WTCSD’s Q4 Global Brief: Dutch trade mission, global growth, and more

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

In Q4 2022, here’s what you need to know about San Diego’s global trade, investment, and engagement. ➝ Get WTCSD’s Global Brief each quarter.

Mayor Todd Gloria leads first trade mission to the Netherlands

To foster vital global economic partnerships, San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria and World Trade Center San Diego (WTCSD) led a delegation of 29 senior San Diego leaders on a trade mission to the Netherlands. Over three days in Amsterdam, The Hague, Rotterdam, Eindhoven, and Leiden, the delegation celebrated the unveiling of Qualcomm’s new AI Research Lab, toured ASML’s headquarters, and bolstered public-private relationships with Dutch partners at a dozen other meetings and events.
➝ Read the WTCSD Director’s Reflections

MetroConnect companies pitch for Dutch investment

San Diego-based, BIPOC-owned small businesses Trabus Technologies and Nano PharmaSolutions joined WTCSD’s trade mission to establish business relationships and pursue investment at the Netherlands’ Port of Rotterdam and Leiden Bio Science Park. San Diego small businesses employ more than 60 percent of the regional workforce; with the right partners and investment, small companies that solve important problems become resilient, large employers.
➝ Read More

Learn how to grow your international sales

San Diego companies: Join WTCSD, MetroConnect exporters, and international business partners on Tuesday, November 15 to learn about the resources available to access international customers. Network with Dutch, Hong Kong, and U.S. Commercial Service representatives to grow your exports through programs like WTCSD’s MetroConnect accelerator.
➝ Register Now

San Diego News

Events

Grow your company in san diego ↓

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.

➝ Get WTCSD’s Global Brief delivered straight to your inbox.


You might also like:

For COVID-19 recovery resources and information: Visit this page, or see how we can help your company free of charge.

Reflections on our trade mission by WTCSD’s director

Thriving Cities Trade Mission to the Netherlands

Two weeks have passed since our return from the Netherlands Trade Mission, and I continue to think back on how effectively public and private sector forces work together to develop the infrastructure for trains, busses, bicycles, cars, and even canal boats to coexist in harmony. 

After three years of pandemic-related travel limitations, it was refreshing and inspiring to hit the road again, this time with San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria and 29 of our region’s most influential and collaborative business, academic, political, and economic leaders. This delegation carried the San Diego banner in one of the world’s leading metros for innovation and circular urban development—the Netherlands—a country engineered out of the sea. 

Learn why the netherlands → 

We kicked off the mission by hosting the Thriving Cities Mayoral Forum, where we explored the leading role that cities play in driving circular/sustainable development with insight from Mayor Gloria, Amsterdam Mayor Halsema, and other innovation leaders from both regions.

We visited Qualcomm’s largest AI research hub outside of San Diego to celebrate its expansion, and learn about its partnership with the University of Amsterdam, QUVA, which supports a pipeline of engineering talent.  

Joined by SANDAG Chair Catherine Blakespear and leadership at San Diego’s higher education institutions, we visited TNO, the premier applied research organization of the Dutch government to see its newest tool in action—a ‘digital twin’ of a region that overlays conditions for traffic, energy usage, pollution, and more, with the option to toggle different variables to see how the conditions interact with each other.  

Our delegation then headed to ‘the smartest kilometer in Europe’ to visit Philips and ASML, the largest medical systems and technology companies in the Netherlands, respectively, that both have existing and growing operations in San Diego. 

We also brought together three Commissioners and the CEO of the Port of San Diego in the Port of Rotterdam to learn about circular and efficient operations at Europe’s busiest port and share the exciting developments we have underway on our beautiful waterfront. 

And perhaps one of the most inspiring moments of our trade mission happened on our last day, when WTCSD’s MetroConnect companies Trabus Technologies and Nano PharmaSolutions pitched to Port of Rotterdam and Leiden Bio Science Park leaders, respectively, for foreign investment. 

