According to the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), the global cybersecurity workforce shortage is projected to reach 1.8 million unfilled positions by 2022. As a hub for cybersecurity companies and research, San Diego has been piloting programs to address talent shortages that are plaguing this ubiquitous industry.
San Diego’s collaborative efforts, combined with its unique concentration of academic, private sector, government, and non-profit industry, have attracted the attention of global technology markets.
In late February, WTC San Diego – EDC’s international economic development arm – and the Cyber Center of Excellence (CCOE) hosted 15 delegates from Ireland-based government and academic intuitions. The delegation was touring San Diego to learn about the region’s cybersecurity industry and efforts to support its ongoing growth.
The global ‘cyber’ talent crisis
San Diego companies that attended the roundtable discussed technologies they were developing and strategies for addressing talent shortfalls.
San Diego’s cybersecurity industry, anchored by the presence of NAVWAR, has become a hub for cybersecurity companies. Based on research conducted by San Diego Regional EDC and the CCOE, San Diego’s cyber industry generated $2.2 billion in economic impact in 2018, with more than 8,450 employees working directly for cybersecurity firms.
San Diego companies in attendance also had a lot to learn. Following Brexit, Ireland is the only English speaking country left in the EU. The Ireland delegation used this point, among others, to make their case for why San Diego companies should consider expanding in Ireland.
Understanding WTC’s role
World Trade Center San Diego (WTC) works with partner organizations and global stakeholders to identify strategic global markets and help connect them to San Diego businesses and institutions to increase exports and drive foreign direct investment.
By facilitating strategic meetings, WTC seeks to help elevate San Diego’s profile with key global markets to increase opportunities for inward investment and support local companies as they evaluate expanding into global markets.
Are you interested in getting connected to high profile delegations? We’re here to help.
Drug discovery is a global industry. In 2017, Solana Beach-based Scientist.com – a B2B marketplace for drug discovery – had seen increasing profits from Europe, and was looking to capture a piece of Japan’s $95 billion pharmaceutical industry – one of the largest in the world.
Entering any global market requires patience, persistence, and expertise. In Japan – with high costs associated with entry and multiple cultural difference – Scientist.com needed to do it the right way. This meant setting up a subsidiary, hiring a new employee, securing office space, and more.
Enter MetroConnect. MetroConnect is an export assistance program that provides San Diego based companies with the resources (including a grant) they need to go global.
At the conclusion of the program, Scientist.com had successfully set up an office in Tokyo, hired a new employee, and developed multiple partnerships – making Japan one of its largest markets by international sales.
The MetroConnect Program
Since the program’s launch, the World Trade Center San Diego team has worked with 65 companies to help them grow their international sales. In total, these companies have had an $85M net increase in exports and opened 18 new overseas facilities. As a result of this spike in international business, participating companies have created 267 new jobs in San Diego.
From breweries to software development to genomics and drones, MetroConnect companies reflect the diverse industries that make up our economy.
At the end of their time in the cohort, we ask every company the same thing: What advice would you give other companies looking to export?
