FD Global Connections CEO Trena Blair’s Tips On Doing Business In The US

Robyn Foyster Robyn Foyster has been verified by Muck Rack's editorial team
on January 24, 2018

New York was recently named as the global capital in the Dell Corporation’s Women Entrepreneur Cities Index, which measures a city’s ability to nurture and support women in business. Now Australian female entrepreneurs will get the chance to feel the Big Apple love, with the launch of a New York Immersion Program, targeted at Aussie female Entrepreneurs, putting them in front and centre with US  investors and potential customers. 

Applications are open now and program founder and CEO of FD Global Connections, Trena Blair shares her tips on doing business in the US, and how to apply to join the program.

Trena Blair, CEO of FD Global Connections talks about the NY Immersion program

According to venture capital database Pitchbook, in 2016 venture capitalists invested $58.2 billion in companies with all-male founders compared to just  $1.46 billion for female founders. For the 5,839 male-founded companies that got VC funding, only 359 female-founded companies did.

It doesn’t need to be so dire if we support each other. I believe smart women make magic happen. Women are creative, and those in tech seem to combine this with amazing skills in STEM subjects – just look at Canva and HumanSuper to see what happens when these two strong traits are combined.

Sydney is good at supporting women, but New York is far ahead

After spending time in New York, and being involved in fantastic US women’s business networks, I returned to Australia to see just how far behind New York we were, regarding how we support women. And to be honest, we aren’t going too badly, with Sydney ranking second in the world in Dell’s Women Entrepreneurs Index. But New York is still well ahead.

I was involved in mentoring women to achieve their personal best in New York,  but I redoubled my efforts when I came home and helped to found the American Express Women’s Network Australia and New Zealand, now a global model for women’s networks. I am also a member of SWIT (Supporting Women in Tech) which establishes tech programs in schools and universities for women.

My company, FD Global Connections,  seeks to help all entrepreneurs, already succeeding here, to make the transition to the US stage, but I remain passionate about women’s issues, hence my NYC Immersion program for female entrepreneurs.

Women are still a little quiet and reticent to ask for help.

There’s nothing like jumping in the deep end in New York to see there is a better way.  I went to women’s networking function while I was still quite junior, and, determined to impress the senior colleague who invited me, I sat and listened quietly until she urged me to ask a question of the speaker and thrust one onto my hand. She counselled me the importance of questioning to demonstrate respect and interest in the speaker, and afterwards, I found conversations with other delegates opened up, about the topics I had mentioned. I now ensure I always contribute to networking functions.

Women also tend to rely on themselves to solve issues, when there’s willing help available to those entrepreneurs who seek assistance or advice. New York is the type environment where it is seen as a strength, not a weakness, to ask for help. Just like the networking function, it shows respect for others’ knowledge and experience, and who could fail to be flattered and respond under those circumstances?

FD Global Connections’ New York Immersion program aimed at  Start-Ups and SMEs, led by women, which are already successful in Australia. It is supported by New York City Economic Development Corporation and is in partnership with Tyro FinTech Hub and Qantas Business Rewards. Participants will attend workshops in Sydney, and a one-week intensive program with Lab1492, a highly successful New York-based accelerator, where they will meet potential investors and customers. Applications close on 2 April. Further details can be found here.

Are you eligible for the New York Immersion Program?

The NYC Immersion Program runs over 90 days, starting in April,  and includes Sydney workshops run by FD Global Connections and Tyro FinTech Hub along with  experts in scaling internationally and companies who have successfully entered the USA market. The New York week is a fully curated week of presentations by leading US accelerator Lab1492,  and involves meetings for each participating company. Participants can expect personal introductions to trusted professional service firms, investors and potential clients.

To support participants after their return to Australia, they will be required to present their US market strategies to an audience of international C-Suite experts. Each participant is also matched to a mentor to support their ongoing USA market entry.

FD Global Connections has a limit of 15 participants in the program to ensure it is personalized and tailored for each.  Candidates should have an established track record in Australia or another global location, be earning strong revenue and be ready to scale up into the US. They should be female entrepreneurs or a company that can demonstrate strong diversity practices and policies. Ideally they should be seeking investment or to establish a customer-base in New York.

Applications close on 2 April and can be submitted at http://www.fdglobal.com.au/scaling-up-programs/scaling-up-nyc-april-2018/

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