The World Trade Center (WTC) San Diego introduced the 15 local companies that were selected to participate in the MetroConnect Program for 2017 at an event held at the University Club in Downtown San Diego. The MetroConnect Program, sponsored by JPMorgan Chase, is a support program developed to help local companies accelerate their international growth. The event also featured an expo of global service providers, including the San Diego CITD, which had the opportunity to promote its programs and services designed to help small businesses grow globally.
World Trade Center San Diego Executive Director, Nikia Clarke, kicked off the event, after which San Diego Mayor, Kevin Faulconer, spoke about San Diego’s innovative businesses and the importance of connecting them to global markets. San Diego CITD client and MetroConnect 2016 Grand Prize winner, Jeff Silver, owner of Rough Draft Brewing then spoke about how the program has helped his company reach new markets before the 2017 cohort was announced. The companies in this year’s cohort include: Coronado Brewing Company, CP Global Manufacturing, CureMatch, Del Mal Oceanographic, Dermala, Envision Solar International, FoxFury, Guru, Julian Hard Cider, Optimized Fuel Technologies, Performa Learning, Planck AeroSystems, Tioga Research, Tunnel Vision, and Urban Translations.
Each of the companies participating in the MetroConnect Program will receive $10,000 in funding to help with their exporting efforts. These funds can be used for a variety for global services including travel (to and from target markets), participation in trade shows, establishment of a foreign subsidiary, foreign language translation of marketing materials and more. Additionally, participating companies will be able to compete for an additional $35,000 in funding during the MetroConnect Program Grand Prize Pitchfest, which will be held in May 2018.