As we settle back into life in San Diego, our delegation brings home a fresh perspective on the ways we can address challenges in critical areas such as transportation and urban development. We see more clearly than ever the value of closer collaboration between the public sector, academia, and private business. In the coming years, we hope to see engineering solutions and transformative technologies like TNO’s Digital Twin being used to aid decision-making in large public works, and large multinationals like ASML and Philips successfully growing their operations in the region. 

Most of all, we look forward to the meaningful relationships and connections built through the mission and the collaboration that will lead to smarter, stronger, more inclusive development for all, right here in San Diego.  

The trade mission is organized by WTCSD, an affiliate of the San Diego Regional EDC, with assistance and support provided by the Consulate of the Netherlands, and sponsorship by ASML, Lufthansa, and Qualcomm Technologies.

Dankjewel,

Lucas Coleman
Lucas Coleman

Director, WTC; Export Specialty SBDC

Read EDC’s Monthly Report

San Diego small businesses pitch for Dutch investment as part of mayoral trade mission

Trabus Technologies and Nano PharmaSolutions join delegation to Netherlands to drive local growth

This week, as part of Mayor Todd Gloria’s trade mission to the Netherlands, coordinated by World Trade Center San Diego (WTCSD), an affiliate of EDC, San Diego small businesses pitched their technology solutions to potential international partners and investors. Trabus Technologies (TRABUS) and Nano PharmaSolutions, both San Diego-based, minority-owned small businesses, joined this three-day trip to establish business relationships, pursue investment, and grow local jobs.

San Diego is the birthplace of many successful large, multinational companies, including Qualcomm who is represented in the delegation as well. However, small businesses—those with fewer than 100 employees—are the backbone of the regional economy and drive regional economic growth and innovation. Small businesses employ more than 60 percent of San Diego County’s workforce, nearly double the national average, and represent nearly 98 percent of the region’s firms. Yet small companies face outsize barriers to international expansion.

“Having an economy driven by small, innovative companies has been great for San Diego, and we want to support their expansion into overseas markets so they can stay strong and competitive in their industries,” said San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria. “This trade mission gives us the chance to lay that groundwork for small businesses that face headwinds overseas.”

In order to drive economic resilience, Mayor Todd Gloria and WTCSD have prioritized small businesses as part of the Netherlands trade mission. TRABUS and Nano PharmaSolutions—both innovative, minority-owned small businesses involved in WTCSD’s export accelerator program MetroConnect—pitched to the Port of Rotterdam and investors at the Leiden Bio Science Park respectively:

  • TRABUS and Port of Rotterdam: TRABUS is a service-disabled, veteran- and minority-owned small business providing innovative solutions to the U.S. government and private sector. The 50-person TRABUS team specializes in the development of technology across five major portfolios—wireless technologies, artificial intelligence and data science, maritime transportation, environmental informatics and cybersecurity. To be spotlighted in its pitch to the European port, TRABUS has developed the first AI-based voyage planning software, RippleGo, for the inland waterways. While the SaaS product is currently being tested on U.S. waterways, RippleGo could have tremendous potential to enhance voyage planning and supply chain logistics on EU based waterways for greater economic efficiencies.

 “We are excited about the potential partnerships and opportunities to work with the European maritime industry. The EU has an impressive, interconnected waterway network already. We hope to learn more about their network and offer up some of our technologies that can aid in waterway management and intermodal supply chain logistics,” said Art Salindong, Managing Director, TRABUS.

  • Nano PharmaSolutions (NPS) and Leiden Bio Science Park: A platform technology startup for nanodrug delivery of small molecule drugs, NPS offers improved solubility and convenient dosage form development. Founded in 2019, the company is seeking Seed and early-stage VC investment, with plans to expand into the European market and access increased pharmaceutical customers in the years ahead. NPS plans to co-manufacture clinical trial materials for their customers at Mikart Pharmaceutical, a contract manufacturing organization in Atlanta, GA, beginning Q3 2023. Mikart is a commercial scale oral dosage form company, which can support NanoTransformer™ nano-granulation and downstream dosage form manufacturing and QC activities.

