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The Big Picture San Diego Blog


WTC San Diego

June 5, 2017

San Diego knows how to build companies that the rest of the world values. Case in point: Last month, El-Cajon based Calbiotech, a diagnostics company, was acquired by EBRA Mannheim, a medical device manufacturer based in Mannheim, Germany.

In 2016, Calbiotech was part of MetroConnect, World Trade Center San Diego’s flagship export assistance program. As part of the 2016 cohort, Calbiotech received financial and programmatic resources to support their plans to expand internationally.

Calbiotech has a global footprint of more than 200 products, which are distributed to 60 countries worldwide. With the expansion announcement, Calbiotech will maintain its footprint in San Diego because of the access to key reference labs and other biotech customers throughout the region. It will also serve as ERBA’s hub and gateway to the Latin American market.

The company was referred to the MetroConnect program by Jo Marie Diamond, head of the San Diego East County Economic Development Council. “I’ve been working with Calbiotech for years,” said Diamond, “They are representative of everything positive about the San Diego economy – a focus on innovative products, a strong sense of commitment to the community, and an incredibly grounded and highly diverse team.

We’re excited to hear of Calbiotech’s next step and were very impressed with the company during their time in MetroConnect”, said Lauren Lindner, director of World Trade Center San Diego who oversees the MetroConnect Program. “Their team was incredibly savvy in their rollout to international markets, and we’re not surprised to see that a leader like ERBA took notice.”

San Diego, and specifically East County, have been an integral part of the Calbiotech success story,” said David Barka, Vice President. “San Diego is home to companies that are leading the world in innovation in science and medicine. Being in San Diego gave us access to an amazing talent pool that really helped our company grow.”

The acquisition will help Calbiotech increase access to markets across Europe and Asia add to EBRA’s extensive and far-ranging product portfolio.

M&A is an important growth strategy and capital source for San Diego companies. According to a 2016 EDC study, nearly 70 percent of San Diego’s capital in 2015 came through M&A.

Calbiotech’s acquisition mirrors the region’s strengthening ties with Germany, including the announcement of Condor’s new direct flight to Frankfurt, Germany, which began operation on Monday, May 1.

Financial details of the acquisition were not disclosed.

Applications for the MetroConnect 2017 round are now open. To apply, click here.

June 1, 2017
Calling all companies looking to go global...
 
MetroConnect, World Trade Center San Diego’s flagship export assistance program, is now accepting applications for its 2017 cohort. 
 
Made possible through a grant provided by JPMorgan Chase & Co., small to mid-sized companies in San Diego can apply for a $10,000 grant and programmatic services to assist with international expansion efforts.
 
Fifteen local companies will be selected. Apply now through June 30, 2017.
To date, the 30 companies that have gone through the MetroConnect program (2015-2016) have collectively generated $10.5 million in new export sales, signed more than 70 new contracts, added 50 new jobs to the region, set up nine new overseas facilities and seen three successful company exits.
 
Past participants include Calbiotech, Rough Draft Brewing, Deering Banjo Company, Cypher Genomics (now part of Human Longevity Inc.), ROBO 3D and more.
 
Learn more at metroconnectsd.org and apply here
 
 
May 11, 2017
This week, World Trade Center San Diego and UC San Diego’s School of Global Policy and Strategy (GPS) welcomed Alan Beebe, President of the American Chamber of Commerce in China, for the third and final Global Forum program of the year. The event was held in the Harbor View room at Tom Ham’s Lighthouse.
 
The presentation focused on the findings of the 2017 China Business Climate Survey Report, released by the American Chamber of Commerce. Alan Beebe provided insight on the obstacles American companies face in China today, and how these obstacles are leading to adjustments in strategy for the future. Following the presentation, Mr. Beebe was joined by Dr. Karl Gerth, Chinese Studies program director at UC San Diego for a moderated Q&A session.
 
Sponsored by Bank of America, the Global Forum initiative offers GPS’s high-profile, visiting scholars a chance to address the region’s local business community.
 
May 3, 2017

At 6pm on Monday, May 1, San Diego greeted Condor Airlines' first ever flight from Frankfurt, Germany. Condor begins seasonal, nonstop service between San Diego and Frankfurt with up to three flights weekly.
 
“Germany is one of San Diego’s most important foreign markets. By providing nonstop service to Frankfurt from San Diego, we’re opening new doors to global markets that will attract exports and lucrative foreign investment for the region,” said City of San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer.
 
As a key global partner to the San Diego region, Germany currently ranks fourth in terms of foreign employment (2015) and seventh in terms of total exports from San Diego (2013). 
 