And because we don’t want to hoard these pearls of wisdom, here’s what they said:
When going global, research is everything
“Do as much research as you can before launching any market. Get as much background on each importer as you can and use local resources to help with any questions or concerns. Know the requirements of each market to avoid any delays.” – Coronado Brewing (MetroConnect III)
“Do your homework first and find the markets with the least barriers to entry (language, duties & registration fees, etc.) and highest potential in revenue.” – Dr. Bronner’s (MetroConnect IV)
“Some markets require additional stipulations like extended warranties you have to account product in a different country.” – ROBO 3D (MetroConnect I)
“Identify a distributor who has physical presence in each country you wish to target, as this will ensure faster deployment” – Wearable Sensing (MetroConnect I)
“Go where your product is needed most and not necessarily where the biggest financial opportunity is. Your products will gain a bigger percentage of a smaller market share rather than a smaller percentage of a larger market share. This will bring stability and staying power to your products and your brand.” – ArcticZero (MetroConnect IV)
Learn from the locals, in San Diego and abroad
“Seek support early on and engage with professional networks to acquire the necessary knowledge, talent, and partnering for export assistance; approach trade organizations to help identify your target markets, and always be prepared to encounter obstacles” – Cypher Genomics, acquired by Human Longevity Inc (MetroConnect I)
“Just remember ‘you don’t know what you don’t know’ so do not hesitate to ask the locals for assistance; every market is different, and many of their respective pitfalls can be avoided by listening to local knowledge.” – Scientist.com (MetroConnect IV)
“There are so many local companies exporting that we encourage you to talk to them – or us! Aligning yourself with companies who’ve already been successful at exporting will provide you with the proper resources, tips, contacts, and advice on what to do and what not to do.” – Urban Translations (MetroConnect III)
Be in it for the long haul
“Be persistent – it takes time and patience to establish effective working relationships in many markets, such as India and Japan, but that patience will pay off over the near and longer term.” – Tioga Research (MetroConnect III)
“Expect the sales cycle to take much longer than you are used to. Also, for any companies exporting physical goods, start the shipping paperwork as early as possible” – Planck Aerosystems (MetroConnect III)
We couldn’t have said it better ourselves.
Interested in taking your company global? Applications for MetroConnect are now open until January 31. Learn more about the requirements and benefits of this unique program.
EDDY Pump is not your typical family business. When Ben Weinrib took over as CEO in early 2019, he committed to elevating his father’s technology and getting it into as many hands as possible.
The making of EDDY Pump
EDDY Pump creates slurry pumps across several industries, including oil, mining, and energy. Take the mining industry, for example. Pumps are a crucial part of the mining process, yet they often fall prey to a myriad of problems including clogging, overheating, and more. Using propriety technology to harness the power of the Eddy current – a special closed loop electrical current – the San Diego-based company creates a unique, best-in-class product.
A San Diego success story
In order to succeed in a field where many of the opportunities exist overseas, =the San Diego-based company needed to effectively target and sell to global customers. That’s where MetroConnect comes in.
MetroConnect is World Trade Center San Diego’s(WTCSD) export assistance program. Since 2014, WTCSD has provided at least 15 companies annual with resources and the financial assistance they need to conquer global markets.
During its tenure in the MetroConnect program, EDDY Pump started raking in the international business. From a $2M contract with Barrick Gold Corporation – the world’s second largest mining company – to a deal with the Chilean Navy, EDDY Pump proved with the right resources and support, it could take its business to the next level.
The company’s global success did not go unnoticed. In November, EDDY Pump was crowned the MetroConnect Grand Prize Pitch winner. Along with bragging rights, the EDDY Pump team took home 35k in additional funding.
Interested in taking your company global?
Applications for MetroConnect are now open until January 31. Learn more about the requirements and benefits.
Phoenix Molecular Designs’ therapy is developed to treat triple-negative breast cancer. This aggressive form of cancer is often likely to become metastatic, and has a poorer prognosis than other forms of breast cancer. In 2019, nearly 270,000 individuals will be diagnosed with breast cancer in the US alone. Up to 20 percent of those new cases – over 50,000 – are estimated to be the triple-negative type.
But thanks to PMD, there’s a new form of hope.
The company has officially entered Phase 1/1b clinical trials for PMD-026 with the FDA, meaning they are able to administer the drugs to their first patients.
“Dosing the first patient in this newly initiated clinical trial is a paramount milestone for PhoenixMD,” said Andrew Dorr, M.D., chief medical officer of Phoenix Molecular Designs. “We believe PMD-026 to be a promising new approach to treat advanced breast cancer and we look forward to building upon this momentum in the pursuit of a potential treatment option for individuals living with advanced forms of breast cancer.”
International partnerships take time
When World Trade Center San Diego – EDC’s international affiliate – set its sights on Vancouver in 2017 for its first international trade mission, it was in hopes of spurring international partnerships in the life sciences and clean technologies sectors.
