Metro Atlanta Chamber announces Metro Export Challenge pitch day winners
Annual event celebrates the region’s largest collaborative global economic development initiative
ATLANTA – The Metro Atlanta Chamber (MAC) has announced the winners of the Atlanta Metro Export Challenge (MEC) pitch competition. The MEC program supports companies expanding into new markets with exposure to resources and assistance including reimbursement grants. Three metro area companies have been awarded grants to support and further their export activities:
Jetaire Group was awarded $15,000
Safely was awarded $10,000
Urban Tea Party was awarded $5,000
At the sold-out event Friday evening held at SCAD Atlanta, six companies pitched their export potential to an independent panel of judges with deep experience in international trade. Each winning company was also awarded a flight voucher courtesy of Delta Air Lines.
“The extensive support offered by Metro Atlanta’s exporting community is second-to-none, and the MEC program makes vital resources available to those companies who are ready to take the next step and enter the global market,” said Katie Kirkpatrick, president & CEO of the Metro Atlanta Chamber. “This collaborative work is laying a strong foundation for regionally shared prosperity.”
Throughout the 2022-23 program, companies across metro Atlanta participated in the Metro Export Challenge to receive support to expand their global business development efforts. In October 2022, each winner received a $5,000 reimbursement grant for expenses related to their international sales growth and a flight voucher courtesy of Delta Air Lines. Companies also benefited from a tailored mentorship program to assist in the development of global sales plans and go-to-market strategies. The program targets small- and mid-sized companies from all industry sectors, whether they sell a physical product, a technology or a service. Friday’s pitch day served as the closing event for the 2022-23 program.
The Metro Export Challenge started in 2016 with a single grant from JPMorgan Chase and has grown into a region-wide collaborative effort to encourage export growth. Nearly 130 new-to-export companies have benefited from more than $700,000 in financial support. An enduring partnership between economic development agencies and the business community makes the MEC one of the largest collaborative economic development initiatives in the region.
The 2022-23 MEC cohort was made possible by funding from the Georgia Department of Economic Development, the City of Atlanta Mayor’s Office of International and Immigrant Affairs, Partnership Gwinnett, Select Cobb, Select Fulton, and NRW Global Business, in addition to funds generated by Certificate of Origin (COO) processing fees by the Metro Atlanta Chamber. All proceeds from COO sales are reinvested in MAC’s export initiatives, principally the MEC, fueling growth of the region’s next generation of exporters.
Exporting companies grow faster, pay their employees more and file more patents than their non-exporting counterparts. American exporters also benefit from a widely held perception of quality of U.S. products, as well as advantages of scale and diversification.
“Georgia exporters – which are overwhelmingly small- and medium-sized businesses – drive the state’s economic vitality, competitiveness and growth. Reaching international markets requires dedication and determination, and the Metro Export Challenge helps innovative Georgia companies build the partnerships and connections that will help them succeed,” said Mary Waters, Deputy Commissioner for International Trade at the Georgia Department of Economic Development. “Our International Trade team is proud to support the Metro Export Challenge and the diverse companies that take part in this transformational program. Congratulations to all the companies and the 2023 Pitch Day winners!”
Photos from the event can be found here. Please credit South Atlanta Photography. The event marked the conclusion of the year-long program and the kickoff to the 2023-24 season. Companies can apply to the MEC here. Applications will be open August 28 – October 15.
The judging panel for the 2023 Metro Export Challenge pitch competition included:
Zaheer Faruqi – CEO, Aventure Aviation
Mario Gonzalez – International Trade Specialist, Small Business Development Center
Mary Piercy – General Manager, Southeast, Flexport Inc.
Dina Molaison – Sr. International Trade Specialist, U.S. Commercial Service Atlanta
Mary Waters – Deputy Commissioner for International Trade, Georgia Department of Economic Development
Companies pitching included:
Enolytics provides data analytics solutions to the wine and spirits industry. Their robust yet very user-friendly software removes the mental barriers around technology for an otherwise highly traditional industry, with a client list that includes some of the most recognized brands of American wine. enolytics.com
Jetaire is a full-service avionics and aircraft engineering firm providing high-quality services to clients in the aviation and aerospace industries. Headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, Jetaire specializes in fuel tank safety, ignition mitigation and FAR and FTFR certifications that comply with FAA, EASA, AFAC, ANAC & TCCA requirements. jetairegroup.com
Metric Mate’s patented platform allows beginners and experts to turn any strength training equipment into SMART equipment. The company was founded to serve people aspiring to be in better shape and live healthier lives. themetricmate.com
Safely protects short-term rentals with rigorous guest screening and up to $1M of commercial insurance coverage. The company eliminates the worst guests, motivates high-risk guests to behave and pays for damage and injuries after the reservation is complete. safely.com
Spectrum International exports optical technology from the USA that restores sight and changes the lives of patients throughout the world. The company doesn’t sell contact lenses, they create visual specialists. spctinternational.com
Urban Tea Party is like a Starbucks for the cultured soul. The company provides premium loose-leaf teas, tea infused simple syrups, tisanes and tea wares. urbanteaparty.com
About the Metro Atlanta Chamber
The Metro Atlanta Chamber (MAC) serves as a catalyst for a more prosperous and vibrant region. To advance economic growth and improve metro Atlanta’s quality of place, MAC is focused on starting, growing and recruiting companies to the 29-county metro Atlanta region. The Chamber is also focused on expanding the region’s innovation economy by promoting and strengthening connections to drive Atlanta’s innovation and entrepreneurial culture. MAC is committed to being an active voice for the business community, serving as an advocate for a competitive business climate and promoting Atlanta’s story. For more information, visit www.MetroAtlantaChamber.com.