World Tradewinds
January 2001 - Issue N. 106
A Publication of the Monterey Bay International Trade Association (MBITA),
a BAYTRADE
partner

MBITA CORPORATE SPONSORS: Grunsky

Victory

Lexus

Language Line

Toma International

Greyzone



IN THIS ISSUE
:

MBITA Update:

Whew!....what a year. MBITA has been very busy in the beginning of the new millenium forming strategic alliances with organizations in the Veneto Region of Italy, Veneto Innovazione, and the Baden Wurttenberg region of Germany, GWZ, to promote the emerging CyberCoast business community of the Monterey Bay region. A statewide videoconference to Baden Wurttenberg and a trade mission in the Spring of 2001 to the Veneto in Italy are now in the works. On another front, MBITA also visited the Russian Far East and is now developing a training and implementation program for Global eCommerce between Russian Far East and U.S. West Coast SME's. 2001 is going to be another barn-burner...stay tuned.

Robert "Tony" Livoti
Executive Director
tlivoti@mbita.org

MBITA
PARTNERS & AFFILIATES:

Caltrade

USA Trade

FECED

Veneto Innovazione

GWZ

SBDC

LBO

Mexico Directory



Upcoming events:

December 15
Luncheon Meeting
Monterey Hilton,
1000 Aguajito Rd.
Monterey
Time: 11:30am registration
to 1:00pm
Admission fee:
Members: $20
Non-members: $25

January 18, 2001
Creative Export Financing Seminar
Monterey Institute of International Studies
Monterey, 411 Pacific St., Ste Mgmt 100
Time: 9:00am to 1:00pm
Admission fee: $25

 

MBITA Board of Directors:

President
John Griffin
Smith Barney

Treasurer
Joseph Scott
CPA

Executive Director/Trade Manager
Tony Livoti

tlivoti@mbita.org

Membership/Event Manager
Cristina Polesel
cristina@mbita.org cristina@mbita.org

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MBITA Contact Info

725 Front St. Ste 104
Santa Cruz, CA 95060 U.S.A.
Phone: 1-831-469-0148
Fax: 1-831-469-0917
Email: info@mbita.org
Web: http://www.mbita.org

This newsletter has been created by MBITA's editor
Cristina Polesel

cristina@mbita.org

If you would like to have an article published on this newsletter please contact the editor by email.

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MBITA New Corporate Sponsor: Grunsky Technology Group

MBITA would like to introduce a new corporate sponsor. Grunsky Technology Group is a division of Grunsky, Ebey, Farrar & Howell, APC, one of the largest and most established law firms of the California Central Coast. Located in Santa Cruz, Monterey and Watsonville, Grunsky Technology Group provides services related to corporate affairs and securities, intellectual property (IP), venture capital and wealth management. Grunsky Technology Group offer a dynamic network of corporate and securities expertise, venture capitalists, accounting support, consulting, business planning, angels and human resource specialists to develop your technology start-up from its very first round of funding through its secondary public offering or acquisition.

In order to provide start-ups with the assistance that they need to make their technology company successful, Grunsky Technology Group is able to assist with negotiating venture funding, business formation and capital structure. The company can also assist mid-level and public companies with their unique legal concerns and with other more complex matters such as mergers and acquisitions. Grunsky Technology Group understands the importance of Intellectual Property (IP) to the technology community and can advise technology companies at all levels of growth on IP issues and related matters.

The firm started its legal practice 55 years ago assisting leading regional small businesses in their international sales legal issues. Since then, they have provided legal assistance in estate planning, trust and estate administration and litigation, commercial litigation, employment law and real estate law issues. Their client base has gradually changed over the years with an increasing turnover in the new economy of the local high-tech industry. "Our firm, as a whole, is still targeting and servicing the same general clientele that we have had for over 55 years," says Kathleen Bodmer, who is spearleading the Technology Group. "However, as technology began to slowly move into the California Central Coast area, with a large surge over the past few years, we have learned through talking with local technology and start-up businesses and clients, that there is a large void of law firms committed to the needs of this fast-paced start-up and technology business community on this side of the Hill," Bodmer continues. "Grunsky Tech Group is taking the opportunity to fill this void and create a niche for their business to meet these needs and serve the emerging high-tech business community in our local area."

Although the new economy has created a demand for more specific legal services addressed to the high-tech business community, Grunsky, Ebey, Farrar & Howell, APC is still a leader in providing comprehensive assistance and entrepreneurial resources to any corporate and small business legal issues and can be considered one of the most experienced law forms with a brilliant and successful track record of legal practice. "There is also a strong desire within our firm to stay current on the legal issues and needs of our community," Bodmer points out. "By doing so, we will certainly not abandon the needs of our present clients, but rather expand our legal services to meet all the needs of this ever-growing community," Bodmer says.

