MBITA CORPORATE SPONSORS:
MBITA PARTNERS & AFFILIATES:
Fri, March 29th
BuyUSA/Global eCommerce Seminar
Fri, May 3rd
Trade and Investment Opportunities in the Pan-European Marketplace
Fri, June 7th
Trade Promotion Services for SMEs in the Global Marketplace
Santa Cruz, CA
Global Trade After '911' Panel/Seminar Series
April 26th, 2002:
Secure Wireless Communications
*SBA Cisco Systems Entrepreneur Center*
8:30am to 9:00am: registration
Admission: $45 CLICK HERE FOR ONLINE REGISTRATION
MBITA BOARD OF DIRECTORS:
Jeffrey J. Munks
MBITA Contact Info
If you would like to have an article published on this newsletter please contact the editor by email.
This newsletter has been created by MBITA's editor
The deployment of trade promotion services to the global, small to mid-sized enterprise (SME) community requires a cohesive and compatible working relationship with public-sector groups providing trade promotion services on the local, State and Federal levels.
MBITA is now partnering with the U.S. Department of Commerce (USDOC) and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) in providing the latest Global eCommerce services for SMEs. 'Buyusa.com' from the USDOC and 'www.usgtn.net' from USAID will support your efforts in reaching new global markets. Stay tuned for new public-private sector parnterships with MBITA.
Robert "Tony" Livoti
SOV Interactive Media: "Interactive media for the minimalist"...
Global Trade now requires a knowledge and good implementation plan for 'streaming media', web-conferencing, 'webinars' and the like in marketing its products and services around the world. We welcome SOV Interactive Media as a leader in this industry and a new MBITA Corporate sponsor.
Founded in 1994, SOV Interactive Media is a local Monterey Bay new media design studio, that helps clients open their mind to innovative and customized media experiences in web, animation, interactive video, and sound.
Steve Voisin, Creative Director and Founder of SOV Interactive Media, is a San Francisco native and pioneer in online multimedia development, design, and theory. After Graduating from San Francisco State University with a B.A.in Communications and special emphasis in speech and alternative communication, Mr. Voisin graduated from one of the country's top multimedia design studies program through San Francisco State University.
In 1998, he brought his industry experience to Santa Cruz County. As a multimedia design collective of individual experts, the company is available to help companies of all sizes, deliver your corporate message electronically (and globally) in many ways:
Specializing in not only broadband web video, the company takes narrow band quite seriously and also focuses on creating maximum experiences on a minimalist dialup connection. SOV Interactive Media crosses different technologies such as Macromedia Flash, Director, RealMedia, Quicktime, and WindowsMedia inside web interfaces and provide cutting edge custom design solutions for their clients. The company expands not only within the web, but also exports their projects out to CD-ROMs, and DVD in order to meet their clients' needs. Their clients come from various industries such as Internet technology and Web firms, Entertainment companies, Design studios, Micro chip and Fiber Optics labs, Bio Techies, and even the wine cellar industry!
SOV interactive currently continues to grow with highly creative staff, including contractors and virtual employees within the SOV Networks, who can collectively scale up and down in size depending on projects and client budgets.
The company offers big agency quality, but is much more competitively priced and easy to work with as a lean group of creatives who are able to get your projects done on time.
Within the last few years, SOV Interactive has been working on various video, web, and interactive projects with: Seagate, AOL Time Warner, CNET Networks.
Steve Voisin's emphasis in interactive video led him from creating CD-ROM based video applications, to moving into the online web space in mid 1995. After several contracts in the CD-ROM and tradeshow, print publishing world including working for Ziff Davis, he worked with CNET Networks on several INTEL funded, streaming video, and interactive media projects with clients such as Sony, Newline Cinema, Warner Brothers, as well as on new media design projects internally for SNAP NBC. Steve has also traveled across the country several times to help produce on location live webcasts at tradeshows and events.
SOV Interactive Media has evolved into an independent and full service, new media design studio, that continues to help clients reach their goals on a global level.SOV is currently travelling globally for his clients, and is looking to MBITA as a partner in international business development.
MBITA Works in Partnership with the Global Technology Network!
The Monterey Bay International Trade Association (MBITA) is working in partnership with the Global Technology Network (GTN). GTN is a program designed to assist small- and medium-sized firms build international partnerships. GTN is operated by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), an independent federal government agency that provides economic, development and humanitarian assistance around the world in support of the foreign policy goals of the United States. The GTN program is implemented by the International Executive Service Corps (IESC), a non-profit business development organization.
GTN is a free service to promote development through trade and technology transfer. The goal of the GTN program is to facilitate trade and business linkages between U.S technology companies and firms in emerging market countries by providing free, pre-qualified trade leads. Located by in-country specialists, the trade leads are matched to GTN registered clients through a user friendly computer platform. The registered companies are then notified of the trade leads via e-mail or through password protected access to the GTN platform.
The objectives are to enhance private sector access to new technologies, improve the competitiveness of overseas firms, and to promote open, competitive, free market economies. GTN business opportunities are focused in four primary sectors which include: information and communications technology, environmental and energy, health/medical, and agricultural equipment and technology.
GTN regions include Africa, Asia, the Near East, Central and Southeast Europe, Eurasia, Latin America and the Caribbean. GTN also provides trade leads dissemination and related services to other USAID partner programs: US-Asia Environmental Partnership (US-AEP) and the Eurasian-American Partnership for Environmentally Sustainable Economies (EcoLinks).
In summary, the GTN program, by working with MBITA, is offering export-ready companies the opportunity to receive free trade leads from firms in emerging markets. Everyone is welcome to visit the GTN web site at www.usgtn.net to learn more about the program, export success stories, the services offered by GTN and their partner organizations. If you have any further questions about the GTN program, please feel free to contact us. Thank you for your interest!
