AWS Expand Helps International Healthcare and Life Sciences Startups Develop Go-To-Market Strategies for the US Market
The partnership with health tech incubator MATTER is the beginning of a larger campaign to help startups expand to new geographies.
Amazon Web Services has partnered with MATTER, the premier healthcare technology incubator and innovation hub, to launch AWS Expand. The program supports startups entering the US market from Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) by providing expert guidance, mentorship, client connections, an extensive network within the healthcare industry, and more. For the 38 startups selected to participate in this first cohort this summer, Expand promises incredible opportunities for growth and development.
“This initiative is focused on our EMEA healthcare and life sciences startups that want to expand to the United States,” says Jared Saul, Global Head of Healthcare & Life Sciences Startups at AWS. “Expanding to the large and and unified US market is a major piece of the strategic roadmap for these startups as they look to widen their addressable market opportunites .”
Like every initiative at AWS, AWS Expand is driven by customer obsession. The program grew out of a series of interviews AWS conducted last year with startup founders and executives concerning the process of expanding a company beyond its domestic borders. The team at AWS learned that startups seeking to develop internationally face a number of challenges that can inhibit their growth potential—problems like a lack of strategy, planning, and roadmapping resources, or a need for operational support as they scale their physical presence in a new region. Most relevant to AWS Expand, though, is that they also encounter obstacles in their go-to-market efforts and in identifying and implementing the right technological solutions.
The AWS team knew it could already offer a robust response to startups’ tech needs through its Solutions Architects, but it also recognized an opportunity to provide go-to-market guidance and support by combing AWS’s vast investor and partner network with MATTER’s industry expertise.
Based in Chicago, MATTER has fostered a network of industry leaders and innovators working throughout the US healthcare sector. Its community features pharmaceutical manufacturers, insurance companies, hospital systems, educators, and more—all groups that are eager to engage with promising developments in healthcare and medical technology from overseas.
With its supportive community and comprehensive understanding of the industry, MATTER also provides emerging companies with essential education on the US market’s unique regulatory environment.
“The US healthcare industry is vastly different from other local healthcare markets. Its nuances and intricacies require a distinct knowledge base,” says Steven Collens, CEO of MATTER. “MATTER is ready to help these startups adopt a new lens that will be critical to their success in the US.”
Through this partnership, AWS and MATTER will advise on strategy and bring European startups and potential customers together, eliminating traditional barriers to entry for the US marketplace.
AWS also works closely with the venture capital firms that invest in these startups to ensure that they are well-positioned to thrive internationally. Saul notes that VC firms have a vested interest in seeing their startups succeed, but they recognize that international expansion is a major area in which these growing companies often need assistance. AWS collaborates with top VC firms in EMEA, relying on their knowledge to nominate the startups in their portfolios that are the most mature and most prepared to enter the US.
The advantages of being selected for this program are readily apparent to those involved. “AWS Expand presents a unique opportunity to advance the Sapien business with access to industry leading experts, extensive educational resources, and potential clients,” says Matthew Beatty, CEO of UK-based Sapien Health. “This initiative will help Sapien transform perioperative care for people across the US and in doing so help millions of people have a successful surgery.”
Dr. Philipp Brunnbauer, Co-Founder & CEO of MedEngine, based in Germany, notes that the EU’s new medical device regulations, vastly increased the need for additional resources to deploy consumer-focused products in the German market.
“We are looking for any kind of regulatory, legal or business development assistance to enter the US market, primarily focused on the East Coast,” he says.
AWS is focused on maximizing impact in the healthcare industry through this collaboration with MATTER. But the team recognizes the potential for assisting startups through similar partnerships in other industries in the future. By prioritizing a single vertical, AWS can dive deep into the specifics and learn what practices are most effective for firms making the leap to international expansion. From there, possibilities in other industries may open up. When they do, AWS will be ready to provide the support startups need to make the leap.