‘Built in Detroit’ Launched to Help Businesses Develop Export Strategy
The Detroit Economic Growth Corporation (DEGC) announced the launch of its Built in Detroit initiative, which is aimed at supporting companies compete in the global economy. It is the first program of its kind in Detroit. Built in Detroit will offer signature programs for local businesses, the first of which is ExporTech, which kicked off February 2. ExporTech is a national export assistance program helping companies enter or expand in global markets.
ExporTech is a structured export strategy and business development process that in its first round will assist eight local Michigan technology and manufacturing companies. Over a 10-week period, these businesses will develop strategic plans for export growth and connect with a wide range of experts to catalyze international sales. At the end of the program, participants will have the opportunity to present their strategies to a panel of experienced exporters. The program also aims to create an international trade ecosystem so that businesses that have graduated from the program can continue to consult with each other.
“Built in Detroit is focused on connecting local companies to global market opportunities,” said Sandra Choi, senior business development manager, DEGC. “With trade and foreign direct investment being inextricably linked through global value chains, Detroit’s work with the regional trade community also sets an important foundation for its foreign direct investment attraction work.”
One aspect of the inaugural ExporTech event is that nearly 40 percent of the participants are minority, women-owned, multigenerational firms that have operated in Detroit for nearly 60 to 100 years.
“Kirlin Lighting Company has been headquartered in Detroit for 99 years,” said Jana K. Brownell, the company’s president, CEO, and owner. “We have deep roots in the city, and are proud to be a quality employer and serve as an example of success. Through ExporTech, we look forward to learning how to properly asses international opportunities and put in place the systems and processes to expand our international division within our company, which would be significant for our organization, our employees and our home, the city of Detroit.”
The DEGC will work with the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, the U.S. Commercial Service, Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center and Saginaw Valley State University to assist participants with international market research, best practices regarding international exports and to work one-on-one with the businesses to develop their international sales strategies.