“Not only does our NanoTransformer™ technology expedite drug development at a lower R&D cost, but it helps drugs absorb into the body more quickly and efficiently” said Dr. Kay Olmstead, Founder & CEO, NPS. “This is an incredible opportunity to share our story and build partnerships at the famous Leiden Bio Science Park, and we’re excited about what’s to come.”

With the right partners, small companies that solve important problems—like TRABUS and Nano PharmaSolutions—become big companies that change the world. That has always been San Diego’s story, and it is why we work so hard to open doors for innovators and entrepreneurs both overseas and back at home,” said Nikia Clarke, executive director of WTCSD and SVP, EDC.

This session is one of a dozen meetings and programs on the three-day trade mission to the Netherlands, September 26—29, 2022. See a summary of the trip here and follow along for more: #SDinNL

Learn more on SD and NL

The trade mission is organized by WTCSD, an affiliate of the San Diego Regional EDC, with assistance and support provided by the Consulate of the Netherlands, and sponsorship by ASML, Lufthansa, and Qualcomm Technologies.

 

San Diego mayor, WTCSD visit ASML HQ in NL

A visit to ASML HQ in Veldhoven seeks to strengthen an already strong relationship between ASML and San Diego

This week, as part of Mayor Gloria’s inaugural trade mission with World Trade Center San Diego (WTCSD), an affiliate of EDC, the delegation visited ASML headquarters in Veldhoven, Netherlands.

With major operations in San Diego, and more than 35,000 staff around the globe, ASML is the most important technology company you’ve never heard of.

ASML is the leading provider of semiconductor manufacturing equipment to every major chipmaker around the world, playing an integral role in driving the global chip industry forward.

In San Diego, ASML designs, develops, and manufactures the lasers and lights sources that power its lithography machines—the systems chipmakers use to produce semiconductors featured in every piece of technology across nearly every industry.

From cell phones and life-changing medical devices, to self-driving cars and the James Webb Space Telescope, semiconductors are ubiquitously part of everyday life—and ASML represents the foundation for them all.

The company expanded its global footprint in 2012 with the acquisition of Cymer, a San Diego-based industry leader in laser sources for semiconductor equipment. In the 10 years since this acquisition, ASML San Diego has doubled its local headcount to 1,600, and counting.

Learn more about the connection between SD and NL

Follow along with us for more: #SDinNL

 

Mayor, WTCSD delegation cut ribbon on Qualcomm Amsterdam operation

Today as part of Mayor Todd Gloria’s trade mission to the Netherlands, coordinated by World Trade Center San Diego (WTCSD), an affiliate of San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation (EDC), Qualcomm Technologies Netherlands B.V., cut the ribbon on Matrix One in Amsterdam. In the Amsterdam Science Park, Matrix One will serve as Qualcomm Technologies Inc.’s largest AI hub outside of the U.S.

The cornerstone of San Diego’s technology ecosystem, Qualcomm is a global leader in 5G wireless technologies. Per a 2018 report, the company supported more than 28,000 San Diego jobs and had a $4 billion local economic impact. For every job at Qualcomm, an additional 1.8 jobs were supported elsewhere in San Diego economy.

“Nearly 40 years ago, a small tech company made a commitment to this region that would shape our innovation ecosystem—and our world—as we know it,” said San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria. “I’m proud to support Qualcomm’s continued growth in San Diego and around the world.”

Amsterdam Science Park is home to one of Europe’s biggest concentrations of scientific talent. The unique combination of high-quality education, pioneering research and knowledge-intensive business boosts the kind of innovation that will transform our society in the future.

“With our move into the new Matrix One building in Amsterdam Science Park, I am very happy to see us well positioned for further growth. Our highly innovative AI research in diverse topic areas and continued collaboration and co-location with the University of Amsterdam confirm us as the prime employer for AI & ML researchers and engineers in the region,” said Michael Hofmann, Director, Engineering, Qualcomm Technologies Inc.