WTCSD first met Dr. Sandra Dunn, CEO of Phoenix Molecular Designs, when the international BIO convention was in town in 2017. After a quick conversation, it was clear that in order to meet their lofty goal of bringing a treatment to market, Phoenix Molecular Designs needed to expand somewhere in the U.S. with a strong biotech sector and access to top-tier clinical talent.
A few weeks later, City of San Diego Mayor Kevin L. Faulconer, World Trade Center San Diego, and a delegation of 20 senior-level San Diego leaders were in PMD’s board room in Richmond – right outside of Vancouver – helping the company plan its expansion.
Today, PMD’s presence has grown to nearly 15 employees in San Diego and with the latest funding round, may see additional growth. And its engaged other companies along the way. PMD has partnered with WuXi STA, another international company with a presence in San Diego, to develop and manufacture PMD-026.
At a time of mounting global uncertainty, it is important that San Diego continues to show up in international markets and forge partnerships. The next life-saving treatment is out there, and if San Diego’s regional track record is any indication, we may play a part in bringing it to the world.
“EDDY Pump Corporation is a quintessential example of a San Diego defense company taking their products global,” said Nikia Clarke, Ph.D., Executive Director of World Trade Center San Diego. “The results from this year’s cohort are impressive. From opening new offices in the Japan to inking multi-million dollar deals throughout Latin America, the participating MetroConnect companies are collectively strengthening the San Diego region’s economy.”
During the 12-month program, 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, the 20 participants also created more than 100 jobs in San Diego – evidence that exporting supports the increase of jobs locally.
MetroConnect is an export assistance program managed by World Trade Center San Diego, an affiliate of San Diego Regional EDC. Each year, the participating cohort vies for a chance to win the grand prize—$35,000 to aid in their international market expansion plans. For the fourth year of MetroConnect, 20 export-ready companies were selected and equipped with a slew of financial and programmatic resources to assist in their plans to expand internationally.
With proposed tariffs, trade wars and the looming Brexit deadline, the national rhetoric around global trade has shifted. However, according to a recent article from The Brookings Institution, exporting or going global offers firms the opportunity to diversify markets, grow local regional economies and add more well-paying jobs. Programs such as MetroConnect help expand the pipeline of export-ready firms.
The four finalists from this year’s 20-company cohort were Bitchin’ Sauce, EDDY Pump, LRAD Corporation and Scientist.com. The grand prize winning company was selected based on a 50-50 split, weighing the popular vote from a live audience of 200-plus international business professionals and community leaders and selection from a judging panel comprised of representatives from Qualcomm Ventures, City of San Diego Economic Development Department and last year’s MetroConnect winner, Cure Match.
“The MetroConnect program has been a game-changer, allowing us to increase our international exports by $5 million from the previous year and enter into five key new countries,” said Ben Weinrib, CEO & Managing Partner at EDDY Pump Corporation. “In the years that follow, we are looking to close a multi-million dollar per year contract with some of the largest companies in Canada as well as selling our technology to friendly foreign militaries.”
“Since 2015, Chase has supported the MetroConnect program helping San Diego businesses realize their potential to scale and successfully navigate complex global markets,” said Aaron Ryan, Executive Director for San Diego Middle Market Banking at JPMorgan Chase. “San Diego is one of the best places for new business and innovation, and we are very excited to help businesses compete locally and to be able to grow globally.”
The MetroConnect Grand Prize PitchFest was hosted at The Alexandria on November 13, with keynote remarks by Barbara White, CFO at Taylor Guitars and the winner announced by Bud Colligan, senior advisor for international affairs and trade at California Governor’s Office of Business & Economic Development (GO-Biz).
About World Trade Center San Diego World Trade Center San Diego operates as an affiliate of San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation. WTC San Diego works to further San Diego’s global competitiveness by building an export pipeline, attracting and retaining foreign investment and increasing San Diego’s global profile abroad. sandiegobusiness.org/wtcsd
About EDDY Pump Corporation Founded in 1984, EDDY Pump is a technology development and manufacturing company located in San Diego, CA. The company designs and manufactures proprietary technology for the U.S. Military along with some of the largest oil, mining, wastewater, chemical, marine construction and other industry-related companies in the world. By bring together some of the best mechanical, electric, ocean, embedded systems, hydraulic and manufacturing engineers, EDDY Pump is leading the field with breakthrough technology. eddypump.com
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 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!
