The Atlanta Metro Export Challenge, which has distributed hundreds of thousands of dollars since 2016 to help local exporters with their global sales journeys, is returning again this year with backing from JPMorgan Chase.
Administered by the Metro Atlanta Chamber but open to firms from the 29-county region, the challenge will hold an information session and kickoff meeting at the NanoLumens office in Peachtree Corners at 4 p.m. July 18.
There, potential participants will hear about how the challenge has helped companies hone their strategies and receive the financial boost needed to enhance existing sales or jumpstart international growth.
And this recap won’t just be coming from the organizers: previous winners from the last two years will be on hand to provide their first hand testimonials about the experience.
Many have said that the challenge — and the broader thinking it fosters — has catapulted their companies into positive new territory.
One example is Triatek, which won last year’s pitch competition to the tune of $20,000 — and that was after the first-round victory that saw the maker of ventilation systems for hospitals and research labs take home $5,000.
Triatek was bought by Johnson Controls Inc. shortly after its export-challenge victory, and company leaders say having a global footprint, a process accelerated by the challenge, contributed substantially to its being seen as a promising acquisition target.
Cars 360, another export-challenge winner with app used to take 360-degree photo for car sales listings, was acquired by Carvana, the company seeking disrupt the car dealership process through technology and simplicity.
For interested companies, here’s how the process works: Companies apply for a grant by outlining practical plans on how they would use $5,000 to generate more export sales. Thirty will be selected as first-round winners, receiving reimbursements for expenses in sums up to that amount. Then, those winners will be invited back later in the year for a pitch competition for the possibility of winning an additional $5,000, $10,000, or $20,000.
Editor’s note: Global Atlanta is an organizing partner of some Atlanta Metro Export Challenge events.