Trade Mission Connects Utah Companies with Canada’s Growing Tech Sector

News Release
For Immediate Release


Jessica Nield, Communications Director
World Trade Center Utah
(801) 814-3491

Aimee Edwards, GOED Communications Director
(801) 538-8811

Trade Mission Connects Utah Companies with Canada’s Growing Tech Sector

SALT LAKE CITY (Sept. 16, 2016) – Gov. Gary R. Herbert led a delegation of 16 Utah companies on a trade mission to Toronto, Canada this week. The trade mission to Utah’s third largest export destination focused on innovation.

“Toronto, like Utah, places a large emphasis on innovation and entrepreneurialism,” said Derek B. Miller, president and CEO of World Trade Center Utah (WTC Utah). “The trade mission delegation made important connections that we expect will lead to future collaboration between the Canadian tech sector and Utah’s own Silicon Slopes. This will further strengthen our valued trade relationship with Canada.”

Ten of the private companies that attended the trade mission participated in Gold Key business matchups facilitated by the U.S. Commercial Service. This connected Utah companies with potential Canadian clients and partners. The contacts made during the trade mission will help these Utah companies to grow in the Canadian market.

“Though the locations for trade missions vary, the purpose remains constant: provide meaningful opportunities for Utah companies,” said Val Hale, executive director of the Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED). “Companies that have participated in these trade missions continue to make great strides in the global economy.”

A highlight of the trade mission was the delegation’s visit to York University’s Lassonde School of Engineering, where benefactor Pierre Lassonde welcomed the group. A Canadian businessman and philanthropist, Lassonde received his graduate degree from the University of Utah (U of U) and is a strong supporter of the state. Lassonde donated $25 million in 2014 to the U of U for the creation of the Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute.

Delegates had the opportunity to learn about the school’s research, network with faculty, and find opportunities for collaboration with industry-specific companies brought in by the university.

On the final day of the trade mission, the delegation traveled to Waterloo, a major tech hub and part of Canada’s Technology Triangle. The delegation visited Communitech, a large tech incubator, and Desire2Learn, an education tech company. Desire2Learn’s software has a large presence within the Utah education space. The company brings tech into classrooms through educational learning software.

The trade mission, supported by GOED, WTC Utah, the Canadian Consulate in Denver, Wells Fargo, U.S. Commercial Service, U.S. Small Business Administration, and the Office of Energy Development, was comprised of private and public organizations from various sectors, including energy and technology.

Businesses that participated in the Utah Trade Mission to Canada:

  • Affiliate Solar
  • Amplexo LLC
  • Beddy’s
  • Black Pine Sports
  • BlueShift Technologies
  • ColdSweep
  • Deseret Media Corporation
  • EDCUtah
  • Imagine Learning
  • InnoSys
  • Integrated Energy Companies
  • inWhatLanguage
  • Specialty Imaging
  • Spectra Symbol
  • Wells Fargo
  • Xtiri



Pierre Lassonde presenting to the Utah delegation at the Lassonde School of Engineering at York University.

About World Trade Center Utah (WTC Utah)

The mission of World Trade Center Utah (WTC Utah) is to help Utah companies think, act and succeed globally. WTC Utah accomplishes this mission through three key objectives. First is to motivate and educate Utah businesses to expand their global presence through training seminars, regional forums and newsletters focused on international business development, trade issues and export opportunities. Second is to build capacity of Utah businesses for international trade through B2B consultations to identify expansion goals, assess current capabilities, determine overseas opportunities and connect companies with market experts and potential partners. Third is to expand global network of Utah businesses through trade missions and networking with foreign trade officials.

About the Utah Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED)

The Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED) charter is based on Gov. Gary R. Herbert’s commitment to statewide economic development. The state’s economic vision is that Utah will lead the nation as the best performing economy and be recognized as a premier global business environment and tourist destination. GOED provides extensive resources and support for business creation, growth and recruitment statewide, as well as programs to increase tourism and film production for the benefit of Utah residents. All administered programs are based upon strategic industry clusters to develop a diverse, sustainable economy. GOED accomplishes its mission through unprecedented partnerships. For more information please contact: Aimee Edwards, (801) 538-8811 or
About the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and the State Trade and Export Promotion
(STEP) Grant Program

The State Trade & Expansion Program (STEP) is funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration. The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is an independent agency of the federal government to aid, counsel, assist and protect the interests of small business concerns, to preserve free competitive enterprise and to maintain and strengthen the overall economy of our nation. The SBA helps Americans start, build and grow businesses. For information regarding the STEP Grant Program, please contact Ariel Briggs, STEP Project Director, For information regarding other US Small Business Administration services, please contact Melinda Workman, Utah District International Trade Officer,