The trade mission is organized by WTCSD, an affiliate of the San Diego Regional EDC, with assistance and support provided by the Consulate of the Netherlands, and sponsorship by ASML, Lufthansa and Qualcomm Technologies. This session is one of a dozen meetings and programs on the three-day trade mission to the Netherlands, September 26—29, 2022.

see a summary of the trip here

More on SD and NL

Mayor Todd Gloria to lead Netherlands trade mission to strengthen economic ties with EU

WORLD TRADE CENTER SAN DIEGO CONVENES REGIONAL LEADERS TO HELP SAN DIEGO BUSINESSES EXPAND GLOBALLY, CREATE LOCAL JOBS

In order to foster vital global economic partnerships, San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria and World Trade Center San Diego (WTCSD), an affiliate of San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation (EDC), are leading a delegation to the Netherlands. During the September 26—29 trade mission, business and civic leaders will promote San Diego’s key industries, establish and strengthen business relationships, and explore best practices in urban mobility, climate action and sustainability, and technology and science innovation.

Against the backdrop of severe supply chain disruptions, shifting geopolitics governing the development of critical strategic technologies, and accelerating climate action and affordability mandates, San Diego leaders have made economic resilience by way of global competitiveness a top priority.                                          

“San Diego is an undeniable force in the global marketplace, and we must seize opportunities to tell our story and maximize investment from partners around the world,” said San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria. “As we work to address our region’s biggest challenges—affordability, urban mobility, climate change, and more—I’m proud to join World Trade Center San Diego in the Netherlands to learn from like thriving, global cities.”

Home to Europe’s largest port and fourth busiest cargo airport, the Netherlands is a hub for global trade and business. With shared expertise in knowledge-intensive industries, including personalized medicine, wireless communications technology, and artificial intelligence, and a societal commitment to sustainability, climate action, and social innovation, the Netherlands is among the top 10 countries for foreign direct investment into San Diego (#6 in 2015—2020). Netherlands-based companies directly employ 5,000 San Diegans, predominately in the innovation economy at companies like ASML and Philips. By deal count, the Netherlands is the #9 country investing venture capital into San Diego, in line with Denmark and falling closely behind Japan, France and India (2015—2020). Further, Dutch firms invested nearly $318 million into San Diego’s economy in 2021 alone.

Learn more on the two regions

“On the heels of a pandemic that changed the world, WTCSD is grateful to be taking San Diego global once again,” said Nikia Clarke, executive director of World Trade Center San Diego and senior vice president at San Diego Regional EDC. “As the economy continues to transform around us, it is increasingly important for metro leaders to advance a compelling vision that keeps us ahead of the curve, and no one can tell the San Diego story better than Mayor Gloria and this cross-sector delegation.”

Over the three-day trade mission in cities Amsterdam, The Hague, Rotterdam, Eindhoven, and Leiden, San Diego will look to bolster public-private partnerships and business expansion through various sessions with Dutch companies and institutions.

Agenda items include:

  • The grand opening/ribbon cutting of Qualcomm’s AI Research Lab, which has formalized a partnership with the University of Amsterdam to support a pipeline of engineering talent.
    Read more →
  • Amid massive pressure for expansion, a meeting and tour of ASML—the global leader in semiconductor manufacturing machines (lithography)—at its Veldhoven headquarters to celebrate the 10th anniversary of its investment in its San Diego-based Cymer site.
    Read more →
  • Local, minority-owned small businesses Trabus Technologies and Nano PharmaSolutions will pitch to the Port of Rotterdam and Leiden University Medical Center respectively.
    Read more →
  • Mayor-to-Mayor meetings with Todd Gloria and the Mayors of Amsterdam and Rotterdam to strengthen relationships between our regions
  • Formal meetings and tours of several companies considering investment into San Diego and California as led by San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria

Delegates will participate in upwards of 15 meetings over the course of the trade mission, sharing best practices and driving business connectivity across many verticals. The two dozen San Diego delegates include representatives from Qualcomm, ASML, Mitsubishi Electric, Trabus Technologies, Alexandria Real Estate Equities, Inc., Gafcon, Arup, HomeFed Corporation, Townshend Venture Advisors and more. Also in attendance are delegates from key San Diego agencies, universities and civic organizations such as Port of San Diego, UC San Diego, San Diego State University, San Diego Association of Governments, San Diego County Regional Airport Authority and others.

