Interview with the German American Chamber of Commerce (GACC)

22 08 2023 | About us

STEP USA opened a lot of doors for us – nothing is more important than a solid network from the get-go.



GACC New York: Thank you for joining us today, Tobias. Your journey from being a butcher to founding an IT company and joining our STEP USA program is quite fascinating. Could you share with us the inspiration behind your venture?

Tobias Hertfelder: Thank you for having me. My inspiration came from a desire to solve a practical problem that many businesses face. I noticed that companies were still exchanging documents like invoices and purchase orders manually, and I saw an opportunity to streamline this process through automation. I wanted to make a real impact and contribute to the business world in a meaningful way.

GACC New York: Your company, H&F Solutions, has developed a solution to simplify document exchange. Can you explain how this tool works and its potential benefits for businesses?

Tobias Hertfelder: Certainly. The tool is like an intelligent translator for unstructured data. It can analyze documents and locate important information regardless of where it’s placed within the document. This eliminates the need for companies to conform to specific data formats, which can be time-consuming and costly. The tool can also correct human errors and fill in missing information. We believe that for companies dealing with large volumes of document exchanges, this tool could save up to 70% of their costs.

GACC New York: We’re excited to hear about your experience in entering the US market as a startup from Germany. Could you start by sharing some of the advantages you see in expanding to the United States?

Tobias Hertfelder: Absolutely. Expanding to the US offers several advantages for startups. Firstly, it provides access to a massive consumer base and a diverse market that can significantly scale up our business. Additionally, the US has a robust ecosystem for innovation, funding, and networking, which can accelerate our growth.

GACC New York: You chose to establish a subsidiary in New York. What influenced your

decision, and how has your experience been so far?

Tobias Hertfelder: New York is a global business hub with a vibrant startup scene, making it an ideal location for our subsidiary. The city’s cultural diversity aligns well with our international outlook. It also provides proximity to potential partners, investors, and customers. We just wanted to underline our serious interest in this market and be closer to our future customers.

GACC New York: Could you tell us about your participation in the STEP USA Program and how it supported your entry into the US market?

Tobias Hertfelder: The STEP USA Program, organized by the German American Chamber of Commerce, was instrumental in our US market entry. It provided us with invaluable resources, mentorship, and connections. The program guided us through the intricacies of US business practices, regulations, and cultural nuances. It was like having a roadmap that significantly eased our transition.

GACC New York: Finding customers in a new market can be challenging. How did you go about identifying and attracting customers in the US?

Tobias Hertfelder: Finding customers requires a combination of market research, networking, and a clear value proposition. We are conducting thorough research to understand the US market’s needs and pain points. Leveraging our participation in local events, trade shows, and industry conferences helps us build connections. Tailoring our marketing and sales efforts to resonate with the local audience also plays a vital role in attracting our first customers.

GACC New York: Thank you for sharing your insights and experiences with us. Your journey from Germany to the US market is truly inspiring. We wish you continued success in your endeavors.

Tobias Hertfelder: Thank you for having me. It’s been a pleasure sharing our story, and I hope our journey encourages other startups to explore the opportunities in the US market.

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