Start-up companies in the areas of mathematics and computer science often are not bound to national borders. Especially in current times, where virtual meetings occur abundantly, this becomes even more emphasized: many start-up companies like to explore their possibilities abroad. When considering other countries, they often face several challenges. Such challenges usually concern getting to know local customers, actors, practices, or laws; or the need for local (low-budget) office space and funds.
Partners in ERCIM like to offer help for start-ups, especially those related to mathematics and informatics (ICT), to expand their businesses in other countries than their own. Several ERCIM partners thus like to cooperate with each other, in order to help out start-ups for this matter. The participating ERCIM institutes may differ in the kind of support they offer, and in whether they provide support themselves or refer start-ups to the appropriate help somewhere else.
Below, we classify certain areas for help; this eases the search for help. In addition, we show in a table which ERCIM partner (country) can offer (which type of) support, and who is the contact person. In order to request help, a start-up may reach out to the local contact person in its own country, who will assess the possibilities for referring the start-up to the requested country. Further,
- the local institute should check the requests by start-ups (only promising and serious requests are further referred), and
- only the participating institute in the country of the start-up can connect to another, participating institute.
Types of support
A) Guidance & introduction to customers, actors, and events
Knowing the right people, companies, events, customers and other actors is of uttermost importance when a start-up company wants to reach out to some other country. Getting introduced to these can be most helpful. Examples of questions and requests that are relevant are:
- What are good routes to customers?
- What are the best trade fairs and similar events?
- Introduction to potential customers, partners, or networks.
- Getting an overview over the relevant business landscape and its relevant actors
B) Local practices
Local business practices vary from country to country, even within Europe. Getting help with the local (national) practices and possible additional help can be useful for start-ups. Examples of questions that are relevant are:
- What do customers expect?
- How is my offer best packaged?
- What are the customs of dealing with (potential) partners?
C) Legal, accounting, and administration
Once a start-up is actually doing business abroad, the national laws, rules, and administrative matters in that country become important. Getting help on these matters or getting pointers to the right people that could help, could be essential for doing business. Examples of questions that are relevant are:
- What are the local, national rules and regulations about doing business?
- How to take care of administrative matters?
- How to get access to legal and accounting services? Or what are recommended services?
D) Office space
Trying to expand to another country may require actual local activities and being present. Local office space can be essential. Examples of questions or requests that are relevant are:
- Can I get shared office space? Or some other kind of desk-surfing? Especially at/by the institute affiliated to ERCIM?
- Are there potential hosting option available? E.g. at science & technology parks?
E) Investors and funds
Acquiring appropriate funds can be important in order to expand in another country. Examples of questions that are relevant are:
- How or where can I find the proper VC funds or investors?
- Can I be introduced to VC funds or investors?
Participating ERCIM institutes
For the time being, the start-up support is organised between participating ERCIM institutes only. That is, a start-up can get support from a participating ERCIM partner in another country, if the ERCIM partner in its own country participates in this start-up program.
All services and support are subject to availability.
i = support by the ERCIM institute; r = referral to others for support
|Country||Institute||Type of Support||Contact person for start-ups||Relevant units/initiatives|
*All support based on availability and competency regarding the specific request. However, all requests will be reviewed, and we’re happy to answer to the best of our efforts, and connect to the right networks, competency, resources etc.