Ringing in this new flight, more than 100 San Diego business and tourism officials joined WTC San Diego at Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens - Liberty Station for a kickoff event this Tuesday. Attendees included San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer; Jens Boyd, group head of long-haul, Condor Airlines; April Boling, board chairman, San Diego County Regional Airport Authority; Greg Koch, founder and Chairman, Stone Brewing; and Consul General Hans Jörg Neumann, Consulate General Germany Los Angeles. Stone Brewing Co is the only U.S. brewer to fully own and operate a brewery in Europe. 
 
Besides Frankfurt, the service will provide travelers with convenient one-stop access to European destinations such as Paris, Vienna, Prague, Venice, Berlin, Rome, Zagreb and many more.
 
This year, San Diego International Airport will double its intercontinental routes. In addition to its current service to Tokyo, London and the new route to Frankfurt, it will also add a new flight to Zurich, Switzerland later this year. 
 
April 18, 2017

Last time San Diego hosted BIO in 2014, San Diego companies were inundated with requests for meetings from visitors  looking to make connections outside of the convention center. After all, if you are going to visit one of the world's preeminent biotech hubs, you better take advantage of your surroundings. Many of these meetings result in inbound investment opportunities for San Diego businesses and research institutions.

WTC San Diego, in partnership with Biocom, has launched discoversdbio.com, a website that will track, vet and expand investment opportunities for San Diego businesses during the BIO International Convention

The 2017 BIO International Convention, the world’s leading biotechnology conference, comes to San Diego June 19 - June 21. In 2017, BIO is projected to attract more than 16,500 attendees, with more than 2,000 individuals coming from international destinations. These delegations, comprised of venture capitalists, foreign dignitaries, private companies and others, collectively send hundreds of requests to businesses and organizations for tours and meetings outside of the San Diego Convention Center.

Foreign investment (FDI) is an integral part of San Diego’s life sciences cluster. In Q1 2017 alone, 

San Diego’s life sciences cluster received more than $1.7 billion in FDI – more than 75 percent of the region’s total FDI during that quarter.

Discoversdbio.com will function as a one-stop-shop for delegations seeking opportunities in the broader San Diego community during BIO 2017. The tool will streamline requests, improve the tracking of visitors and strengthen the follow through. Delegations are directed to a website that captures contact information, delegation make-up, requested company tours and more.

“The annual BIO convention offers significant opportunities for companies to network at the conference, and because San Diego has a vibrant life sciences ecosystem, many visiting delegations are eager to make connections outside of the conference,” said Jennifer Landress, senior vice president and COO at Biocom. “However, sifting through a high volume of requests can be difficult. This tool will help track and vet the opportunities for San Diego organizations, giving them the information they need to make the decisions about which meetings to hold.”

San Diego life sciences companies and/or research institutions that are interested in hosting delegations, please contact Drew Garrison at dg@sandiegobusiness.org to be added to the website. 

San Diego Regional EDC, the parent organization of WTC San Diego, will also be running subsequent programming during BIO 2017 as a way to market the region and attract additional inbound investment. EDC will launch an economic impact study on San Diego’s genomics industry, making San Diego the first region in the U.S. to quantify its genomics industry.    

 

 

 

April 14, 2017

This week, World Trade Center San Diego and UC San Diego's School of Global Policy and Strategy (GPS) hosted Former Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta at the second Global Forum program of the year. Prime Minister Letta, currently dean of the Paris School of International Affairs at Sciences Po, addressed the causes of Brexit and the ensuing European Migration Crisis drawing from his experiences as head of state of an EU border country.
 
The presentation touched on the linkages between major world events leading up to now, the future of the EU in light of upcoming French and German elections and flashpoints to monitor should internal negotiations in the EU fail to deliver workable solutions. During the Q&A session following the keynote, Prime Minister Letta expanded on the bureaucratic process of Brexit negotiations and the effect a final deal would have on stakeholders in the global market.
 
Sponsored by Bank of America, the Global Forum series is a partnership between GPS and WTC San Diego to give high-profile visiting scholars at UC San Diego a chance to address the region's local business community. The third and final Global Forum of 2017 will take place on May 9. Alan Beebe, President of the American Chamber of Commerce in China, will present on the opportunities and challenges American businesses face in an increasingly competitive and complex Chinese market. Join us.
 
