Access Trax turns $10K into Canada, Australia export growth with MetroConnect
ServiceEconomic Incentive Consulting
Access Trax is a woman-owned social impact business on a mission to make the outdoors accessible for all, empowering people of all physical abilities to easily access outdoor terrain with its ADA-compliant portable access mats.
ACCESS TRAX’S CHALLENGE
An innovator in the accessible consumer products space, Access Trax creates durable, lightweight, foldable portable wheelchair access mats for use on sand, gravel, and grass.
With growing traction across the U.S. and interest abroad, the company turned its sights toward international growth in the next three years—but needed assistance securing economic incentives to fuel its expansion into foreign markets.
EDC SOLUTION AND SUPPORT PROVIDED
Access Trax applied to World Trade Center San Diego (WTCSD)’s export accelerator MetroConnect and was one of 15 growing companies accepted into its sixth cohort.
As the company planned to go global, it leveraged MetroConnect’s resources, including:
- $5,000 MetroConnect grant and executive workshops to augment its ability to access international customers and streamline its global logistics efforts.
- SYSTRAN to translate product documents into Hebrew and Spanish for target markets in Israel and Costa Rica.
- WTCSD’s international network, including the Consulate of Canada in San Diego and the U.S. Commercial Service, to connect with Australian customers through the U.S. Commercial Service’s Initial Market Check program.
The company also worked with Export SBDC advisor Simona Racek to complete its export promotion plan for the SBA’s State Trade Expansion Program (STEP) grant application, helping the team understand the full scope of qualifying activities.
Following its initial $5,000 MetroConnect grant, Access Trax won the $5,000 STEP grant. The combined funds helped the company secure trademark protection in target markets Canada and Australia, and bolster its international marketing strategy through improved website SEO and digital ads. With a stronger foundation for international growth, Access Trax enjoyed its highest grossing year ever in 2022.
Additionally, as a top performing company, Access Trax pitched—and won—MetroConnect’s Grand Prize PitchFest, netting an additional $25,000 grant to support continued expansion into Canada and Australia. WTCSD placed the company’s win in key media outlets like the San Diego Union-Tribune and San Diego Business Journal, and promoted the company’s success across EDC social media channels to nearly 15,000 followers.
“Through WTCSD’s MetroConnect program and Export SBDC counseling, Access Trax has won $10,000 in funding and invaluable resources, establishing the foundation of our long-term export plan. In an unpredictable global market, we’ve strengthened our Canadian and Australian sales strategy, and will continue using MetroConnect’s resources to expand our accessibility technology in target markets.”
—Kelly Twichel, CEO and co-founder, Access Trax