9 ambitious scaleups exploring the German market: VETiSearch, Dripdrop, Digital Revisor, DATASOLVR, StrømFordel, DoLand, Scifeon, Eace Gum and Radiant.

22.05.24 DI for iværksættere Nyheder

A Danish Scaleup’s Guide to Conquering the German Market

In the bustling streets of Berlin, a group of nine ambitious Danish scaleups found themselves embarking on an enlightening journey set out to unlock the secrets of successful expansion into the German market.

Berlin: A haven for startups 

Berlin is not just a city; it's a vibrant, thriving ecosystem where startups and scaleups flourish. With over 5000 startups, Berlin is a popular choice for founders due to its access to funding and cost-effective living - 22% lower than Copenhagen. The city boasts of a supportive infrastructure with 70+ incubators, accelerators, and venture builders, and an impressive 100+ co-working spaces. 

When it comes to scaling a business internationally, understanding your target market is just the first step. The real challenge lies in building the right connections, understanding the nuances of the business landscape, and formulating an effective market entry strategy. This is where Canute's Market Entry Program comes in, which recently introduced a group of scaleup founders to a network of experts, other founders and potential partners providing the connections and insights to the German market needed to succeed. 

Get one-year free startup membership of DI

Tips for scaling in Germany: What to do and what to avoid 

Based on founder experiences and local experts, the following insights are key when entering the German market: 

  1. Do your homework: Market research is paramount. Engage with potential customers and gather feedback. 
  2. Language matters: While English is widely spoken, understanding and communicating in German, especially in B2B sales, can be a game-changer. 
  3. Localize your offerings: From your product to your content, ensure you cater to the local market's preferences. 
  4. Data privacy: Germans take data privacy seriously. Emphasize your commitment to data protection. 
  5. Build a trustworthy brand: Germans are risk-averse. A reliable and trustworthy brand can make all the difference. 
  6. Understand the decision-making process: Decision-making in Germany is often decentralized with many parties involved. 
  7. Quality over Aesthetics: Germans prefer robust and reliable products/services over flashy features. 
  8. Be prepared for bureaucracy: The German bureaucracy can be less digital and more time-consuming than expected. 
  9. Hire local talent: A German-speaking country manager can provide valuable insights and connections. 
  10. Establish a local presence: To be perceived as a trustworthy business partner, having boots on the ground is beneficial. 

The power of planning 

Drawing from the experiences of those who've successfully navigated the German market, the founders learned that challenges are part and parcel of the journey. Whether it's the longer-than-expected timelines, resource-intensive maintenance of a German website, or the intricate process of setting up a bank account - being prepared and planning meticulously can make all the difference. 

The German market may seem daunting, but it is ripe with potential. If you can establish a firm footing in Berlin, you're well on your way to conquering the German market. 

Let DI and Canute by Thursday help you with the planning

Local knowhow: The key to unlocking the German market 

Understanding the local landscape is a critical factor when venturing into a new market, particularly one as complex and nuanced as Germany. Having a firm grasp of the local language, culture, business etiquette, and regulatory environment can significantly impact a company's success. 

Recognizing the importance of this local expertise, Danish Industry (DI) is a valuable partner for Danish scaleups seeking to enter the German market. With an established presence in Berlin and a team of experts well-versed in the intricacies of doing business in Germany, DI offers companies a unique advantage. 

Receive help from DI Germany

Through DI's plug-and-play solution, companies can navigate the complexities of setting up a business in Germany. Let us help you with:

  • Setting up the company
  • Recruitment 
  • Local office facilities 
  • Company administration 
  • Market analysis 
  • Partner search 

Learn more about DI's services here

Johanne Castillo Bro, Operations Manager, DI Germany and Hans Wicks, General Manager, DI Germany

Vejledninger

Need help to take your scaleup internationally?

3 ways to successful market entry
Hans Wicks

Hans Wicks

General Manager, DI Germany

  • Direkte +45 3377 4770
  • Mobil +49 172 9648564
  • E-mail hawi@di.dk

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