Tiphaine Le Roux, member focus of the month

Recently arrived in Boston to expand Toucan Toco, Tiphaine took a few minutes to share her fascinating story.

Please meet Tiphaine Le Roux!

Why did you decide to expand Toucan Toco in Boston? We have had 5 years of great momentum in Europe, helping about 130 customers to finally become data-driven by better-communicating information to their non-technical end-users. Our aim is to become a global leader for Data Storytelling. As the US is the biggest market for Business Intelligence, it all starts with becoming a leader right here, in the US. Boston was a natural choice for us : 6 hours time difference with our Paris office, successful French companies to be inspired by (ex-Neolane, i Advize, Opendatasoft...) and a booming tech community!

What does your company do efficiently and well? What is your value proposition? Companies have tried to be data-driven for decades, investing a large amount of money in BI and AI tools. Yet, today there is still clearly a gap between the way data experts understand and action their data and the way non-technical business users & executives try to do it. Toucan aims to bridge that gap by helping companies better communicate information to their non-technical end-users. We provide them with user-friendly and interactive analytics applications that require 0 days of training and 0 technical knowledge for their end-users to make faster and more informed decisions. We’re the leader in our market because: - We are the only one to address non-technical people - We ensure very high engagement-rates thanks to our UX first approach - We ensure the fastest time to market. Companies can create a full set of graphs within a few hours

There are so many tech hubs in the US, why did you decide to expand Toucan Toco in Boston? 

There were 4 reasons why we decided to set up our offices in Boston : - Attractivity: attractivity ranking for startup setup in the US - Boston = #1 on the East Coast

- Innovation: The Kendall Square innovation district - Most innovative area of the Globe = between downtown Boston and Harvard  

- People: Best universities (Harvard, MIT...) bring the best talents to attract and grow Toucan team in the US.

- Culture: New York is about Network, Boston is about community.

"Boston = #1 on the East Coast"

Tell us about support from the French institutional partners: FACCNE, French Consulate, French Tech? Any recommendations for newcomers? The French institutions are a great way to ensure a soft landing for any french entrepreneur/companies wanting to set up an office in the US. The French community is very supportive, takes the time to give advice, connect you with some key individuals and ensure to direct you to the right networks, events you should be part of once you land here.

"The French community is very supportive"

The venture capital firms have helped turn Boston into a booming tech hub; can you confirm if it was a driver when you decided to expand your company in Boston? Definitely! The attractivity of Boston as a tech hub was the #1 reason why we decided to come here. We are very excited to meet so many successful startups that have setup their US operations here!

Did you receive any grants, subsidies or tax deduction to support your business? In the past years, we've been selected twice to be part of Le Hub BPI France FrenchTech promotion. Being part of this selective program helped us getting refunds on specific marketing investments. We've also had the chance to win an honor grant from Raise to help us fuel our growth. This financial capacity wasn't dedicated only to our US growth but it gave us a better speed on international business development. Do you have any recommendations for French entrepreneur and starting a business in Boston? My 3 recommendations for the French entrepreneurs that want to start a business here are: - Don't try to do business the same way you do in France: forget about everything you think you know in France and come here with a very open mind, ready to iterate the way you work every week. - Seek help from the Boston community - french network and local networks: People will tell you their story and share their past mistakes and advice so you can avoid doing the same ones. - Keep the focus: the US market is so big that to maximize your chances to break into this market, picking a focus is key! Don't forget that the grass always looks greener somewhere else.  Boston is a global business center what benefits do you see for your company ? Does it help attract talents, market your brand? Being in Boston is being surrounded by a lot of tech companies and bright minds coming out of big universities such as Harvard or MIT. This is a great opportunity for us to raise awareness around Toucan Toco by meeting the tech community at local meetups, and the students from these universities during career fairs or on-site presentations. What do you find challenging doing Business in Boston/ in the US at first sight ?

One of the biggest challenges of doing business in Boston/ in the US is to build a trustworthy reputation. Regardless of the quality of your people, your solution and your work, you still have to build a real trust with Americans to reassure them to buy from a French brand. A lot of questions such as support location, data-center locations, legal requirements... are typical aspects impacting sales cycles and opportunities. How fast have things moved for your business since you arrived a few months ago ? We dedicated the first 3 months to build a rock-solid foundation for our US branch here. We have done a lot of work around our market fit, pitch, market penetration strategy, the americanization of our marketing and sales content. This 2nd quarter, we are now 100% focus on generating pipeline and we are confident to be closing some opportunities in the upcoming months! What would you have liked to know before arriving or at your arrival that you missed? We would have liked to know beforehand the importance of having content in American English (written by a native) to do business here. Little details really matter and any sign that makes them realize they are dealing with a French company does not help them to feel confident enough to do business with us. Working on the content beforehand would have saved us a lot of time once we arrived here. What do you love with Boston/ US market ?

What is great about Boston is the sense of community. People working in this city are really helpful and take the time to answer your questions and give you advice. We have learned so much from all our meetings and that has helped us set our foundations in the first few months!

Thank you very much Tiphaine we wish you a successful end of year !

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