Designing International Growth through World Trade Center Utah
Export Acceleration Grant and trade mission leads Utah power technology company, Design Criteria, to international opportunities
Design Criteria Inc. creates customizable, cost-efficient power supplies through developed SMART technology. Founded in 1999, the company primarily works with military contractors to enhance the safety and survival of armed forces.
Recently, Design Criteria expanded to the commercial sector with new product lines and worked with World Trade Center Utah to also expand internationally.
“In the last twelve months, we’ve doubled our sales and are increasing our recognition throughout the nation,” said Carl Belnap, CEO and founder of Design Criteria Inc. “We felt ready to expand to international markets not only to increase our share but to meet the wide demands for our product.”
Design Criteria received a 2017 WTC Utah’s Export Acceleration Grant, funded by JPMorgan Chase & Co. With the funding, the company attended the state-led trade mission to Jordan and Israel to pursue opportunities in the region.
“Jordan and Israel has great potential for our product because of their history of defense. The grant has been important because without it, we wouldn’t have been able to get in front of potential representatives and distributors,” said Belnap.
While attending the state-led trade mission, Design Criteria met with several contacts and build business to business relationships. They also utilized US Commercial Service to meet with vetted companies to discuss potential partnerships.
“World Trade Center Utah and U.S. Commercial Service have been key to going international. They were helpful in establishing the trip and contacts for us,” said Belnap. “They truly want us to succeed and we wouldn’t know how to go international without them.”
Over the past year, Design Criteria increased the number of manufactured units by 300 percent. They are also projecting 45 percent growth in the next few years due to their international strategy. Since returning from the trade mission, they have followed up with contacts and are pursuing additional opportunities in the Middle East. Design Criteria also plans to attend future state-led trade missions and trade shows, such as Farnborough Airshow in July 2018.
“This year has been the best in growth in sales due to products. It has given us a boost that has helped up begin our international plan,” said Belnap. “With the export acceleration grant and the support of the WTC Utah, we feel confident that we are headed in the right direction.”
WTC Utah offers several grant programs to help Utah companies expand their business into international markets. To learn more, and to sign up to be notified about 2018 grants, visit wtcutah.com/grants.
For companies interested in utilizing state-led trade missions to expand internationally, WTC Utah will also 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.