The trade mission is organized by World Trade Center San Diego, an affiliate of the San Diego Regional EDC, with assistance and support provided by the U.S. Embassy in The Hague, the Consulate of the Netherlands, and sponsorship by ASML, Lufthansa and Qualcomm.

 “With shared commitments to sustainability and innovation, more than 76,000 jobs in California are supported by U.S.-Netherlands trade. This trip is one example of how we can work together across borders to remain competitive in a global economy,” said Consul General Dirk Janssen, Consulate of the Netherlands in San Francisco.

Follow along with us next week during the trade mission: #SDinNL

WTCSD.org

Thank you to our Thriving Cities Trade Mission sponsors:

A note on what’s to come from our CEO

Looking ahead…

Dear Board Members, Investors, and Partners:

I truly hope this message finds you well and enjoying a wonderful summer. I also hope that you are as excited about the Padres’ recent moves as we are at EDC. Being Downtown the last several days, you can already feel the energy.

Recognizing August as a month where many people are finishing up their summer travel and families are preparing to get their children back to school, EDC historically foregoes our regularly scheduled board meeting and executive committee meeting to make sure everyone has the extra time they need. But as we gear up for the final four months of 2022, I wanted to share a bit of what’s to come—because in many ways, our team is busier than ever.

Our World Trade Center team is in the throes of planning our first international trade mission since 2019, bringing dozens of our region’s top business, community, and civic leaders (including San Diego Mayor Gloria) on a fast and furious trip to the Netherlands in late September. This trip will help us expand business, trade, and academic connections within the market while also learning from some of the world’s smartest and most sustainable cities and economies.

True to Mary Walshok’s vision, and with the help of board member Tom Turner of CBRE, we have signed a lease and will be moving into UC San Diego’s Park & Market space, an exciting new addition to the Downtown landscape that promises to “bring people together who might not otherwise have crossed paths.” The building will serve as a homebase for a collection of organizations seen as “multidisciplinary and boundary spanning”—connecting art and science, culture and technology, civic engagement, lifelong learning, etc. With a new office and a new brand identity to come, you can expect an invitation to a reception and other gatherings before year’s end. Stay tuned.

As always, we will work hard to make sure that all EDC board and committee meetings continue to embrace the moments that we are living and working through. In addition to our continued healthcare and employment law updates at our monthly board meetings, we stay committed to digging deeper into the talent, workplace, and human resources-related challenges, opportunities, and discussions that dominate our interactions with local businesses. We will also continue to balance these topics with presentations from our region’s largest, leading, and most cutting-edge businesses. And most importantly, we will work to ensure that all of these efforts continue to guide us toward meeting our 2030 Inclusive Growth goals of growing the number of skilled workers, quality jobs, and thriving households in all corners of our region.

While we have more new names and faces on our board roster than ever before, you all know that it is your investment in our work that allows us to do what we do. Our priorities, strategies, activities, goals, and workplans fully reflect your leadership, direction, feedback, partnership, and support. We look forward to continuing to share this year with all of you as we best position the San Diego economy and community for all that lies ahead.

In closing, I want to share the words sent to me after our last in-person board meeting by EDC board member Bob Rief, executive director and co-founder of San Diego Sport Innovators:

“The EDC meetings are so provocative…virtually every one is a reminder about how much more every citizen, specially me, can do.”

Know that we draw the same inspiration from and share the same admiration for all of you. Look forward to seeing you all in the months ahead.

