CibusDx Signs Major International Partnership Agreement as Result of WTC Utah Trade Mission
Through relationships developed during governor-led trade mission to Singapore and Vietnam, CibusDx signs agreement with Sino Agra Foods in China.
For Utah-based company CibusDx, joining a trade mission led by Governor Gary R. Herbert and coordinated by World Trade Center Utah to Singapore and Vietnam in August is already paying dividends. CibusDx recently signed a memorandum of understanding with Sino Agro Foods, one of Asia’s leading agriculture technology and natural food holding companies.
“The trade mission to Vietnam and Singapore was a huge success for us,” said CibusDx CEO Jared Bauer. “we have been amazed at the speed in which it has moved us forward on fundraising, commercialization, partnerships, press, and more.”
Providing a Solution to a Critical Problem Affecting the International Shrimp Industry
CibusDx is a food safety testing company that has developed a testing system that samples and identifies potential pathogens, enabling real-time delivery of laboratory results and analytics to a smart phone. It licenses some of the technology from a related company, ApolloDx. The ApolloDx system is focused on detection of human diseases.
By using this device, food producers and handlers can quickly process accurate results to prevent food poisoning and increase food safety. CibusDx has developed a diagnostic test to detect diseases that can wipe out a shrimp farm in days.
With 75 percent of the world’s shrimp harvested from the region, the timing and location of the trade mission provided perfect to introduce CibusDx’s new product to the market. In fact, just before the trade mission, the government of Vietnam announced that unless they were able to provide proof that the shrimp exported from Vietnam were free of white spot disease, they stood to lose almost a billion US dollars from their shrimp industry in the next 12 months.
“We felt like we had a solution to a problem [affecting the region],” said Bauer.
“We had just signed agreements with the University of Arizona to develop tests for shrimp diseases, so the timing of the trade mission was perfect to introduce our company to government officials and key industry leaders.”
Utilizing a WTC Utah Trade Mission as a Launchpad for Success
CibusDx was one of 20 companies who participated in WTC Utah’s recent trade mission to Singapore and Vietnam in August. The trade mission provided the company efficient, low-cost opportunities to grow partnerships in the region.
On the trade mission, CibusDx met with key government leaders, potential customers, and potential investors in the food safety industry. They also took advantage while in the region to travel to Indonesia, Malaysia and China to hold additional business meetings with key industry contacts.
As part of the trade mission, WTC Utah partner USTAR also organized a pitch competition to potential investors and strategic partners in Singapore. The pitch competition proved key to CibusDx signing an agreement with a partner; and received several other business offers they are considering, in addition to the agreement they signed with Sino Argo Foods.
Craig Mosman, director of business development, who attended the trade mission, said the experience was key to their recent growth.
“While in Asia, we were determined to take advantage of every opportunity that we could. The U.S. Commercial Service set up a number of great meetings. Meeting with Sino Agra Foods China led to a great opportunity. As part of the agreement, CibusDx is now essential to their shrimp biosecurity.”
Next Steps for Growth
Because of their successful trade mission, CibusDx is currently considering additional business proposals from several Southeast Asian companies. Once back in the U.S., the company followed up on new leads both domestically and internationally. They are also currently developing additional food safety tests for diseases such as listeria and E. coli.
“I cannot overstate how perfect the trade mission was for us,” said Mosman, “Everything was relevant and organized for our success. Working with the World Trade Center Utah, the Governor’s Office, USTAR and the U.S. Commercial Service have given us numerous opportunities to pursue. Their support has propelled us forward much further and faster than we had anticipated.”
For companies interested in utilizing state-led trade missions to expand internationally, WTC Utah will be coordinating trade missions to Mexico (April 2018) and Taiwan and South Korea (September 2018). To learn more or sign up for trade mission updates, visit wtcutah.com/trade-missions.