Ahead of the U.K.’s impending departure from the European Union, World Trade Center San Diego, the international affiliate of San Diego Regional EDC, is leading a delegation to Frankfurt and Munich, Germany. The trade mission will lay the groundwork for San Diego companies to develop long-term business relationships with the European market.
“With the launch of Lufthansa’s non-stop service from San Diego to Frankfurt and a shift in economic power resulting from Brexit, Germany will become an increasingly important trade and investment partner for San Diego,” said Nikia Clarke, executive director of World Trade Center San Diego and vice president of economic development at San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation. “If San Diego wants to be recognized as a global economic player, it is important that we continue to show up and develop partnerships with markets that buy our goods and invest in our economy.”
Germany is currently the fourth-largest economy in the world, and is increasingly becoming one of San Diego’s most vital trading partners. According to data collected by World Trade Center San Diego, German-based companies, including Kontron, Evotec and BioNTech, directly employ more than 2,700 individuals in San Diego.
The trade mission will focus on three key subject areas:
Best practices in mobility, transportation and smart cities – Amid discussions about the future of transportation in San Diego, the delegation will explore technologies, best practices and strategic partnerships in mobility, the internet of things and smart cities through visits to Siemens, BMW and IBM’s cutting-edge Watson Lab. Additionally, through a visit to the House of Logistics & Mobility in Frankfurt, the delegation will learn a bit more about Frankfurt’s world-class transportation system.
Strengthening global life sciences partnerships – Like San Diego, Munich has become a hub for life sciences and biotech. Following a visit to BioM and the world-renowned Max Planck Institutes, German-based Evotec and the site lead from Takeda’s San Diego office will expand on a partnership that will benefit San Diego’s life sciences ecosystem.
Reinforcing global ties in a post-Brexit economy – Through meetings with the European Central Bank and the U.S. Consulates General in Frankfurt and Munich, the delegation will explore the gravitational shift in global trade while developing relationships with the experts responsible for evaluating trade policy.
Delegates will participate in upwards of 13 meetings over the course of the trade mission, sharing best practices and formulating collaborations across many industry verticals. The 20 -San Diego delegates include representatives from Takeda California, Qualcomm, General Atomics, Cubic Transportation Systems and more. Also in attendance are key San Diego agencies, universities and civic organizations such as UC San Diego, San Diego State University, San Diego Regional Airport Authority, the Port of San Diego and more.
At a time of mounting global uncertainty – particularly in the European Union – World Trade Center San Diego conducts trade missions to drive long term relationships for San Diego’s economy. Previously, World Trade Center San Diego led trade missions to Vancouver, London and Tokyo, which enabled startups Forge Therapeutics and Scientist.com to expand their global operations.
This trade mission is organized by World Trade Center San Diego, an affiliate of the San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation.
Follow along during the trade mission: #SDinGermany.
Since 2013, the U.S. Department of Commerce hosts its annual SelectUSA Investment Summit, making it the country’s largest trade show for foreign direct investment (FDI). This year, in partnership with the California Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz) International Affairs and Business Development team, WTC San Diego and San Diego Regional EDC staff attended the event to promote California and San Diego.
Garnering more than 2,000 attendees and an impressive slew of speakers, the conference featured keynotes from Secretary Wilbur Ross, Larry Kudlow, and Ivanka Trump, alongside dozens of technical presentations. US Ambassadors from all over the world brought delegations of companies set on expanding into the US from their respective countries to learn about the competitive advantages of each state. At the conference, economic development representatives from nearly all 50 states vie for the attention of these companies by demonstrating why their state is best suited to support international expansion. While some states resort to fun, unique antics like utilizing a Captain America outfit to draw in crowds, the delegates from California drew attention to the immense academic investment and corporate strengths of the fifth largest economy in the world.