Sincerely,

Mark Cafferty
Mark Cafferty

President & CEO

More news and events from edc

WTCSD’s Q3 Global Brief: International travel returns, San Diego’s newest exporters, and more

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

In Q3 2022, here’s what you need to know about San Diego’s global trade, investment, and engagement. ➝ Get WTCSD’s Global Brief each quarter.

MetroConnect VI: Meet the cohort

In February, WTCSD announced the sixth cohort of its MetroConnect program, helping 15 small and medium-sized businesses expand international operations and export pipelines. This year’s cohort spans key regional innovation industries, including techlife sciences, and consumer goods, highlighting San Diego’s continued global growth and diverse innovation economy.

➝ Meet the Companies

Spotlight: Lufthansa Group keeps San Diego going global

A long-time partner, Lufthansa Group continues to work collaboratively with WTCSD and the San Diego Regional Airport Authority to offer a trusted gateway from the San Diego region into Western Europe. Lufthansa’s new nonstop flight to Munich, among other efforts, is helping San Diego return to international travel and expand global connectivity—including WTCSD’s upcoming trade mission to the Netherlands.

➝ Read More

Real Dog Box launches local shopping partnership program

Meet Real Dog Box, a San Diego startup and MetroConnect VI company dedicated to creating single-ingredient treats that enhance dogs’ lives and health. Via nine local partnerships, Real Dog Box’s new Pawsport program helps San Diegans support dog-friendly businesses and win big.

➝ Read More

San Diego News

Events

Grow your company in san diego↓

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.

Plus: Get WTCSD’s Global Brief, monthly global news and updates delivered straight to your inbox.


You might also like:

For COVID-19 recovery resources and information: Visit this page, or see how we can help your company free of charge.

Investor Spotlight: The Lufthansa Group

As a non-profit, San Diego Regional EDC is supported by investment from nearly 200 private organizations, companies, and public agencies. With their support, EDC provides direct services to help companies grow and thrive in San Diego and, through its affiliate World Trade Center San Diego (WTCSD), leads global initiatives to enhance the region’s recovery and resilience.

We sat down with Lufthansa Group, WTCSD’s preferred European airline, to discuss its partnership with and support of key efforts to connect San Diego’s business community to Europe. Check out the investor spotlight below!


Tell us about Lufthansa Group and its commitment to global connectivity.

The Lufthansa Group is one of the world’s leading aviation groups, as well as the market leader in Europe’s airline sector. The airlines of the Lufthansa Group—Austrian Airlines, Brussels Airlines, Eurowings, Lufthansa, SWISS, and Eurowings Discover—fly business and leisure passengers to more than 300 destinations around the world via hubs in Brussels, Frankfurt, Munich, Vienna, and Zurich. Passengers enjoy a premium product and a comprehensive route network, combined with the highest level of travel flexibility. In its 2022 summer schedule, the Lufthansa Group carriers will offer flights from 30 North American gateways to the various home market hubs, Europe-at-large, and the world.

From San Diego to Germany, and beyond 

A long-time partner, Lufthansa continues to work collaboratively with WTCSD and San Diego Regional Airport Authority (SAN) to offer a trusted gateway from our region into Western Europe.

In March 2022, Lufthansa launched its nonstop service to Munich, opening an opportunity for San Diego companies to partner with German and other EU innovators.

WTCSD’s 2021 Annual Report and the Go Global 2025 Report showed the San Diego business community is eager to return to international travel and expand global connectivity—and Lufthansa’s direct Munich flights have enjoyed positive feedback and frequent use since its launch.

Thriving Cities: A trade mission to the Netherlands

In September 2022, WTCSD will take a delegation of San Diego business leaders to the Netherlands via Lufthansa’s new direct flight to Munich. Over the course of a week, trade mission delegates will broaden international connectivity between San Diego and Western Europe with topics ranging from mobility, sustainability, to life sciences and tech.

In collaboration with Lufthansa and the Consulate of the Netherlands, WTCSD aims to drive increased investment between the two regions.

