Can new markets be found in the United States?

More than ten Finnish SMEs get again the answer to this question by the end of the year. They are participating in the highly regarded Global Access Program (GAP) by Tekes and the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).

Through GAP, SMEs are provided with comprehensive business plans for entering the US markets. The plans are prepared by business professionals, who are supplementing their skills with MBA degrees from a world-class university. For their dissertation, they create a business plan based on which a company can decide on entry into new markets. The Anderson School of Management at UCLA is one of the world's highest-rated business schools.

More than 170 Finnish companies have participated in GAP and their experiences of the program have been excellent.

Yepzon from Tampere produces positioning devices and services. At the moment, its largest market lies in Europe, in key countries such as Finland, Estonia, Italy, Spain and Germany. Although it has no direct experience of the US markets, Yepzon is in partnership with a local US player which is familiar with them.

"Based on GAP, we are seeking sound market information from two angles; what channel and marketing pitch should we use to make sales. We hope for an interactive and uncompromisingly practical approach from the MBA team. Fewer statistics and more direct information on potential customers," says CEO Otto Linna.

The internationally award-winning cloud-based software platform of Midaxo of Helsinki enables the systematisation and management of mergers and acquisitions (M&A) and other complex business processes. Midaxo helps M&A professionals to weigh up and integrate acquisition targets. Examples of possible uses include contract and insurance management. Several of the world's largest companies, such as HP and Danfoss, are customers. The key target market is the USA.

Icebridge of Tuusula manufactures electricity-free cooling solutions for airlines and rail traffic. Its key markets are Europe and the Middle East.

Via GAP, the company is seeking a detailed picture of potential markets in the USA and the charting of prospective new business areas.

The Finnish companies Enegia Group, Digital Foodie, Haltian, Temet, Midaxo, Vallila Collection, Yepzon, Icebridge, Vincit, Conmio, OptoFidelity and Roidu are participating in GAP 2015.

Image: Icebridge

Kaj Nordgren
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