Q4 Inc.’s Darrell Heaps on global expansion do’s and don’ts

reduce startup risks

Reduce Startup Risks (RSR) is a video interview series aimed at helping Canadian tech startups scale quickly & with ease. This is a chance for founders and executives to learn from their peers as they discuss the common pitfalls associated with high-growth and share the tools and tactics they’ve learned on the ground. RSR is presented by Toronto-based StackAdapt and led by company co-founder, Vitaly Pecherskiy.

Darrell Heaps knows what it’s like to go global.

As CEO and Founder of Q4 Inc., he’s gone from running a Canada-based startup to an international organization, home to big name clients like Nike, Salesforce, FedEx and McDonald’s. Q4 helps their clients deliver websites, social and mobile applications, and data intelligence products that redefine how they interact with capital markets.

Heaps raised over $28 million at Q4 Inc. and grew his team close to 200 people.

For each region “the go-to-market is different, and what resonates is different, how you price and package [your product] is different.”

For my latest RSR interview, I sat down with Heaps to pick his brain on the many risks involved in startup inception, international expansion, acquisition, and team management as an organization becomes increasingly complex. When it comes to expansion, his biggest piece of advice is to avoid a “one-size-fits-all” strategy. For each region “the go-to-market is different, what resonates is different, how you price and package [your product] is different, as well as the sales process.”

This is especially true of Europe: “Don’t think about Europe as one place. Don’t have a broad European strategy. Be specific.”

In this video he covers:

  • What comes first: the team or the idea?
  • When to go global and the prevalence of Canadian companies abroad
  • The biggest and most surprising challenges of international expansion
  • Acquisition: the difference between being strategic and being opportunistic
  • Managing complex and geographically dispersed teams

For more startup lessons and interviews, visit www.vitalypecherskiy.com/


Vitaly Pecherskiy

Vitaly Pecherskiy is a co-founder of StackAdapt, a Toronto-based advertising technology company that helps brands accelerate customer acquisition. Vitaly was previously named 30 Under 30 by Marketing Magazine.

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