Register Now for UTC Hall of Fame Event
Next month the Utah Technology Council (UTC) will induct three notable Utahns into the UTC Hall of Fame. They are: A. Scott Anderson, president and CEO of Zions Bank; Alan Hall, founder and CEO of Tempus Global Data, a satellite company that manufactures and operates weather instruments; and Kirk M. Ririe, CEO of BioFire Diagnostics, Inc. and inventor of the FilmArray System and Respiratory Panel, a system for the point-of-care diagnostic market.
These individuals have helped Utah’s technology sector thrive and their accomplishments are most noteworthy. We hope you have marked your calendars and registered for the black-tie Hall of Fame event.
Marc Benioff, chairman and CEO of salesforce.com, will keynote the gathering of Utah technology executives, which takes place Nov. 7 from 6-9 p.m. at the Grand America Hotel in Salt Lake City. Register here.
Derek B. Miller
President & CEO
Advance Storage Products President and CEO John VR Krummell was in Salt Lake City for the grand opening of the company’s Salt Lake City manufacturing facility.
Going Global: Advance Storage Products
Advance Storage Products, a private U.S. manufacturing company with global reach, opened its newest manufacturing plant in Salt Lake City last week. The plant houses manufacturing for Advance’s pushback and structural rack systems.
The company, which is the market leader in warehouse rack systems, invested $8 million in the 65,000 square-foot Salt Lake City facility and hired 34 new workers, 22 of which were unemployed before their hiring.
For the past five decades, Advance Storage Products, headquartered in Garden Grove, CA, has successfully completed more than 10,000 projects in the United States, South America, Central America, China and Canada for global customers that include Pepsi, Coca Cola, Johnson & Johnson, Procter and Gamble, Hartz Mountain and Americold Logistics.
“We decided to expand our manufacturing capabilities and reach here based on our research and analysis,” said John VR Krummell, president and CEO, during the grand opening. “We determined that Salt Lake City provides a competitively strategic location, coupled with an excellent work force, work ethic and business/technology environment essential to a successful operation.”
The company employs 210 people and also operates a manufacturing plant in Cedartown, GA. Under the leadership of Plant Manager Tim Schulz, the new Salt Lake City plant is expected to employ 40 people by the end of the year.
Look South! Seminar on the Natural Product/Supplement Markets in Brazil, Mexico
The U.S. Commercial Service, in partnership with the World Trade Center Utah, the Salt Lake Chamber of Commerce, Salt Lake Community College and the Governor’s Office of Economic Development, offers Utah supplement companies an opportunity to learn about current market trends in Brazil and Mexico during a seminar Oct. 10 from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Commercial Specialists from the U.S. Embassies in Brazil and Mexico will be in Salt Lake City to give a brief overview of regulatory issues, demand and trends in these two dynamic markets. This presentation will be followed by lunch, a panel discussion and opportunities for one-to-one meetings with the specialists.
Utah businesses interested in meeting with the specialists after the panel discussion should email Shelby Peterson at Shelby.Peterson@trade.gov. The event will be held at the Salt Lake Chamber office, 175 E. 400 South, Suite 600, Salt Lake City. The cost is $15 per person and includes lunch and a light continental breakfast. To register click here.
During the recent trade mission to China, the Utah delegation held its first reception in Beijing, one of the most populous cities in the world and a center of art and culture.
Success of China Trade Mission Summarized
Brett Heimburger, director, International Trade and Diplomacy in the Governor’s Office of Economic Development, recently summarized the success of September’s trade mission to China for World Trade Center Utah.
“There seems to be strong satisfaction from the attendees on the meetings, events, networking contacts and coordination of the trade mission,” Heimburger said. “We’ll poll them in three to six months to determine how their sales forecasts will be impacted by the trip.”
The mission, which visited Beijing and Shanghai, focused on four areas, match-making, foreign direct investment, educational briefings and networking, and proved successful in each area.
Heimburger said the match-making effort proved valuable for the attending Utah companies, who experienced successful meetings with qualified Chinese partners in both cities. The meetings were arranged by the U.S. Commercial Service. Three Utah companies also went on to visit Guanzhou and Shenzen for additional matchmaking meetings.
“The hopeful result of these meetings is to develop contracts with distribution partners to increase product sales in these huge metro areas,” he added.
As for foreign direct investment, the delegation held a variety of meetings with Chinese companies, focusing on three areas:
- Tech transfer-related – the delegation met with China Renaissance Capital Investment Ltd., Huatai Financial Holdings Ltd., WTOP.com and Haier. The latter being a major Chinese appliance manufacturer that already has operations in South Carolina. “We discussed possibilities to develop investment platforms from these firms into early-stage research/technologies in Utah,” he added.
