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Taking the leap to the US


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13 things you need to know before you jump

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Taking the leap to the US

  1. 1. Taking the U.S. leap 13 things you need to know before you jump. @elamadej @innovationnest@elamadej @innovationnest
  2. 2. How would I know? @elamadej @innovationnest@elamadej @innovationnest
  3. 3. My professional experience:
  4. 4. @elamadej @innovationnest I’m a COO at a NYC startup. @elamadej @innovationnest
  5. 5. @elamadej @innovationnest I’m a partner at a VC fund. @elamadej @innovationnest
  6. 6. 13 things you need to know about biz in the U.S. @elamadej @innovationnest@elamadej @innovationnest
  7. 7. You’ll have culture shock. It’s a different environment. You’ll feel energized and exhausted in turns. Travel there early to familiarize yourself. @elamadej @innovationnest@elamadej @innovationnest
  8. 8. You’re English is bat. People will nod but they will not understand you >50% time. Speak slowly, know lingo, read “Venture Deals”. @elamadej @innovationnest@elamadej @innovationnest
  9. 9. People are impatient. People seem very nice and will be incredibly helpful at times… but most conversations will end quickly and will get you nowhere. @elamadej @innovationnest@elamadej @innovationnest
  10. 10. You’ll waste a lot of time. Travel, immigration, finding apartment, finding office space, car rental, local travel. Everyone had to go through it. Hang on. @elamadej @innovationnest@elamadej @innovationnest
  11. 11. Your raise will take long. You have to be later stage. Expect longer due-diligence. Expect lower valuation - more risk, exit strategy less clear, no network to hire from. Reputation is everything. @elamadej @innovationnest@elamadej @innovationnest
  12. 12. Talent war is on. Gold-rush investment market leads to cut- throat work market. Read compensation threads on Quora. @elamadej @innovationnest@elamadej @innovationnest
  13. 13. It’s freakin’ expensive. Marc Andreessen: Average fully burdened cost per employee in SV is $200k and rising. Raise for 12-18 months. @elamadej @innovationnest@elamadej @innovationnest
  14. 14. Employees are bosses. Low employee loyalty, high expectations, equity is expected, benefits, lunches. CULTURE! @elamadej @innovationnest@elamadej @innovationnest
  15. 15. Real-estate is hard to find. $1000 per employee. NYC 3-10 years leases, big deposits and guarantors needed. @elamadej @innovationnest@elamadej @innovationnest
  16. 16. Operations can kill you. HR firm, payroll firm, accountants, bookkeepers, healthcare providers, state payroll, taxes, federal taxes, DE corp. tax, NY/CA corp. Tax, workers compensation, liability insurance… Use Zenefits, ZenPayroll & more. @elamadej @innovationnest@elamadej @innovationnest
  17. 17. Fine print matters. Many hidden costs. Many disclaimers. Arbitration and legal action actually happens. YC poll avg. $1250/hour for a lawyer. @elamadej @innovationnest@elamadej @innovationnest
  18. 18. Hard to undo foundation. Use good documents: YC’s SAFE, standard convertible notes, good lawyers. Clerky. 83 (b) election. Ask for advice. @elamadej @innovationnest@elamadej @innovationnest
  19. 19. It’s a hell of a ride! It’s hard but you have more assets than you think. If you can make it in America… @elamadej @innovationnest@elamadej @innovationnest
  20. 20. Ready? Excited?
  21. 21. Taking the U.S. leap Thank you! @elamadej @innovationnest@elamadej @innovationnest