EIT Digital, Mind the Bridge and Startup Europe are co-organising the 2017 edition of Startup Europe comes to Silicon Valley (SEC2SV) - the premier programme for future European startup unicorns to engage with key US industry players. This is the third in a series of articles highlighting the successes of scaleups that participated in previous years.
French scaleup Platform.sh is a highly innovative website management cloud platform. It helps developers leverage open source technologies like Drupal, WordPress, Magento, Node.js to build websites or web/mobile applications without having to manage the complexity of the cloud infrastructure. Their product provides DevOps in "a box" and highly performant and scalable hosting. "We help developers save as much as 40% of their time deploying new applications or new features to production," says Frédéric Plais, CEO of Platform.sh.
Originally founded in France, the company is now multi-cultural, and operates with a team that is mostly remote and split between Europe and the US, with a few employees in Asia. Before participating in SEC2SV, Platform.sh already had customers in the US; thanks to their participation in the programme, the company received the acceleration necessary to consolidate the United States as their main market.
Why do you think Platform.sh was selected among the best European startups in 2015?
"We launched Platform.sh three years ago, and quickly captured thousands of customers worldwide with the US as our primary market, followed closely by France, Germany and the UK," answers Plais. "Therefore, SEC2SV was at the right time to help us figure how to approach the American market. Also, our project was very advanced, and we were serious about investing in the US to make it a success. It made us really proud to be selected among so many talented entrepreneurs."
What were the concrete benefits of participating in SEC2SV?
"The program is really strong and very well organised: time's optimised to go through every key topic you may face when tackling a new market, ranging from legal and tax advice, to go to market and investment. In our experience, most of the value lies in the people you meet with: the mentors, speakers and participants that participate in the programme because, although San Francisco Bay Area is a very open and business-friendly environment, meeting the right people and learning from them gives you the necessary acceleration to make a difference and succeed in that highly competitive and aggressive market."
"Moreover, among the many great new connexions that provided us a better understanding of the business environment and sometimes led to great opportunities, like meeting the Incubator in where our main offices are hosted now, we also made some good new friends."
What would you recommend to a startup thinking about applying to SEC2SV 2017? And what advice can you give to European entrepreneurs in general?
"I would recommend SEC2SV to any startup ready to go to the US with an actionable plan. The startups in the batch we were in that benefit the most from the programme were all pretty advanced in this effort."
"For any entrepreneur with a good idea or product, I suggest having a global focus from the very beginning, trying to lead your national market before going international nowadays is no longer a good strategy. The market is global and you will only succeed thinking and operating globally. My second and most important advice will be: surround you with talented and experienced (even more than yourself) people; you will only excel only with a strong team besides you," ends Frédéric Plais.
There’s still time to apply for SEC2SV 2017. Get your applications in by May 31 - for more information see here.