- Energy-related – the delegation met with PetroChina, Uniwe International Energy Service Ltd, Binhai Investment and Rockefeller Resources. The Chinese companies expressed interest in investing in oil/gas/natural gas wells and projects in Utah.
- Conglomerate/PE – the delegation met with Fosun, a large firm with investments in 240 companies. Heimburger said Fosun primarily focuses on the medical, tourism, energy, financial services, agriculture and manufacturing industries.
“Fosun is becoming more active in the U.S. in re-acquisition and strategic investment and wants more information about available projects in Utah,” he noted. “The company is interested in potentially investing in businesses that can eventually take advantage of Fosun’s deep connections in China.”
With regard to educational briefings, the delegation held topic-specific briefings/presentations in Beijing with the U.S. Commercial Service, Deloitte and Dorsey and Whitney. Topics covered included general trends, tax strategy, IPR protection and contracts with local Chinese partners/distributors. In Shanghai, the briefings were given by the American Chamber of Commerce and some member companies, the Consul of U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, and Deloitte.
“The presentations in Shanghai addressed best practices, legal protections, partner contracts and a case study presentation given by the COO/FDO of Michael Kors in China,” said Heimburger.
Meanwhile, he said the networking receptions provided strong opportunities in both Beijing and Shanghai, especially for delegation members from Utah’s natural products industry. The reception in Beijing included more than 80 attendees, including Utah firms Supranaturals, Mineral Resources International, Albion Minerals and Luddax. Other reception attendees included key cluster multipliers, industry specialists from the U.S. Foreign Commercial Service, top-level U.S. Embassy representatives and other Utah companies operating in China, such as Nuskin, USANA and Dorsey and Whitney.
Heimburger noted the reception in Shanghai was held at the top of the Shanghai Art Museum and exceeded 110 attendees. Other Utah firms participating included Nutraceutical Inc, Southern Utah University and NuSkin. The Utah delegation was joined by Chinese investment groups from the institutional, corporate and private sectors, including the investment arms of Baosteel, Dojane Capital, Shenkai and WealthSpring.
Technology Grant Program Broadens Base of Eligible Applicants
Thanks to recent legislation, a state technology grant program that began in 1986 has been expanded to a wider range of small businesses in Utah. Statutory changes to the Technology Commercialization and Innovation Program (TCIP) also place new emphasis on technology that has previously secured federal funding.
Administered by the Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED), TCIP was formerly known as the Centers of Excellence program. In its original form, TCIP was designed to speed the process of taking university-developed, cutting-edge technologies to market, thereby driving economic development and creating jobs for Utahns.
In 2014, legislative changes to the TCIP statute expanded the program to permit funding small businesses that are commercializing technology developed independently of a Utah higher education institution.
New this year is an emphasis on applicants who have won federal Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) or Small Business Technology Transfer Research (STTR) grants. Technologies that have successfully attracted Phase 1 SBIR-STTR funding will be given preference in the TCIP review phase.
“We’re excited about the new elements in the program, which industry pushed for during the last legislative session,” said Kevin Jessing, TCIP director and GOED Life Sciences cluster director. “TCIP is now a source of non-dilutive capital to help more companies than ever navigate the critical early stages of technology development.”
The fiscal year 2015 grant funding pool totals $1,400,000, with a typical award size anticipated to be $50,000.
“The TCIP Review Panel will favor applicants who have received federal SBIR and STTR grants,” Jessing said. “This preference is a means to assist corporate or university-based entities whose technology has been vetted on a national level. It’s a way to sustain momentum on projects that have met very high standards.”
GOED has also instituted some changes to grant size, eligibility, solicitation cycle and mentoring. For example:
- Grant size will range from $25,000 to $100,000.
- $200,000 is allocated for mentoring activities to support winning bids. GOED has issued a request for proposal to identify organizations to provide mentoring.
- In prior TCIP rounds, grant winners were able to apply for a second round of $40,000. In the FY2015 round, prior winners may apply for grants up to $50,000.
- GOED anticipates a sharp increase in the number and diversity of applications and has elected to distribute funds via one round of application submission and review verses three separate rounds, as was done previously.
As in years past, technologies that support the growth of Utah’s key industry clusters, as defined by GOED, will be given some preference in the review process. Though not exclusive, the emphasis is on the core economic clusters of Aerospace and Defense, Life Sciences, Outdoor Products, Energy, Financial Services and Software/IT.
The FY2015 Pre-Application round is now open. Pre-application closes Oct. 9, 2014. The application window opens Oct. 13, 2014 and closes Nov. 13, 2014. You may find the pre-application here: http://business.utah.gov/programs/tcip/
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