By Alliott Cole Published 10/11/2016

Just over half of the teams we have backed in recent years are now operational in the US. We expect this number to grow as an increasing number of the teams we have backed start to realise their ambitions.

At Octopus we seek to back unusually talented entrepreneurs. Whether the mission be helping millions back to good mental health, or making pioneering treatments more readily available to those who need them most, or simply inspiring the world to escape, we count ourselves fortunate to be working with some of the brightest and most exciting entrepreneurs building businesses in Europe today.

We recognise that scaling a business can be relentless and challenging. We also recognise that when this scale requires a business to operate across time zones, geographies, cultures and languages it is even harder and requires a rare type of intent and resilience. For many on this journey, the US is a critical and must-win market. Just over half of the teams we have backed in recent years are now operational in the US. We expect this number to grow as an increasing number of the teams we have backed start to realise their ambitions. 

Our first major step in supporting entrepreneurs on this journey was to persuade the brilliant Pete Daffern to start working with us as a Venture Partner last year. Having been a successful CEO on several occasions, and as the CEO currently of Forsee, Pete understands what is required to build large, impactful businesses and many of the founders backed by Octopus have already benefitted greatly from his generous counsel, network and day to day support. Earlier this Summer we have taken another step forward by opening an office in New York. The role of the team here is to focus on providing practical support and guidance to those entrepreneurs considering growing their business into the US and to help them once they have arrived. 

It is early days but the breadth and diversity of industry, culture, and, above all, talent in New York suggests to us that this city is a great fit for Octopus' first US office, given our focus on backing people, not sectors. We are learning a lot week to week on both the technical basics of setting up in the US and some of the more strategic questions that founders have to grapple with when launching and scaling in this market. It is our intention to share what we have learnt to as wide an audience of entrepreneurs as possible. Please keep coming back here to see a growing series of blogs addressing these points and do email us if you have specific questions or areas you would like us to write about.