Grunsky Technology Group has developed relationships with Central Coast accountancy firms that have a proven track record. Through its network and its highly experienced staff of professionals the company can offer its clients easy access to a wealth of local angel investors and venture capitalists that share the company vision of developing a local high tech economy. In particular, the company can assist start-up companies growth to maturity, with all aspects of business formation, capital structure, incubation, venture capital negotiation, and follow-on financing through its Corporate and Security practice. Grunsky's intellectual property practice can guarantee secure strategies, technology transfers and other concerns, including patent, trademark and copyright issues. The company guarantees secure legal assistance to public companies with the entire array of complex corporate and securities matters with which they are faced, including real estate and environmental concerns, mergers and aquisitions.

Grunsky Technology Group has a very solid base of shareholders who are all very active in the local region in various community and charitable activities, such as the Rotary Club, Lions Club, Santa Cruz County Community Foundation and the Lighthouse Venture Forum. Through these involvements, as well as many others, the company has made connections and learned a great deal about the local community and its needs. "We have learned that one of the most important needs a client has is a quick turnaround time, with a solid response, at a reasonable price. That has always been and continues to be our focus.," Bodmer states. "We take pride in providing our clients with a product or service (depending on the legal need) within a specified time line discussed with and agreed to by the client. This policy enables us to maintain a positive work flow, keeping the clients happy," Bodmer continues. Additionally, and in some circumstances most important to the client, Grunsky's services are provided at a reasonable rate, disclosed to the client at the beginning of the representation, and can include fees incurred on an hourly rate basis, as well as services billed on a flat fee, depending on the needs of the client and the type of work provided. As a firm that has been serving the Central Coast Community for over 55 years, Grunsky Technology Group strives to stay current with the needs of the area, taking continuing legal education courses to be well versed in the current law, as well as to grow and change to meet the evolving needs of the clientele as a whole. It is this principle that has directed the company's legal practice into the technology and start-up community.

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MBITA establishes strategic business alliance with the Baden-Wurttemberg region of Germany

MBITA has established a strategic alliance with one of Germany's main economic engines, the Baden-Wurttemberg region, one of the most high-tech oriented industrial areas of Germany. The alliance was officially announced on September 14th at the McPherson Business Center in Santa Cruz, where representatives from the Baden-Wurttenberg Agency for International Economic Development discussed how to form strategic alliances and partnerships with German companies andhow to learn about exporting proprietary technology and find German venture capitalists seeking good investment opportunities.

Attended by over 50 local high-tech companies, the reception showcased three guest presentations on the state of the new European technology revolution in the technology-led industries.

Peter O'Neill, Senior Executive Director with Hewlett Packard (HP) eServices Solutions, discussed HP's new eServices for business and the nature of doing business in Germany and Europe. Peter O'Neill joined HP in September 1981 in Boeblingen, Germany, having previously worked for Ford Motor Company in the UK as a Financial Analyst. HP started its first international operation in Boeblingen and is now the largest single country subsidiary outside the US and the center for many HP businesses on a worldwide and European basis.
Wolfgang Schaefer, President of Washington DC-based Georgetown International, explained his company's investment strategy. Georgetown International provides financial advisory services for project finance, corporate finance and representation in Washington, DC for internationally operating companies. Focusing mostly on second round financing, the company is currently working with a $20 million fund to develop global investment opportunities. Mr. Schaefer also mentioned that with special circumstances the company would look at first round financing opportunities.

Klaus Schorer, Executive Manager and North America Director of the Baden-Wurttenberg Agency for International Economic Cooperation (GWZ), Stuttgart, Germany, explained what GWZ can do and what it is already being done to facilitate the entry of California companies into the growing European market.

The Baden-Württemberg Agency for International Economic Cooperation - GWZ - is the trade promotion and economic development agency of the state of Baden-Württemberg. Its shareholders are the State Government and the State Association of Baden-Württemberg Industries (LVI). GWZ actively supports companies from Baden-Württemberg who wish to gain access to new markets, especially in the very difficult phase of market entry and establishing a presence in a new market. GWZ's modular services allow companies to approach new markets step by step or their specific questions can be treated individually.

The GWZ's tasks are to support Baden-Württemberg companies in accessing foreign markets to promote Baden-Württemberg as a business location to render all necessary services to foreign investors to implement professional training and trade promotion projects abroad. GWZ's aims are to promote contacts between foreign companies and the companies within the state as well as to further strengthen the region as an economic magnet by attracting foreign investors.

