqueezeNYC

LinkedIn: linkedin.com/company/lemonsqueeze