Introducing: Salesforce Ventures’ Scaling in the U.S. Masterclass
perspectives / Events

Introducing: Salesforce Ventures’ Scaling in the U.S. Masterclass

How foreign startups can break into the U.S. market.

Laura Rowson and Nowi Kallen
January 24, 2024

As a global fund with portfolio companies in 27+ countries, Salesforce Ventures understands many of the unique challenges faced by founders looking to launch and scale their business in the U.S.

Founders entering the U.S. market are often confronted with operational adjustments, differing motions for selling to U.S. customers, unfamiliar U.S. hiring practices, as well as the challenge of building culture and collaboration within multi-geography teams. 

After speaking with many founders working to gain a foothold in the U.S., Salesforce Ventures has organized a series of workshops designed to bring together leaders from non-U.S. based companies that are focused on expansion in the U.S. market. 

Our “Scaling in the U.S. Masterclass” series will take place over the first half of 2024 and will feature executives from Salesforce and our Innovation Advisory Board—as well as founders in our network who’ve successfully grown their business in the U.S.—sharing best practices and learnings for breaking into the market. 

Our series kicked off earlier this month with a dinner in New York City attended by founders from our portfolio and broader ecosystem. During the event, attendees shared insights and challenges related to being a foreign company operating in the U.S., with discussion around topics including:

  • Hiring misfires and retention challenges: Foreign-based executives report experiencing high attrition rates amongst their first U.S.-based hires due to lack of candidate pipeline, misalignment around job expectations, cost of U.S.-based talent, and cultural differences.
  • Regulatory learning curve: Startups expanding to the U.S. often face a steep learning curve pertaining to regulations governing U.S.-based businesses.
  • Adjusting GTM motion: Sales practices vary by region, and founders expanding to the U.S. must adjust to a sales process that’s often different from how the business has historically operated (i.e., longer sales cycles, more stakeholders, more complex procurement processes). This adjustment in sales motion makes the hiring and retention of high quality, local sales people a top priority.
We hosted a cohort of founders and executives for a dinner to share challenges and learnings from their experience scaling in the U.S.

Over the next few months, Salesforce Ventures will host a three-part workshop series to help address these questions and others that’re top of mind for foreign companies entering the U.S.:

  • U.S. Hiring Culture (February 2024): How do you make your first U.S.-based hire? How should you structure the interview process? How does compensation work? How do you navigate employment laws across multiple countries? When is the right time to let go of a U.S. employee? How do you maintain culture, collaboration, and communication across borders? 
  • Selling to U.S. Businesses (March 2024): When is the right time to expand into the U.S.? How do you find your first U.S. customers? What do U.S. enterprises care about? How does Salesforce approach selling into new markets? How does GTM motion differ across different locales? 
  • Enterprise Procurement in the U.S. (April 2024): What does the procurement process look like inside U.S. enterprises? What are the compliance requirements? What sorts of operational changes should startups anticipate when expanding to the U.S.?

Each workshop will be hosted by a panel of executives from non-U.S. companies that have successfully expanded into the U.S., as well as Salesforce leadership and our Innovation Advisory Board. We hope the insights shared at these workshops, as well as the opportunity to connect with other founders who are facing similar challenges, will benefit startups as they take steps to grow their business internationally.

If you’re interested in participating in the upcoming workshops, please fill out the linked form. Note that space is limited at these events, but we will review each submission to identify founders who would be a strong fit for this series.

To submit a form, click here