Are you a senior leader at a San Diego innovation company interested in joining the delegation? Contact Caroline Murray, listed below, for details.

From San Diego to the world

WTCSD looks forward to continuing its partnership with Lufthansa and collaborating on opportunities to help San Diego companies access new international markets through programs like:

  • MetroConnect
  • Future Trade missions
  • Reliable connectivity to Germany and beyond

Stay in touch

Read more about EDC’s investors in our investor spotlight blog series. Or, join Lufthansa Group and become a member of EDC.

Contact our team:

Caroline Murray
Caroline Murray

Coordinator, World Trade Center San Diego

MetroConnect VI: Meet the Consumer Goods companies

This February alongside San Diego Councilmember Raul Campillo and program underwriters JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Procopio, World Trade Center San Diego (WTCSD) welcomed the sixth cohort of San Diego companies to its MetroConnect export accelerator.

Since the program’s debut in 2015, the 80 small- and medium-sized (SMEs) companies in MetroConnect have collectively added 269 new regional jobs, signed more than 543 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. Notable alumni include Blue Sky Network, Aira (acquired by Blue Diego Investment Group), Scientist.com, Modern Times, Dr. Bronner’s, Cypher Genomics (acquired by Human Longevity Inc.), Planck Aerosystems, Bitchin’ Sauce, White Labs, and dozens more.

Now, WTCSD is pleased to welcome the newest group of MetroConnect companies representing the diversity of San Diego’s innovation economy. Below, meet the Consumer Goods companies:

Access Trax

  • Location: La Mesa, CA
  • About: Access Trax is a women-owned social impact business on a mission to make the outdoors accessible for all. The company empowers people of all physical abilities to easily access outdoor terrain such as sand at the beach with their ADA compliant portable access mats.
  • Hopes for program: Create strategic export plan, glean insight on export logistics, identify international buyers

Critter Technology

  • Location: San Diego, CA
  • About: Critter Technology specializes in the development, manufacture, and commercialization of specialized coatings with unique functionality. Its marquee product AntCant is an easy to apply coating that produces a surface that ants and potentially other insects cannot adhere to and gain traction.
  • Hopes for program: Navigate international liability insurance, understand tax law in foreign markets and how to export goods classified as hazardous materials

Golden Coast Mead

  • Location: Oceanside, CA
  • About: As the first meadery in Southern California, the company leads the reawakening of Fermented Honey Libations. Golden Coast Mead has helped launch over 20 different meaderies, including ones in Africa and Jamaica, to aid in remote communities’ ability to create jobs and economies.
  • Hopes for program: Find effective channel partners

Real Dog Box

  • Location: National City, CA
  • About: Real Dog Box complements any diet and any budget and teaches pet owners how to incorporate fresh food into their dog’s lifestyle. A few dollars a day spent on real food can prevent six out of the 10 most common dog vet visits – that’s why the company makes and delivers a monthly box of fresh dog treats and chews to prevent food-related illnesses.
  • Hopes for program: Form relationships with partners in target markets

Shop My Porch

  • Location: Poway, CA
  • About: Shop My Porch is a social shopping platform – including a mobile app, website, and series of social media groups – that matches home-based artisans with people looking for home crafted goods on a hyperlocal basis. The Shop My Porch platform not only allows makers to post goods for pickup, home delivery, or shipping but also allows shoppers to request custom products.
  • Hopes for program: Understand tax law in foreign markets, language translation, develop an action for target markets

Target markets for the MetroConnect VI cohort

The map below outlines countries that the sixth cohort is pursuing through their export strategy.

Next up for MetroConnect VI

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.

“Programs like MetroConnect help ensure the world knows just what San Diego is made of—innovative, high-impact products and services across a wide range of industries,” said San Diego City Councilmember Raul Campillo. “I’m proud to support and welcome WTCSD’s new cohort, and look forward to seeing the companies’ impact on a global scale.”

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 quarterly Global Brief Newsletter, delivered straight to your inbox.