WTCSD’s Q1 Global Brief: Spotlighting San Diego’s global growth

Each month, World Trade Center San Diego delivers the latest global news and updates straight to your inbox.

In Q4 2023, here’s what you need to know about San Diego’s global trade, investment, and engagement. ➝ Get WTCSD’s Global Brief each quarter.

WTCSD unveils MetroConnect VII export accelerator cohort

Together with Mayor Todd Gloria and underwriters Booz Allen Hamilton, Deloitte, and JPMorgan Chase & Co., WTCSD announced the 15 companies named to MetroConnect VII, which helps local, small- and mid-sized businesses build resilience by facilitating increased sales in global markets. From strategic and health technology to consumer goods, the multi-industry cohort will have access to a suite of resources to support expansion into international markets, including up to $30,000 in grant funding.
➝ Meet the Companies

Following trade mission, Dutch TNO establishes first North American office in San Diego

Following its Urban Strategy predictive modeling platform demonstration during WTCSD’s 2022 Netherlands trade mission, the Dutch government’s premier applied science research organization TNO will locate its first North American employee in San Diego. The partnership aims to develop a regional digital twin to inform San Diego’s decisions on land use, infrastructure, transportation, and housing development, complementing the region’s inclusive economic goals.
➝Read More

How MetroConnect VII’s Wearable Sensing is revolutionizing neurological research

Wearable Sensing develops wearable brain activity monitoring sensors using its patented active dry electrode technology to support research needs in real time, including studying brain function, identifying neurological disorders, and investigating effects of treatments on brain activity. As part of the new MetroConnect VII cohort, the Rancho Bernardo-based company aims to launch its technology further onto the global stage and grow its international sales in markets like the Middle East.
➝Read More

San Diego News


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World Trade Center San Diego works directly with companies—free of charge—to help them expand internationally and grow in San Diego.

  • Export Specialty Center: For small companies interested in learning about exporting and international growth.
  • MetroConnect: For small and medium-sized companies ready to export and grow internationally.

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Meet the MetroConnect VII companies!

Add these to your ‘companies to watch’ list

Together with Mayor Todd Gloria and underwriters Booz Allen Hamilton, Deloitte and JPMorgan Chase & Co., World Trade Center San Diego (WTCSD) unveiled the seventh cohort of companies selected to participate in MetroConnect, the region’s comprehensive export assistance program helping local companies accelerate their international growth.

Since the program’s debut in 2015, 95 MetroConnect alumni have collectively added 302 new jobs to the region, signed more than 522 new contracts, and set up 22 new overseas facilities. On average, cohort companies grow their exports by an average 63 percent and revenues by 40 percent as part of the program. Alumni include Novo Brazil Brewing Co., Access Trax, White Labs, Dr. Bronner’s, Bitchin’ Sauce,, Aira (acquired by Blue Diego Investment Group), Cypher Genomics (acquired by Human Longevity Inc.), and many more.

Now, WTCSD is pleased to welcome the newest set of MetroConnect companies representing the diversity of San Diego’s innovation economy.

Meet the MetroConnect VII companies

  1. Aquacycl
  2. Epitope Diagnostics
  3. Fieldsheer
  4. GALT Aerospace
  5. Harland Brewing Company
  6. Health Innovation Products
  7. Lotus Sustainables
  8. Promo Drone
  9. Selk’bag
  10. Sunday Golf
  11. Surf Loch
  12. VECKTA
  13. VeV Scientific
  14. Visaic
  15. Wearable Sensing

Learn about the companies

The MetroConnect program is highly competitive, with just 15 companies selected based on a variety of criteria, including interest in new foreign markets, assessed impact of funds, current international traction and more. Applicants were assessed by a panel of senior level representatives from Biocom, Connect, CMTC, WTCSD and the U.S. Commercial Service.

“Since its launch, the City of San Diego has been a proud supporter of MetroConnect and the nearly 100 businesses it has helped grow internationally,” said San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria. “As Mayor, I’m committed to supporting the small businesses that power San Diego’s economy, and international connectivity is an important tool in building economic resilience.”

Why go global?

Amid economic uncertainty, it is more important than ever to help local SMEs build resilience by facilitating increased sales in global markets.

In 2022 alone, San Diego exported more than $32 billion in goods overseas, as well as billions more in services like software, cybersecurity, engineering and research. SMEs produce 92 percent of those goods—driving home the importance of programs like MetroConnect.

“Booz Allen is proud to support international business connectivity in San Diego through MetroConnect,” said Jennie Brooks, EVP at MetroConnect underwriter Booz Allen Hamilton, and EDC board chair. “The metrics don’t lie—it’s clear global companies are more competitive, efficient and successful. We’re committed to continuing this important work in San Diego’s business community.”

Next up for MetroConnect VII

The cohort will gain access to a suite of resources to support expansion into international markets, including executive workshops, flight discounts, language translation, and up to $30,000 in grant funding.

“2024 is filled with great opportunity for those who are prepared to navigate an uncertain and dynamic environment,” said Nikia Clarke, executive director of WTCSD. “Now with new tracks focused on technology, health and consumer goods, the MetroConnect program will ensure San Diego’s rapidly growing firms are equipped to access global markets, share our region’s life-changing innovation with the world, and create high quality jobs here at home.”

Interested in growing your business internationally?

World Trade Center San Diego works directly with companies – free of charge – to help them expand internationally and grow in San Diego. Whether your small company is interested in learning about exporting and international growth, or your SME is ready to export and grow internationally, WTCSD is here to help.

Ready to get involved? Click here to receive our monthly Global Brief Newsletter, delivered straight to your inbox.