The JEC World Trade Show in Paris is the premier event that unites the global composites industry each year. As the leading international composites show, +40,000 professionals from 113 countries are in attendance and find a full spectrum of processes, new materials, and composite solutions.
In March, four Utah companies had the opportunity to exhibit at the JEC World Trade Show. ACT Aerospace, Hypercomp Engineering Inc., Optimum Composite Technologies, LLC and Wyoming Test Fixtures, Inc. traveled to Paris to represent Utah and grow their companies. While exhibiting, the companies benefited from relationship-marketing tools such as connecting with the global composite industry, meeting future partners and being exposed to forty different business segments.
Three of the businesses who attended the show are located in rural Utah. Additionally, all four companies applied for and received funding from the State Trade Expansion Program (STEP) which is financed in part through a grant with the U.S. Small Business Administration. Because of STEP grants, these companies were able to attend the JEC World Trade Show–an opportunity they would not have had otherwise.
The STEP grant is administered by World Trade Center Utah (WTC Utah), a non-profit company whose mission is to promote prosperity across the state by attracting investment and increasing exports. One of the ways WTC Utah accomplishes this mission is by helping small businesses build capacity for international trade. WTC Utah accompanied the businesses at the trade show and helped facilitate meaningful interactions with potential customers and partners.
“We met with many customers that I otherwise would not have known about,” said Michael Olson, President and CTO of Optimum Composite Technologies, LLC, a company that specializes in the design, fabrication and production of type 3 and 4 alternative fuel cylinders.
ACT Aerospace, a business that innovates in engineering and manufacturing by creating high-end aerospace components, also made many valuable connections while at the trade show. Bret Ashton, VP of Business Development, said that their attendance “introduced ACT Aerospace to the Global Composite business.” The company is currently anticipating Request for Proposals and Information from five aerospace and defense companies.
In addition to meeting potential customers, Wyoming Test Fixtures, Inc. was awarded and featured in the JEC magazine for their Mode 1 fracture test developed for sandwich composites. The company is dedicated to designing and fabricating mechanical test fixtures of the highest quality at the lowest possible prices and their attendance at the show gained them world-wide recognition.
HyPerComp, a company, which specializes in filament wound high pressure composite vessels for diverse applications, established several promising contacts that Thompson predicts will “possibly double this year’s sales projections.” “The opportunity to attend JEC was very significant for HyPerComp,” said Mark Thompson, CFO of HyPerComp Engineering Inc.
With the help of the STEP grant, all four of these companies have elevated their businesses and are successfully competing in the global arena. To learn more about the STEP grant opportunities and how WTC Utah can help your business grow, please visit wtcutah.com/grants/step-grant/ .