NLAB is a unique accelleration programme for companies from the Lubelskie Region run in cooperation with partners from the USA to support internationlization.
The main objective of the NLAB programme is to support companies from Lubelskie in the process of scale up within internationalization businesses on USA market. In 2015 the Lubelskie region signed a Letter of Intent with the Nevada State (USA) - the NLAB programme is one of the activities run in the frames of this cooperation.
Lubelskie Region has already completed the 1st and 2nd edition (with slight modifications). The main stakeholders of the programme was entrepreneurs.
NLAB programme consisted of several steps:
- Open recritment for start-ups and innovative companies looking for possibilieties of growth - entrepreneurs submited application forms.
- Selected 30 entrepreneurs took part in the 4-day Bootcamp Lubelskie, which included workshops, consultations and mentoring meetings with renowned business coaches from Poland and Nevada. The culmination of Bootcamp was the Demo Day, where 20 entrepreneurs pitched and faced questions from the American and Polish jury. All the 30 companies taking part in Bootcamp received feedback from mentors presenting their strong and weak sides together with the recomendations for future.
- The winning 10 goes to Nevada, where they spent 14 days having a series of consultance, training, meetings with potential clients, investors, business angels, business and legal advisors, various business institutions and representatives of public administration. Each company had tailor-made programme adjusted to its profile and needs.
Approximately 100 000 EUR for the 1st edition and 50 000 EUR for the 2nd edition. The cost of the 2nd edition is lower as outsourced programme operators were lessened and the region performed the whole activity with the use of the office staff. The practice required the resources of 3 people.
Evidence of success
5 out of 10 companies who went to the USA successfully infiltrated the US market by setting up their businesses in Nevada (not resigning from their business in the Lubelskie Region). The intensive course both in Poland and then the acceleration process in Nevada, including contacts they made during their stay there, made it possible for them to expand their activity on the US market. Even the companies who did not win the competition confirmed that programm broadened their minds.
One of the challenge was:
-to convince some local companies they may be successful on the US market.
-Before visit in the US some companies were also sceptical what they could learn for 2 weeks in Nevada. However, the programme turned out to be a success.
Potential for learning or transfer
The practice can be surely transferred to other regions – in most of the regions companies are eager to develop their activity internationally as it provides opportunities not only for revenue growth but also the exchange of knowledge and the enhancement of capabilities which strengthen their long-term competitiveness. It often happens they are afraid to expand their activity on totally different continent but with the support of public body or other trustworthy institution they tend to be more confident and willing to face this challenge. After the success of the 1st edition of the programme Lubelskie Region decided to run the second edition, almost the same but thanks to some improvements, the cost of it has been considerably decreased. During the second edition the successful companies who had already been to Nevada, served as examples and were presented as success stories to new participants. It had a very positive effect.