PRESS RELEASE – The Sherbrooke International program, an initiative of Sherbrooke Innopole, offers Sherbrooke businesses direct international development aid through non-repayable contributions.
Following the 2018 call for projects, 12 Sherbrooke companies were selected to become ambassador companies and to receive a financial contribution of $3000 each from Sherbrooke Innopole to enable or expand their participation in trade fairs, conferences, and missions. In addition to the funds granted, the winning companies will be put in touch with strategic contacts, such as trade commissioners, embassy and consulate officials, and other potential partners. These contacts could become valuable allies for companies in their international development efforts. “This will also be a great opportunity to remind them of the range of innovation and the dynamism of Sherbrooke’s entrepreneurs,” stated Josée Fortin, Director General of Sherbrooke Innopole.
The competition was open to all companies in the five key sectors (Cleantech, Information Technologies, Advanced Manufacturing, Life Sciences, and Micro-nanotechnologies) that will be conducting an activity abroad to expand their market internationally during the year 2018. The selection of the winners was based on several criteria, notably the activity’s impact on the company and on Sherbrooke, the company’s actual need for a financial contribution, and the target countries.
During the first call for projects for 2017, nine companies were able to participate in major international events in their field, which enabled them to consolidate their partnerships and expand their client bases. One 2017 ambassador stressed the importance of such a contribution: “The Sherbrooke International Program gave FilSpec a significant boost in making its dream to expand internationally become a reality,” noted Dominique Quintal, Vice-President, Sales and Marketing at FilSpec. The Program helped us focus our efforts on trade shows and contacts, especially by enabling us to take one more person for demonstrations, which made a big difference in the impacts of an international mission.”
For blogs by 2017 ambassador companies, relating their specific experiences, and for more information on the competition, see the Blog section on Sherbrooke Innopole’s website. The 2019 call for projects will be launched in fall 2018. Information will be posted on several of Sherbrooke Innopole’s digital platforms (website, social networks, newsletter, and by e-mail to the companies concerned). Companies in the five key sectors will be invited to submit their applications.
Winning ambassadors – Sherbrooke International 2018
CONCEPT GEEBEE / Manufacture of two-inline-wheeled single-place electric vehicles, on which the driver stays standing / Project: Participation as an exhibitor at the Toronto Outdoor Adventure Show, from February 23 to 25, 2018. This show will provide the company with opportunities to be in contact with potential clients and recreational tourism professionals in attendance to see and test the latest innovations in the field. The financial assistance will enable the company to keep the funds needed to participate in other events in the United States.
LEKLA / Design and marketing of autonomous solar energy production and storage systems / Project: Meeting a partner in France that could become a distributor for Europe and Africa. LEKLA has already developed relationships with potential partners, and the contribution of Sherbrooke Innopole will enable the planning of more business trips and the establishment of promising partnerships.
ESA / Creation of energy-efficient solutions, products, and services / Project: Participation at the London Poultry Show, a show and sale for Ontario poultry breeders. The exhibition will provide the company with an opportunity to connect with potential clients, publicize its technology, and convert dealers and their clients.
Information and Communication Technologies
CALIMACIL / Design and manufacture of foam swords / Project: Participation as an exhibitor at the CES (Consumer Electronics Show) in Las Vegas to launch and demonstrate the CaliMotion electronic module and its apps, especially with the LED Saber. The CES is a gathering place for major stakeholders, such as video game designers. It will also provide an opportunity to enhance Calimacil’s visibility as an innovative technological company.
CLASSCRAFT / Online gamification to boost student motivation / Project: Participation as a guest speaker at the RTM Spring Education Conference East, gathering together major decision-makers from school boards in the eastern United States. Funding the program will enable the company’s participation at a very targeted conference, in a promising market.
DUNIN / Development of intelligent IT solutions for the design and production of manufacturing products / Project: Participation at the Kitchen & Bath Industry Show (KBIS), in Orlando, in the United States. This large-scale international event brings together more than 40 kitchen cabinet manufacturers faced with the challenges of “mass customization.” This event will enable Dunin to develop connections with potential clients and future partners, by focusing on the event.
LAB INTEGRATION / Materials testing solutions / Project: Participation in Toronto, in March 2018, at Fabtech, an event dedicated to technologies and solutions in a number of manufacturing fields. The company will promote its new products in a new market, and will also have the opportunity to meet clients in its current markets. The event will provide an opportunity to meet numerous qualified prospects with real decision-making power regarding the purchase of testing equipment, who are generally difficult to reach.
COASTAL JIBS / Manufacture of snow park rails and modules / Project: Participation in numerous trade shows in Ontario and the United States with the goal of expanding the company’s American client base. Building on last year’s positive experience, Coastal Jibs will increase its visibility among potential clients, which will lead to greater sales in these regions.
CAFÉ VITTORIA / Coffee bean roasting and distribution / Project: Participation at the Specialty Coffee Association conference in May 2018 in Seattle and that of the Private Label Manufacturer Association, being held in November in Chicago. These events will be conducive to meetings with professionals and equipment manufacturers from a number of countries producing coffee. These are special activities for discovering the latest trends in coffee roasting and serving equipment, and will enable the company to meet current and potential clients.
PHYSIPRO / Design, manufacture, and distribution of seating and mobility assistive technology / Project: Exhibition at the European Seating Symposium (ESS) in Dublin, Ireland, a flagship event on the progress and promotion of research, education, and training in the field of mobility in Ireland, and throughout Europe. Physipro will benefit from the opportunity to further its study of the Irish market. The financial aid will enable the company to further develop its corporate identity and to make a name for itself on the international scene.
LUMED / Design of technological decision-making support tools for clinicians and researchers / Project: Participation and booth at the IDWeek Forum, from October 3 to 7, 2018, in California, gathering together North American microbiologists and infectious disease specialists. The goals are to publicize the availability of the company’s software in the United States, identify potential clients, and build trusting relationships with partners.
PHENOSWITCH / Expert services in mass spectrometry / Project: Participation as a sponsor and presentation at the 5th Drug Discovery Innovation Program, in Boston. The company will participate in B2B meetings, which could lead to the acquisition of new contracts. Finding trade partners is another objective.
Source and photo credits: Sherbrooke Innopole