Interview with Florian Hauer, CPO & Co-Founder
Why did you decide to participate in the German Accelerator Life Sciences program?
The U.S. is an attractive market for us because it is the biggest market in the world and because American customers are different in their adaptation behavior. Our sales cycles were shorter and we were able to see potential growth in the U.S. market. We looked for an opportunity to set foot into the U.S. market with the help of someone who knows the turf and someone who is already connected to potential customers.
The German Accelerator Life Sciences offered itself to be the perfect partner for this endeavor. We learned about GALS through our investors and I also had personal contact to one of the team members before applying. We knew that the Life Sciences program would be the optimal fit because of the location in Boston as the scientific hub of the U.S. and the topical proximity to what we are doing.
What did your company achieve during the program and where do you stand today?
We had a few U.S. customers before joining the program already and our program mission was to expand our user base in the U.S. as well as to learn other specific requirements of U.S. customers. We had a few assumptions about the U.S. market. For example, U.S. customers would not object to having their data stored in the cloud as much as European, particularly as the German customers do. We also thought that the U.S. market would be saturated because most of our competitors are located or headquartered in the U.S., so we thought that we would face fierce competition and that our sales process would be that of a replacement process rather than an introduction process.
During the program, we learned that most U.S. customers liked that we offered a solution for them to store their data in-house, which we had implemented from the start of our company coming from the data-conservative Germany. We also found out that the U.S. market is nowhere near as saturated as we had assumed and that there were sectors that we did not think of before coming to Boston. This helped us shape our product to their needs and helped us identify important markets for us that were untouched by the marketing efforts of our competition. We were able to sharpen our marketing profile and sharpen our target group. During our program participation, we hired an International Development Manager for the U.S. to target promising industry sectors. We did so with great success which lead to the U.S. becoming our strongest-growing market.
Background on Company:
Labfolder offers a well-designed productivity and collaboration platform for research teams, supporting scientists in their quest to make groundbreaking discoveries. The software as a service makes it easier to record, retrieve, share, discuss, and validate research data as a team, helping researchers save time and to make analysis more effective. Labfolder is currently being used by more than 25,000 international scientists in all disciplines and has a wide range of customers in 16+ countries worldwide. It is used by academics as well as industrial scientists in R&D, analysis, and production labs.
Among our customers and partners, are renowned research organizations such as the Max-Planck-Society and Charité University Hospital, as well as biotech and pharma companies such as Merck.