Impact: Where was your company before Impact 2014 ?
Before Impact, Vade Secure was a profitable company without funding and had just opened its office in San Francisco and had no business in the US yet. At the time, Vade Secure had 2 offices, one in France, one in Montreal. Before Impact, Vade Secure was protecting around 150M of mailboxes.
Impact: Where is it today?
Today, Vade Secure is protecting more than 235M of mailboxes representing a growth of 56%, has 5 offices around the world: France, San Francisco, Montreal, Hong Kong and Tokyo, has increased the employees by 35% and made 2 technologic patents in the US.
Impact: How did Impact influence it? What have been the critical points of your success during and after the program ?
Impact influenced the Vade Secure messaging, making us able to present the company easily and focus our sale efforts on one unique selling point that makes the sale process easier and quicker.
Thanks do Impact, Vade Secure got in touch with DreamHost, a very well respected hosting provider, which is now one of the key US references of the company.
Vade Secure started the US market by contacts with big providers making a few very known references that know help Vade Secure in getting the lower parts of the market that are the corporations. Thanks to those two references: Cisco and Dreamhost, Vade Secure is now taken seriously in the US.
Impact : What have been the most memorable moments of your U.S. development since your were selected to Impact 2014?
Right from the start of the program, we had business meetings with important American companies. Having a U.S. subsidiary went far in gaining potential client’s trust, and as a result they did not hesitate to test our solution. When potential clients test our technology, it quickly becomes very concrete afterwards, and clients invest giving us an 80% chance to close a deal.
Another striking moment: One day during the program, I was heavily criticized for my pitch, which wasn’t very good yet. However, I had to pitch again the following day and an event jury member specifically came up to me to congratulate me for the quality of my second pitch. It was night and day difference.
The pitch structure designed during the Impact kickoff week bootcamp and coaching period is now used for all our activities.
We redesigned our entire U.S. website to align with our new refined positioning, and moving away from the typical product line presentation. This new U.S. website design is now also a model for the French site version, and proves to be extremely efficient.
Another vital lesson that emerged from the program was to focus on refining our vertical for the U.S., and simplifying our offer. It worked very well both in the US and in France.
Impact : If you had to give just one reason why participating in Impact was the right decision, what would it be?
Vade Secure has never been as well-known as it is today. It is evident when we meet with new American prospects that are not familiar to us, but that already know about us thanks to our participation in Impact. In our line of business, it is a very small world and everyone talks.
Impact : What did you enjoy most about the program ?
The insights Impact provided on “how to become global” have been extremely valuable.
How to become known without spending millions on marketing: meaning you have to focus primarily on the client’s perception of the product.
The business development done during Impact’s 10 weeks was amazing. We would have wasted a lot of time doing the same work ourselves.
Impact : Any tips for the future participants to Impact?
When going to the U.S., you have to be fully committed. You must not go only to return.
Returning to France, you tend to drift away… and then you feel guilty! In IT, the U.S. is where it’s happening.
Participate in all program sessions, and take advantage of the business development program which truly helps accelerate your business.
Believe in the program. At the start, I didn’t really give it much credit: I pictured the French Embassy and diplomacy…. What could they know about business?
However, I had a major wake up call. The program is tremendously effective.
To the people telling themselves “why not”, I say: believe and fully commit yourself.
You have to decide to really be in the U.S. And use the program as your launch pad, and not as a way to just test the waters.
Impact : What are your next steps?
Now we got those references, our next step is to get to the corporate market in the US, we target a growth by 70% in 2017. New round of fundraising, and multiplying the team by 2 in 2016.
Impact : What most struck you during your stay in Silicon Valley?
You are constantly surrounded by creativity and innovation. You are immersed in a world that is always moving forward and looking to solve problems. What are the French waiting for to believe it?
Impact : The best advice you received during Impact?
To be very focused, and capable of convincing in just a few words.
Impact : If you had a word to describe what Silicon Valley means to Vade Secure.