Growing your business across borders? How to overcome the challenges

Dan Hughes

Director, Data and Information Product Management (RICS)

When building a business, crossing borders is difficult. International growth is restrained by time zones, legal peculiarities, privacy and culture differences and localisation challenges (language, currency, etc.). PropTech companies are of no exception. We asked our partners, MetaProp NYC, how to overcome these challenges so that new companies can thrive.

The challenge

In addition to those listed above, there are also back-to-basics commercial challenges. The usual “build” and “partner” options may be viable, but rarely can a startup “buy” its way into a new market. Emerging CEOs have few options:

  • Redirect an existing (frequently under-qualified) employee
  • Recruit a new local growth leader who can identify sales prospects, distribution partnerships, human capital pools, capital sources and media relationships

Historically, there has been little help in overcoming these challenges. Local innovators have shared that EMEA PropTech startups crave the following to assist with new market entry:

  • Proven teams
  • Programs
  • Networks

Introducing the MetaProp Bridge at Columbia University

Demand for international expansion from some exciting real estate technologies is on the rise. Most obviously, established goliaths like WeWork and MRI are moving into key international markets from their US homes.

Additionally, emerging category killers like VTS, CompStak and WiredScore are expanding their influence into Western Europe. However, we’ve seen startups in Europe tackling new markets outside their home countries. Examples include WeSmartPark, plus dozens of other high-potential, tech-focused startups including Appear Here, Medici Living, and Industrious.

As a result of this demand, we’re proud to be supporting the new MetaProp Bridge at Columbia University, the first cross-border PropTech accelerator. The 20-week program connects up to six select PropTech startups from across Europe, the Middle East and Africa to award-winning investors, experienced mentors and diverse real estate, technology and institutional partners in North America. 

Reap the rewards

Just some benefits for new businesses include:

  • Up to $250,000 investment from MetaProp and partners as well as other corporate perks
  • Intensive enterprise business development and consumer tech coaching from MetaProp partners
  • Introductions to the real estate, technology and PropTech communities across North America, including broad exposure via a five-city roadshow
  • Access to Silicon Valley and East Coast-based venture capitalists, as well as to strategic investors from the major North American gateway cities
  • Individualised conferences
  • Education sessions
  • Temporary workspace in New York City’s Silicon Alley
  • A community of other international entrepreneurs facing similar business challenges

Applications are open, contact us if you’d like to find out more.

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