In the span of two days, WTC staff met with more than a dozen companies from across the globe – Israel to China and UK to Japan – specifically discussing each country’s interest in San Diego. As states and regions compete to attract foreign investment, increased coordination and collaboration across California is necessary to help combat any negative narratives, and ultimately, highlight the success of the entire state’s economy.
With Bud Colligan as Sr. Advisor for International Affairs and Trade for California, there’s been an increased call for California to develop more robust trade and FDI strategy. According to SelectUSA, majority-foreign-owned companies support 769,20 jobs in California, placing the state in a distant first with Texas coming in second by supporting 596,900 jobs.
If you are interested in WTC San Diego’s approach to creating a statewide strategy for foreign direct investment, contact Director of World Trade Center San Diego, Jesse Gipe at email@example.com.
Now in its fourth year, MetroConnect is World Trade Center San Diego’s flagship export assistance program, underwritten by JPMorgan Chase. Following a competitive application process, 15 to 20 export-ready, small and medium-sized businesses receive a $10,000 challenge grant and programmatic services to aid their international expansion efforts. During the course of one year, participating companies get access to complimentary services and preferred rates from program partners, as well as technical assistance trainings in areas such as data privacy, export compliance, supply chain, IP protection, and more.
For the fourth and final workshop of the program period, WTC partnered with MetroConnect sponsor SYSTRAN and consultant JAS Forwarding to host a two-part workshop focused on language translation and supply chain solutions. The first portion of the workshop titled, “The Language Traps of Going Global,” focused on the importance of selling in the local language and the contemporary software solutions available to small businesses. Ken Behan, vice president of sales and marketing, and Philip Staiger, technical account manager at SYSTRAN demoed SYSTRAN’s pure neural server and took questions from the companies in attendance.
The latter half of the workshop, presented by JAS Forwarding Worldwide, focused on “Freight Forwarding & Supply Chain Solutions.” Matt Halpin, business development manager at JAS Forwarding, and Tyler Sullivan, senior national account director at JAS Government & Defense, provided a synopsis of the logistics behind exporting/importing goods to and from the San Diego region.
The 2019 MetroConnect Grand Prize Pitchfest will take place on November 13, 2019 at The Alexandria. The top four performing companies from this year’s cohort will compete for an additional $35,000 in funding to accelerate their international expansion efforts.
MetroConnect company Telaeris is a privately-owned San Diego company that develops RFIDs (Radio Frequency Identification) and contactless smartcards for businesses. RFIDs and its related products are important contemporary solutions for the efficient management of inventory and assets. RFIDs are also important in tracking the flow of people, as it is one of the basic technologies that make a security badge function.
In September of 2018, Telaeris was selected to be one of 20 participating companies in World Trade Center (WTC) San Diego’s MetroConnect export assistance program. The company received a $10K grant, courtesy of JPMorgan Chase, as well as programmatic support in order to access international markets and boost export sales. Programmatic support included educational workshops, marketing and PR support, and access to preferred rates and discounts with airline and industry partners.
At the beginning of the 2018 program, WTC’s team connected Telaeris to MetroConnect sponsor SYSTRAN, to provide complimentary translation services for the nearly 100,000 lines of code the company needed modified. Once the company had taken the SYSTRAN software as far as it could go, Telaeris used its $10k in grant funds to pay for expert human translators in Spanish, French, German, Portuguese, and more, to polish the code to ready it for market.
In April, the company attended a trade mission to the South of France with the Port of San Diego and WTC San Diego. There, the company was able to market its localized product to French electronic tracking company Coppernic. As a result, Telaeris was able to ink a deal and have eight Coppernic employees (six in Europe; two in Africa) trained to sell Telaeris’ enterprise technology, thereby expanding its sales capability to regions where it had never had a presence before. Additionally, this relationship has led to two potential deals (currently in the works) worth $25K each.
“The MetroConnect program, presented by JPMorgan Chase, has been an amazing catalyst to super-charge the way our company approaches international business development. Our company has been around for 14 years, but with the tools and resources provided through MetroConnect, we are now on track to target many large markets that make up the majority of the world that does not speak English. Capitalizing on these opportunities makes us a more resilient and prosperous company back home.”