Meet our MetroConnect Sponsor: British Airways

British Airways Logo

The MetroConnect export assistance program, presented by JPMorgan Chase, is made possible through the generous support of private and public sector sponsors. Over the past few years, WTC has partnered with many of the international airlines serving the San Diego region, in order to expand the reach of the program and provide greater value to the companies in each cohort. British Airways is one of four airlines sponsoring this initiative and allowing MetroConnect companies to access key markets, without breaking the bank.

British Airways

British Airways offers the only daily direct service flight between London (LHR) and San Diego International Airport (SAN).

British Airways is the number one carrier in London, the world’s largest international aviation market, and the top European carrier across the North Atlantic. Together, with its joint business agreement, codeshare, and franchise partners, British Airways operates one of the world’s most extensive international airline networks. The airline flies to more than 70 different countries, carries 40 million+ customers per year, and maintains a fleet of nearly 300 aircraft. This summer, it will be operating close to 1,000 flights per day across four London airports. British Airways is a founding member of the Oneworld airline alliance, which together serves some 1,000 destinations across the globe.

To maintain its strong position in the market, British Airways will invest £6.5 billion over the next five years, adding 72 new aircraft to its fleet. The Club Suite is the highly anticipated new business class seat, available in Airbus A350 aircraft. It offers direct-aisle access, a suite door, 1-2-1 configuration and a flat-bed option. When combined with the extra space, calm and wellbeing of the A350, customers can feel truly rested on their flights.

This year, the company celebrates its 100th anniversary. Part of the year-round celebrations include repainting selected aircraft in a series of heritage liveries. The new retro design on the Airbus A319 is the BEA livery, which flew on European routes between 1959 and 1968.

Join WTCSD, British Airways and the finalists from this year’s MetroConnect program on Wednesday, November 13 at The Alexandria for the finale of this year’s program. Bitchin’ Sauce, Eddy Pump, LRAD Corporation, and Scientist.com will compete in a pitch competition for an additional $35,000 to further their export efforts. You can RSVP for the MetroConnect Grand Prize PitchFest here. We hope to see you there!

MetroConnect Year 4 cohort increases exports by $69M

Last summer, 20 San Diego-based companies were selected to participate in World Trade Center (WTC) San Diego’s export assistance program—MetroConnect. Participants were equipped with a $10,000 grant and programmatic resources over the course of a year, with the intent of helping them access international markets and boost export sales.

The companies in MetroConnect Year 4 collectively generated a net increase of $69.6 million in exports sales, signed 369 international contracts, and opened 10 new facilities overseas. Together, these participating companies also added 97 jobs right here in San Diego–evidence that exporting can make businesses more dynamic and resilient back home.

After collecting initial results from this year’s cohort, WTC San Diego formed a MetroConnect Judging Committee to determine which four companies would be invited back to compete in the MetroConnect Grand Prize PitchFest. On November 13, the pitch competition will award one company an additional $35,000 and deemed the grand prize winner of MetroConnect Year 4.

The four finalists:

  • Bitchin’ Sauce
    • A San Diego staple served at street fairs for years, the almond-based, gluten-free, Non-GMO and vegan sauce is great for veggies and a spread. Now available at retailers in San Diego and beyond.
  • Eddy Pump
    • An engineering and manufacturing company producing state-of-the-art material handling equipment for a multitude of industries including military, oil, mining, energy, and more across the globe.
  • LRAD Corporation
    • Manufacturer and developer of long-range acoustic hailing devices, mass notification, and distributed messaging systems, which allow users to clearly communicate warnings and instructions, resolve uncertain situations, and enhance safety in a variety of applications for defense, law enforcement, and more.
  • Scientist.com
    • The world’s leading marketplace for sourcing scientific research services.

Congratulations to these companies on their success, and we look forward to seeing them make their pitch in November!

Details for the MetroConnect Grand Prize PitchFest

  • Who: 200+ attendees primarily within San Diego’s international business community (exporting companies, service providers, trade organizations, program stakeholders)
  • When: Wednesday, November 13 from 2:30 – 5:30 PM
  • Where: The Alexandria at Torrey Pines and Farmer & the Seahorse
  • Why: This event marks the finale of MetroConnet 2018-2019 program. The audience and a judging panel (50/50 split) will vote for the grand prize winner to receive a $35,000 check, courtesy of JPMorgan Chase

Following the pitch competition, there will be a company showcase and reception at Farmer & the Seahorse. Learn more and get tickets for the event here.

MetroConnect company LRAD doubles workforce, relocates to new facility in Rancho Bernardo

Today, WTC San Diego and Congressman Scott Peters visited current MetroConnect company LRAD Corporation to tour its new, expanded facility in Rancho Bernardo. The new space will support LRAD as it doubles its workforce and fulfills an $11 million U.S. Army order for acoustic hailing devices – its largest contract on record.

Another example of an #SDlifechanging company: LRAD creates long range acoustic hailing devices, mass notification, and messaging systems that enable users to clearly communicate warnings and instructions, resolve uncertain situations, and enhance safety.

Just a glimpse at @LRADX’s long range communication systems for use in emergencies, safety control and more.  #SDlifechanging #GlobalSD @NikiaClarke @RepScottPeters pic.twitter.com/WuQxbG9dkq

— WTC San Diego (@WTCSanDiego) October 18, 2018

And LRAD is taking its life-saving technology global. After a competitive process, WTC San Diego recently announced that LRAD is one of 20 local companies participating in our export accelerator program, MetroConnect. Over the next year, WTC will work closely with LRAD to help the company increase its export potential in European markets.

The company has seen extensive growth over the last decade, with a presence in 72 countries. This is a testament to the impact of LRAD’s mass notification technology – which is not only applicable to defense, law enforcement and public safety, homeland and border security agencies, but also helps with critical infrastructure protection, fire rescue, and much more all around the world.

Despite national rhetoric, data shows companies that are global pay higher wages, increase productivity in the domestic market, are less likely to go out of business, and spur more efficient R&D here at home. And now more than ever, it’s important that we step up to support local companies in sharing their life-changing innovation with the rest of the world.

Congratulations to LRAD, not just on its growth here at home, but its success abroad. Here’s to more to come.