On Monday 29 March 2021, at the opening of the first virtual economic mission with the Midwestern state of Wisconsin, Luxembourg's Minister of the Economy, Franz Fayot, announced the launch of a new programme to support the internationalisation of Luxembourg startups in the United States, following the partnership concluded between the Ministry of the Economy and gener8tor, a renowned accelerator located in Wisconsin.
The 3-week digital programme, the first edition of which is scheduled for this summer, will allow 5 Luxembourg startups each year to discover the United States from Wisconsin, so that they can start making business contacts and check whether their product is suitable for the American market. The Ministry of the Economy, in collaboration with Luxinnovation and gener8tor, will select the startups that will participate in the programme consisting of workshops, courses and mentoring, but also interactions with local entrepreneurs, investors and large companies active in gener8tor's partner network. This programme in Wisconsin complements the two existing programmes for Luxembourg startups in San Francisco and New York, namely the Startup School programme and the Benelux Catalyst acceleration programme.
gener8tor is an American startup accelerator with offices in Madison, Milwaukee and Minneapolis. It has a strong national presence. Since its inception in 2012, gener8tor has set up some 45 coaching programmes in 24 cities across the US. The gener8tor platform includes pre-accelerators, accelerators, enterprise programmes and conferences. It connects startup founders, investors, universities and large companies. gener8tor focuses in particular on sectors such as industry 4.0, fintech/insurtech and health technologies, which are also key sectors for the diversification of the Luxembourg economy.
Virtual economic mission to Wisconsin from 29 to 31 March
From 29 to 31 March, the Ministry of the Economy, in close cooperation with the Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce, the Luxembourg House of Fintech (LHoFT) and the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC), is organising a virtual economic mission to Wisconsin for the first time. Located on the shores of Lake Superior and Lake Michigan, Wisconsin presents numerous opportunities for Luxembourg companies, particularly in three areas: environmental technologies, fintech and startups and innovation.
Wisconsin's central location makes it a prime destination for international companies looking to establish and expand in the United States and North America. Wisconsin is also world-renowned in research and development in biosciences, medical devices and drugs, water technology, energy, advanced materials and manufacturing methods.
The aim of the economic mission is to strengthen collaboration between Luxembourg and Wisconsin in innovation and technology and enhance trade.
The virtual economic mission started on 29 March 2021 with an academic session. After opening speeches by Luc Frieden, President of the Chamber of Commerce, Tony Evers, Wisconsin Governor and Missy Hughes, CEO of the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, the minster of the Economy delivered a speech. In addition to announcing the new programme to support the internationalisation of startups, Franz Fayot, underlined during his speech the historical links between Luxembourg and Wisconsin, notably as a result of the important immigration of Luxembourgers in the 19th century. It is estimated that there are nearly 350,000 descendants of Luxembourg immigrants living in the state today. He then explained in more detail the choice of sectors targeted by the mission and presented the Luxembourg economy, including its important ecosystem of startups.
The programme of the mission, spread over three days, includes specific sessions dedicated to water technologies, a round table to address the future of banking and insurance beyond Blockchain, as well as a meeting of startup ecosystems. Each event will bring together experts and stakeholders in the targeted fields, from Wisconsin and Luxembourg, to share their ideas, visions and experiences on the data-driven economy, the future of fintech and innovative management. More than 85 speakers are expected. In total, around 200 participants are registered for the mission, the majority of which are American companies.
The mission organisers also benefit from the on-site support of the Luxembourg Embassy in the United States and the Luxembourg Trade and Investment Offices (LTIO) based in New York and San Francisco. Luxembourg companies can contact these offices for assistance in accessing the North American market. A webinar for Luxembourg exporting companies will be organised with the New York and San Francisco LTIOs on 3 June.