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Dutch-Nordic delegation digitally discovers opportunities in the deep energy retrofits market in Boston

When it comes to sustainable renovation of the built environment, there are numerous developments taking place in the Greater Boston Area. During the digital “Deep Energy Retrofits and Built Environment mission to Boston”, a fifty-fifty Dutch-Nordics delegation of companies with innovative solutions in this field explored the opportunities in the Boston market and the best way for innovative scale-ups to seize these. Some advice for other companies with an interest in doing business in the region: now is a great time to start your market entry and position yourself as a front-runner, but be ready to invest significantly in adjusting your marketing message and finding the right launching customer.

  • pitched for feedback from Boston market experts to improve their ability to position themselves in the US market;
  • was presented a panel discussion through which the companies received in-depth insights into doing business in the Greater Boston Area retrofits market;
  • participated in roundtable sessions in which the companies gained specific market information as well as tips & tricks for their products and solutions;
  • Scheduled valuable meetings with potential leads and clients in the Boston market that were arranged for the companies by a professional matchmaker
  • had in-depth conversations on the differences between the EU and US markets on speeding up urban decarbonization.

Through these various sessions the delegation connected with industry leaders, architects, developers, utility companies, local cities representatives, building companies and designers in the Greater Boston Area.    

Key take-aways

Based on the feedback from these various stakeholders, a few factors are key to keep in mind for any company with an ambition to enter the Boston market. 

  • The time to enter the US retrofits market is now

    Not only at the Massachusetts state level but also at the city level, a lot of policies and incentives are being implemented and established with regards to sustainable building and renovation, carbon reduction, and energy efficiency in the built environment. Although it is still early stage, these regulations are the key drivers of the transition towards improved sustainability and efficiency in the built environment. This results in ample opportunities for Dutch and Nordic companies, which Boston stakeholders often regard as front-runners in providing clean technology. Although being an early entrant in the market offers the advantage of having little direct competition, it also means companies may have to invest a significant amount of time and resources to find a good launching customer in the US.

  • Adapt your marketing messaging

    One area to start investing in right away is adjusting your marketing message! Whereas in Europe companies tend to focus on the technicalities and details when pitching or promoting their products and solutions, in the US the main focus should be on conveying what problem your company can solve. And keep it simple: if that message does not get across in the first 30 seconds of a conversation with American parties, chances of establishing a long-term relationship and collaboration decrease significantly. An interesting observation during this mission was that various companies managed to make their own proposition stronger by teaming up with a mission participant with a complementary solution.

  • Despite growing interest in energy efficiency, make sure your offering is cost-efficient

    Your marketing message should definitely include a cost aspect. Although in Massachusetts there is a rising interest in energy efficiency in the built environment, both for retrofits and new builds, it, for now, remains challenging to convince a buyer if your solution does not also lead to cost-efficiency. This may change somewhat in the years to come as market experts note a growing interest in sustainability in the built environment which goes beyond a focus on ROI and more attention to the value of non-monetary climate impact. 

What’s next?

Face-to-face meetings remain key in doing business abroad successfully, we hope to facilitate (if covid restrictions allow it) a physical visit in the spring/summer of 2022.

Do you want to learn more about your opportunities in the Greater Boston Area?

Please do not hesitate to contact us.

Anne de Vries

Senior Projectmanager Internationalisering Energie & Circulair