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The Big Picture San Diego Blog

WTCSD Q3 2019

October 8, 2019
One of the core missions of World Trade Center San Diego is to enhance the region’s global identity in order to boost its global fluency and competitiveness. By hosting foreign delegations of business, academia and government leaders from around the world, WTCSD is able to brand San Diego among important stakeholders as well as attract foreign direct investment (FDI) to the region and make connections in key markets. 
In Q3, WTC hosted four delegations, consisting of more than 60 individuals from Australia, China, and Mexico. One of the delegations included the U.S.‐Mexico Relations Program at UC San Diego’s School of Global Policy and Strategy program, which brought more than 25 government officials and emerging leaders from Mexico. The program focused on international relations and institutions, the U.S. political system, regional economic development, and U.S.‐Mexico relations. For this delegation, WTC led a discussion surrounding cross-border political and economic activity along with the trade impacts on the region. Following this discussion, EDC and the WTC San Diego teams coordinated a visit for the delegation to meet with local Congressman Scott Peters. 
Additionally, WTC and the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce hosted a business round table with Australian Ambassador Joe Hockey. Local business leaders engaged in discussions with Ambassador Hockey regarding the US/Indio-Pacific international trade landscape and the U.S.-Australian trade and investment relationship. Ambassador Hockey led an engaging conversation focused on the private investment opportunities between San Diego and Australia. San Diego companies and organizations used the meeting to highlight potential projects and discuss other global priorities for the region. 
After each delegation visit and meetings, the delegates become part of the WTC San Diego’s global network and continue staying engaged in the organization’s activity. WTC welcomes delegations to San Diego and is proud to represent the San Diego region in a global capacity. 
For more information on delegation support contact Itzel Moncada at

October 8, 2019
In celebration of the region’s global competitiveness, WTC hosted the #SDgoesglobal reception on Monday, September 30, at Farmer & the Seahorse in Torrey Pines.  The reception, sponsored by Lufthansa, marked the kick-off event for WTC San Diego’s Germany Trade Mission taking place in October.  
The reception was attended by Germany Trade Mission delegates, previous delegates from WTC San Diego trade missions to Vancouver, London, and Japan, as well as local MetroConnect companies. Nikia Clarke, Ph.D. Executive Director of WTCSD, opened the program by highlighting the important role that partner organizations play in assisting the regional #SDgoesglobal effort led by WTC San Diego. Martina Hupach and Kiana Sabet with Lufthansa Group discussed the strength of San Diego’s global competitiveness as a result of the region’s partnership with Lufthansa Group since 2017. 
Over the last four years, WTC San Diego has worked closely with its global partners to plan strategic trade missions to international cities with close economic ties to San Diego. Thanks to a new direct flight service from San Diego to Frankfurt offered by Europe’s only five-star airline, Lufthansa, it’s perfect timing for a group of senior local business, academic, and government leaders to be visiting Germany.
The upcoming trade mission to Frankfurt and Munich, Germany from October 21-25 will feature events, tours and meetings focused on intelligent mobility, smart cities, and precision health—sectors that are vital to the future of San Diego’s economy. 
For more information on the upcoming Germany Trade Mission and WTC San Diego’s global connectivity, contact Jesse Gipe at

October 3, 2019

EDC’s Trade and Competitiveness in North America study launched in 2018 identified the innovation economy as a growing industry in San Diego County, Imperial County, and Baja California—otherwise known as Cali Baja. Among the key takeaways from this study, the high-value services offered in Cali Baja are the future of trade in North America.

According to the study, by 2020, 51% of total trade within Cali Baja will take place in the service sector, not in commodities. This growth creates service sector creates opportunities within San Diego and Tijuana for cross-border collaboration and development within San Diego’s current innovation economy.

To further support this trend, WTC San Diego provides tailored services to San Diego-based companies considering Baja California for expansion. In Q3 2019, WTC San Diego offered consultative services to two tech companies considering expansion into Tijuana, Baja California. One of the companies is a business intelligence services company, which provides its clients with various IT solutions. The other is a logistics company focused on supporting the manufacturing industry. Both of these companies are expanding their software activities by leveraging the competitive advantage in Tijuana’s innovation ecosystem.

In order to help the company’s executives understand the TJ tech ecosystem, WTC San Diego coordinated visits to various locations and facilitated introductions to key public and private sector partners for both San Diego companies. The key partners included Tijuana EDC, Eazy Workspace, MIND Hub Tech Incubator, Thermo Fisher Scientific, and Red Door Interactive, which are all valuable examples and assets to companies exploring Tijuana.

As their expansion process continues, WTC San Diego will continue providing consultative services to these companies and any others that are interested in learning more about software capabilities south of the border.

For more information on WTC’s cross-border activity, contact Jesse Gipe at

October 3, 2019

Last summer, 20 San Diego-based companies were selected to participate in World Trade Center (WTC) San Diego’s export assistance program—MetroConnect. Participants were equipped with a $10,000 grant and programmatic resources over the course of a year, with the intent of helping them access international markets and boost export sales.

The companies in MetroConnect Year 4 collectively generated a net increase of $69.6 million in exports sales, signed 369 international contracts, and opened 10 new facilities overseas. Together, these participating companies also added 97 jobs right here in San Diego–evidence that exporting can make businesses more dynamic and resilient back home.

After collecting initial results from this year’s cohort, WTC San Diego formed a MetroConnect Judging Committee to determine which four companies would be invited back to compete in the MetroConnect Grand Prize PitchFest. On November 13, the pitch competition will award one company an additional $35,000 and deemed the grand prize winner of MetroConnect Year 4.

The four finalists:

  • Bitchin’ Sauce
    • A San Diego staple served at street fairs for years, the almond-based, gluten-free, Non-GMO and vegan sauce is great for veggies and a spread. Now available at retailers in San Diego and beyond.
  • Eddy Pump
    • An engineering and manufacturing company producing state-of-the-art material handling equipment for a multitude of industries including military, oil, mining, energy, and more across the globe.
  • LRAD Corporation
    • Manufacturer and developer of long-range acoustic hailing devices, mass notification, and distributed messaging systems, which allow users to clearly communicate warnings and instructions, resolve uncertain situations, and enhance safety in a variety of applications for defense, law enforcement, and more.
    • The world's leading marketplace for sourcing scientific research services.

Congratulations to these companies on their success, and we look forward to seeing them make their pitch in November!

Details for the MetroConnect Grand Prize PitchFest

·         Who: 200+ attendees primarily within San Diego’s international business community (exporting companies, service providers, trade organizations, program stakeholders)

·         When: Wednesday, November 13 from 2:30 – 5:30 PM

·         Where: The Alexandria at Torrey Pines and Farmer & the Seahorse

·         Why: This event marks the finale of MetroConnet 2018-2019 program. The audience and a judging panel (50/50 split) will vote for the grand prize winner to receive a $35,000 check, courtesy of JPMorgan Chase

Following the pitch competition, there will be a company showcase and reception at Farmer & the Seahorse. Learn more and get tickets for the event here.