GWZ's individual business support services are also available for foreign companies wishing to establish successful business ties with companies in Baden-Württemberg. GWZ can identify and assess trade and cooperation partners, develop market analyses and strategies, provide sales and marketing support, assist in the search for production suppliers and service companies and support with contacts to authorities and permit procedures. GWZ is a competent partner for companies looking for a site or investment object or wishing to establish successful business ties with Baden-Württemberg companies.

GWZ has a worldwide net of professional partners. All of their offices as well as GWZ's worldwide partner network serve as a first point-of-contact to foreign enterprises interested in developing business relations with firms in Baden-Württemberg or in setting up business there.They are also available to Baden-Württemberg companies wishing to gain access to foreign markets. The projects GWZ develops and implements are commissioned by the state of Baden-Württemberg, the Federal Republic of Germany, the EU or directly by the countries themselves.

Laurent Roffe, special consultant to GWZ and CEO of San Francisco-based Terra International gave the fourth presentation at the reception. Mr. Roffe is a business development professional with over ten years of particular expertise in the development and implementation of growth strategies. He combines his specific regional expertise of the US and European marketplace with a specific focus on the high-tech industry. Mr. Roffe's presentation evolved around the market globalization and the importance of alliances and relationships for information technology.

All in all, the event was successfully acclaimed by the local attendants, who expressed their enthusiasm about the developments of this alliance in the near future. MBITA and GWZ are planning to have a videoconference in February 2001 to implement the economic programs of both regions and give the possibility to local high-tech companies to do matchmakings and start partnerships with German companies. The videoconference will pave their way to a trade mission to Germany in the near future and open up the doors to the EC global marketplace.

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MBITA New Diamond Member: Silicon Valley Business Forum (SBF)

Silicon Valley Business Forum, Inc. (SBF) was established to help Japanese high-tech companies and investors reach U.S. partners for strategic alliances and financing. SBF's ultimate goal is not only to assist high-tech companies form strategic alliances in Silicon Valley but also internationally while adding value to the clients' management team.

SBF understands the crucial need to arrange partnerships based on compatible technology and target markets. SBF applies their years of experience, contacts and industry knowledge by analyzing their clients' needs and then finding suitable partners with common goals, particularly within the Internet world..

The president of SBF, Mr. Ujiie Yutaka had been working as an investment banker in Japan for 20 years. While he was helping his clients in VC financing, M&A, and IPO, he saw an opportunity to meet his clients needs in business development to catch the trends and opportunities in Silicon Valley which then brought him to Silicon Valley where he started SBF.

Through its extensive database and Japanese business network, SBF gathers and analyzes the specific business requirements of overseas companies with the goal of connecting them with the right Silicon Valley businesses. SBF offers the most promising of these business opportunities through a synergy of business skills of their team members in the fields of merger and acquisition (M&A), VC financing, investment banking, auditing, legal matters and technological prowess.

"The business model of SBF is based on understanding its Japanese client needs," remarks Mr. Yutaka "These needs are often created by information released from Silicon Valley and then combining it with the local economic situations in Japan. SBF's Japanese clients sometime create their strategies and then toss them to SBF to incubate and materialize these strategies," Mr. Yutaka points out. "In other words, a change in the Japanese local economy can lead to a change in the SBF client needs and strategies. SBF has evolved its business by responding to these changes" concludes Mr. Yutaka.

SBF also designs and helps implement Silicon Valley client promotional strategies to Japan. SBF matches financing needs with the most appropriate business alliance partnerships while monitoring potential Japanese businesses seeking M&A opportunities. As deregulation of the IPO markets in Japan progresses, there is an increase in new opportunities for non-Japanese venture money to invest in Japan.

SBF services also include information on the Japanese market, sales tactics within a particular industry and the identification of import/export channels.. For example, improved recognition and brand awareness in Japan can attract the most qualified people in Japan to join a company.
"It was fortunate that companies in Silicon Valley also have business requirements in Japan and this has led us to work on both sides of our respective countries", continues Mr. Yutaka. SBF also assists its Silicon Valley clients when registering their local corporation in Japan. "Issuing an IPO in Japan can build your image, business, and opportunities for further growth.

"However, SBF's main service is matching Japanese clients' requirements with business and investment opportunities in Silicon Valley. These Japanese requirements will never end since the needs from Japan seems to be infinite now," Mr. Yutaka continues.
"Japanese venture capital firms and other investors are targeting high-tech start-ups, particularly IT companies based in Silicon Valley. These investors are growing in number and have become active in both direct and indirect investments. Introductions and are not limited to just venture capitalists but also extend to other investors, ranging from large enterprises to angel investors", states Mr. Yutaka.

If you are interested in creating synergy with Japanese companies and investors, please contact us at SBF", concludes Mr. Yutaka.

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