Next Thursday, the Atlanta-based international business media group Global Atlanta will be hosting its annual reception dedicated to exploring the success and challenges of exporting from the Atlanta market. More than twenty exporters from around the metro Atlanta area will be on hand, sharing their experiences in navigating what it takes to get their products overseas.
Global Atlanta is partnering with the Global Cities Initiative of Atlanta, which is the point group on the Atlanta Metro Export Challenge. The Challenge is funded by JP Morgan Chase, UPS and Partnership Gwinnett. Earlier this year, the Challenge named 28 local semifinalists who each won $5,000 in grants toward boosting their exports. These semifinalists will soon be competing in a pitch competition with $20,000 on the line this time.
There were 100 applicants for the $5,000 grants and the challenge was administered mainly by the Metro Atlanta Chamber. One of last year’s winners, IronCAD, attributed a $250,000 deal to the grant’s enabling them to focus on harder-to-get customers. The Pitch Day for the finalists will be a Shark Tank-style faceoff, with three prizes valued at $20,000, $10,000 and another $5,000 for third place.
The Global Cities Initiative was begun in 2013 and is part of a five year, $10 million, multi-city effort to create new partnerships between U.S. and foreign cities with the goal of developing trade and economic relationships. As the world’s population continues its growing urbanization, JP Morgan Chase and the Brookings Institution saw the need to foster these relationships at the city level and hopefully bypass, or at least ease the burden, of national government negotiations and relationships.
“Even with strong trade and investment strategies, all metros face resource and capacity constraints to engaging internationally. In the global market haystack, metros need tools to focus on where they are most likely to find the needles,” said Marek Gootman, Brookings fellow and director of strategic partnerships and global initiatives, earlier this year.
Attendance is free for exporters and attendees will be able to network with some of the semifinalists from this year and last. There will be a few practice pitches and a panel discussion with several metro Atlanta business leaders. Topics under discussion for the panel include issues like currency conversion, navigating cultural differences, trade policy uncertainty and more.
The updated “Export Stories” report will also be released. The report goes into some detail about how a number of companies began their exporting ventures. In the last report, in 2014, Global Atlanta editor Trevor Williams said “the U.S. proportion of the global economy is shrinking, with massive countries like China, India and Brazil taking a greater cumulative share. The U.S. is still huge and will undoubtedly be a large enough market for many firms for decades to come, and insulation from the global economy can be a good thing at times. But for many companies, both short-term growth prospects and long-term sustainability could be just an international fight or a translated website away.”