Entrepreneur Mik Strøyberg offers his insight on how to navigate in the US startup scene. Furthermore, he reflects on his career and provides his advice to other entrepreneurs.
ARYZE interviewed Mik Strøyberg, the co-founder and CEO of an office management company called Good Monday, former founder of Sweetdeal and Lemeonsqueeze, about his entrepreneur tips for startups and the differences between the Danish and the US market.
ARYZE is a Danish fintech startup that has the US market in sight. We asked Mik Strøyberg what main differences he sees between the Danish and the US market?
“There’s a ton of differences! Copenhagen is a village. The number of clients you can get in Copenhagen is the same number of clients we could get on four blocks in NYC. So there is something about the scale of it. The biggest differences are in how people react. I was super curious when I looked at how Danes often just try to melt in. And it kind of makes sense. It’s such a small market. You only have to make one mistake before it kind of echoes through the entire industry. People are so afraid that everybody is going to talk bad about them because Copenhagen is a small village. And a village has rumours and they have people not liking them. So it’s difficult to get back.”
How can Danish startups expand to the US market in the best way?
“Entering the US is extremely difficult because you have to take care of your whole entry access package, legal and financial compliance, setting it up, getting the right go-to-market strategy, hiring the right people, onboarding them and how the setup should work in general. Then you have to make sure you make the first sales, validate your model and to validate the go-to-market strategy. And then you have to scale and grow. All of that has to happen pretty fast because you’re burning a lot of money in the US because it is a big market.”
“Nordics are great at working in small territories and the Americans would look at the US as the US. We would probably start in New York City first and then maybe doing a district in Brooklyn. We enter there because we are great at doing small areas where we kind of get a foothold and validate a go-to-market. We would not look at full US domination. Let’s do one of the five boroughs and then take over and see what happens.”
“You kind of get an early approval because we have a good reputation as Scandinavians. The way we build infrastructure, also in tech, is something that the Americans really like because we have a tendency to build, especially in SaaS, technology which is extremely intuitive and still looks great. And we have been extremely great in building seamless beautiful designed software.”
When did you know that you are an entrepreneur? Do you think it was always in you, did you learn it or did it just come up?
“My entire life I have tried to create something that I could see I can create value out of. But I have always been looking for micro-moments where there was something I needed and nobody was providing it to me. And I have always thought it was interesting when people said: “I wish I would have this but it doesn’t exist”. My entire system starts just beeping. It’s just solving stuff. There are so many definitions of being an entrepreneur. I think what I love is more like building a movement where we are solving something bigger than just the product we are selling. “
What is the best experience of being an entrepreneur for you?
“When I am moving from being incompetent to being competent. So when I know, I don’t know how to do this and then I found out how to do it. It can be everything. The big thing about being an entrepreneur is that it is a rollercoaster. So you have up and downs. I hate flatlining.”
What was your biggest mistake you did as an entrepreneur?
“My biggest mistakes have always been in hiring the wrong people. I hired some wrong people, a few of them have been almost crucial for my business because I put too much trust into them. Often the reason why I have done the recruitment of wrong people was that I really needed the right person at that moment. So I tried to get a squared thing in a round hole because I really needed it. I kind of sold that person to myself because I really wanted that person to be the right one. Instead of waiting, being more objective, being calmer and clearer, I kind of wanted that thing to work because it would make my life easier at that moment.”
Mik Strøyberg’s top five advices for someone who wants to start their own business:
1. Validate if there is any demand for what you are doing. Before you build anything, make sure that you figure out if somebody wants to buy it.
2. Hook up with the right people, don’t try to do it alone.
3. Go all in. Don’t try to do this as a sidekick – don’t moonlight. You can’t ride on two horses with one ass.
4. Make sure to set goals from the get-go. So you know if it is good or bad.
5. Stick to the path and don’t suddenly change everything just because you are afraid.
Learn more about Good Monday on their website and you can connect with Mik Strøyberg on his LinkedIn. Good Monday works on creating a better work environment with happy employees and is trying to expand to England.
For more entrepreneurship advices look at our other blog posts.