After five years as Denmark’s trade commissioner in Atlanta, Kent Fallesen is to return to Copenhagen, Denmark, this week and open a private consulting firm that will help American companies enter the European market as early as July.
As trade commissioner, Mr. Fallesen has assisted more than 20 Danish companies to establish subsidiaries in Georgia since 2000. Upon his return to Denmark, he plans to open kehfall, a consulting and marketing firm for internationally expanding businesses.
“What I will provide is an understanding of how to do business in the U.S. and how to do business in Europe,” Mr. Fallesen told GlobalAtlanta in a recent interview.
During his time in Atlanta, Mr. Fallesen developed an “accelerator” business strategy, which was implemented throughout North America and other offices worldwide by the Danish government, to aid Danish businesses to establish in the United States and foreign markets.
The accelerator program, which can be used by any country looking to attract or implement foreign investment, involves, among other services, providing a network of local business contacts to a company emerging in a foreign market.
The company needs these contacts, which can include accounting firms, financial institutions, insurance companies and lawyers, to emerge successfully in the new market, he said. Without an accelerator program, companies are left to find such contacts on their own, often leading to a difficult, lengthy start-up phase in a new country, he added.
“The program accelerates a company’s presence in a new market and turns a complex process into a simple one,” Mr. Fallesen said.
The Danish government implemented the program in trade commissions in Los Angeles, Montreal, New York, Silicon Valley, Ca. and Washington.
Now, Mr. Fallesen wants to use the same program at kehfall to help American companies establish businesses in Denmark. He believes the country’s small, highly developed market can act as a testing ground for U.S. companies looking to expand throughout the rest of Europe.
With his new company, which is scheduled to open in July, Mr. Fallesen is also interested in helping European and U.S. cities establish their own accelerator programs to attract foreign investment.
In addition to helping Danish companies establish in Georgia, Mr. Fallesen has worked extensively with the Danish American Chamber of Commerce GA Inc., incorporating the organization into his accelerator program in 2001. He also organized an April gathering of all U.S. Danish-American chambers of commerce in Washington and secured a similar summit for 2006 to be held in Atlanta.
Before serving as Denmark’s trade commissioner, Mr. Fallesen was vice president of worldwide sales and marketing for the Danish computer software company Beologic A/S, then a subsidiary of Bang and OlufsenTechnologies A/S.
He was replaced by Jan Sauer, who formally became trade commissioner on June 16. Mr. Sauer is a former account manager with Kunde and Co., one of Scandinavia’s largest marketing and advertising agencies. He has studied in Denmark and Germany, as well as at the Georgia Institute of Technology.
To find out more about Mr. Fallesen or kehfall, visit the Web site www.kehfall.com or e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Mr. Sauer can be reached at email@example.com.