 
March 29, 2017

In preparation for BIO 2017, Biocom and World Trade Center San Diego developed a digital platform to help facilitate meetings between inbound delegations and local organizations. The website collects key data points such as size of delegation, country of origin, industry of interest, plans for future investment and more. The tool connects delegations to the appropriate representatives and provides companies and institutions a resource to vet inbound delegations and more efficiently allocate their time. Check it out at discoversdbiz.com.

March 27, 2017

World Trade Center San Diego and UC San Diego's School of Global Policy and Strategy (GPS) jointly launched its 2017 Global Forum programming in February. The initiative, sponsored by Bank of America, offers GPS's high-profile, visiting scholars a chance to address the region's local business community. The first Global Forum program of 2017 featured the Former Minister of Foreign Affairs in Japan, the Honorable Yoriko Kawaguchi. Topics included the future of the U.S.-Japan relationship in a post-Trans Pacific Partnership world, the diplomatic relationship between the two countries and more.

See more from GPS.

January 20, 2017

From 2025 to 2050, the 65-and-older population is projected to almost double to 1.6 billion globally, whereas the total population will grow by just 34 percent over the same period. With this, it has become increasingly important to support our aging population, with health and wellness among top priority.

San Diego medical technology company and 2016 MetroConnect participant AVACEN Medical has developed technology to help ease some of the common ailments afflicting seniors. The AVACEN 100 is an FDA cleared, over-the-counter medical device that provides non-invasive, temporary arthritis and muscle pain relief, and muscle relaxation. Using microcirculation enhancement on the palms, the locally-made device helps warm and thin the blood, thereby dissipating heat throughout deep tissues and relieving joint pain associated by arthritis, muscle spasms, sprains and more.

Taking this San Diego-made technology global, the AVACEN 100 has just received the CE (Conformité Européenne) Mark approval to treat widespread pain associated with fibromyalgia. The CE Mark allows AVACEN to market its AVACEN 100 to the European Union's 28 member countries where many prescription drugs, available in the U.S., have been rejected by regulatory officials for treating fibromyalgia pain.

Founded by Tom Muehlbauer in 2009, AVACEN’s revolutionary technology was originally developed to help alleviate his sister-in-law’s chronic pain. The company currently sells in two countries, with plans to expand into 10 more over the next year (thanks in part to the CE Mark). Sales have climbed to more than $1.5 million, with more than 20 percent of the sales coming from international markets.

November 17, 2016

To propel San Diego into the global marketplace, WTC San Diego, JPMorgan Chase & Co., Councilmember Mark Kersey, new Stone Brewing CEO Dominic Engels and nearly 200 business and community leaders awarded the MetroConnect Grand Prize to Rough Draft Brewing. The local, family-owned craft brewery – known for its IPAs and Miramar-based tasting room – is taking its San Diego-made beer into the Canadian, Spanish and Chinese markets. With the network, funding and programmatic support provided by MetroConnect, Rough Draft has increased its sales, hired new talent and connected with the Port of San Diego and Dole to fill empty container ships on backhaul to Latin America.

Managed by WTC San Diego and presented by JPMorgan Chase, the MetroConnect Grand Prize offers $35,000 to one of 15 companies to aid in their foreign market expansion.

So why go global? According to the Brookings Institution, companies that are global pay their employees higher wages, are less likely to go out of business and spur more efficient development of technology and R&D.

The MetroConnect Program was announced to incentivize small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to pursue these foreign markets. Now in its second year, MetroConnect has emerged as the region’s premier export assistance program. Led by WTC San Diego, Fifteen companies are selected on an annual basis and equipped with a suite of programmatic and financial resources to help them in their plans to go global. Out of 75 applicants in 2016, just 15 San Diego companies were awarded the initial $10,000 MetroConnect Prize, funded by JPMorgan Chase.

Over the course of the program, the cohort produced an additional $6 million in export sales and 42 new jobs for the region, collectively. A panel of judges consisting of business and community leaders reviewed the companies’ respective accomplishments and goals as a means of selecting the top five finalists to present at the Grand Prize event: Deering Banjo CompanyMANTA InstrumentsRough Draft Brewing Company, Calbiotech and VaultRMS.

 Winning thoughts:

“We want to thank World Trade Center San Diego, JPMorgan Chase and all those who participated in making this a memorable and meaningful event. To my fellow MetroConnect finalists Calbiotech, Deering Banjos, MANTA Instruments and VaultRMS, it’s been a privilege learning with and from you,” said Jeff Silver, president of Rough Draft Brewing. “We deeply appreciate receiving the Grand Prize in recognition of our efforts and look forward to continued success on the international level.”​

The complete 2016 cohort can be found here.