MBITA partners with IBM and the U.S. DOC for BuyUSA.com
Can E-commerce help triple the 1% of all U.S. businesses that exported goods last year? U.S. Commercial Service officials count on it and already report successful exports resulting from the new e-marketplace, BuyUSA.com.
BuyUSA.com, created by the U.S. Commercial Service and IBM, is the vehicle for linking businesses in the U.S. with qualified buyers and potential business partners around the world. Launched in October 2001, the site allows U.S.-based companies to promote their products online and locate new foreign buyers and distributors. Similarly, international businesses can view product catalogs and background information on U.S. companies that have been pre-qualified by trade Commercial Service trade experts.
"Click and Mortar" to the rescue
But what makes BuyUSA.com a better bet to succeed when so many e-marketplaces haven't turned a profit? In one word - people. The U.S. Commercial Service's large network of international trade specialists gives BuyUSA.com the "bricks and mortar" needed to separate the e-marketplace wheat from the chaff.
"This is a very sophisticated marketplace," said Maria Cino, Director General and Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Commercial Service. "Standing behind each business relationship and transaction is our worldwide network of 1,800 experienced professional trade specialists in 105 U.S. Export Assistance Centers and 157 offices co-located in U.S. Embassies and Missions in 84 countries worldwide. We've helped build international business relationships for over 20 years, and now we can expand our services online with BuyUSA.com."
IBM agreed to partner with a federal government agency in part because of this global network that matches its own in geographic coverage. But IBM also seemed to recognize that this is not an ordinary government organization.
"The U.S. Commercial Service is a very entrepreneurial government agency," said Rusine Mitchell-Sinclair, general manager, managed e-business services, IBM Global Services. "Together we developed and launch a marketplace that can help small and mid-sized businesses find new markets around the world. This project demonstrates how the public and private sectors can join forces to develop cost-effective technology solutions aimed at fostering economic development."
Going global without betting the farm
How cost-effective? Although prices are coming down and features going up, a business these days can easily spend up to a $1 million for a higher-end transactional Web site. In contrast, the BuyUSA.com basic annual membership is $300 and allows a U.S. company to search for new international business contacts, trade leads, and market research. Then, cost depends on the type of service. With the BuyUSA Enhanced Catalog, for example, a small company can put their paper catalog online to increase visibility of its products for a fraction of the normal cost. In its short online life, the return on investment for the BuyUSA subscription is already high. Two small exporters report large contracts with international distributors as a direct result of their BuyUSA.com subscription.
New Jersey exporter Rocky Hadzovic found and verified a new distributor for his line of "Hollywood USA" high-quality body sprays, creams, baby products, deodorants, and shampoo using BuyUSA.com. And his success came in a market that many find challenging - Nigeria. The only way, Hadzovic says, to succeed in certain markets is "to find the right guy". "Having the American embassy check out a buyer out is the best way," he says. "If they say he's okay, I can trust him." With help in Newark, Lagos and on BuyUSA.com, Hadzovic sold $28,600 worth of product to a new distributor with a $60,000 follow-on order. He's signed a contract with the distributor and expects more success.
On the left coast, California exporter Thorp Minister also found export success on BuyUSA.com. Within days of subscribing, Minister found a new distributor in Hong Kong and shipped $13,000 of sports beverages. With this new contract, he expects to handle additional shipments totaling $40,000 per month. Minister points out that with luck, a half million dollars in yearly revenue could result from only days of exposure on BuyUSA. "It's a really good platform to promote U.S. goods," says Minister. Plus, as he explains, "It has a great name"--so international buyers in search of U.S. products know exactly where to look.
Another appeal of BuyUSA.com for businesspeople that have signed up for the service is that it comes as close as they've seen to a true one-stop shop. Elizabeth Austin, business development and marketing manager for Scandinavian Naturals, says the service seems "to bring together more pieces of the puzzle-buyers, sellers and trade opportunities."
Scandinavian Naturals, a manufacturer of nutritional supplements, skin care and other products for the natural healthcare market, currently exports to 30 countries. "There are a million different places to go" to look for distributors and agents, said Austin, "so simplifying my job and facilitating my exposure to foreign distributors and agents is very important."
For Stewart Dahlberg of J.D, Streett & Company, a manufacturer of industrial lubricants in St. Louis, the main benefit of BuyUSA.com is speed. "This was the fastest export sale we ever made," said Mr. Dahlberg, who marvels over how quickly the deal completed with a buyer in Vietnam. On the Vietnamese side, buyers there are delighted with this new source of suppliers who often offer lower prices than their traditional suppliers in Asia and Europe. The advantages of e-marketplaces heralded in the infancy of the Internet - value, greater velocity and efficiency - seem to be a reality for BuyUSA.com members.
The Commercial Service spends a great deal of effort identifying qualified buyers in the markets where it has offices and knows the lay of the land. In the crazy quilt world of languages and business practices, knowing who pays the bills on time and enjoys a good reputation for delivering the goods is invaluable-for buyers and sellers.
The trust factor was a particularly strong selling point for BuyUSA.com subscriber Robert Coglia, president of Lactona Corporation, a Pennsylvania-based manufacturer or oral hygiene products. "Frankly, I'm afraid when I get contacted out of the blue by a potential overseas customer," he said, "I need to expand by customer base, but I need to know who I'm dealing with."
When asked about seeking help from the U.S. government, Coglia said he has absolutely no qualms. "Working with the Department of Commerce gives me confidence. It gives me a good feeling, and I know other small businesspeople who have never exported before but are ready to sign up for the same reason."
Point, click, and samba
Foreign buyers often mirror the concerns of U.S. businesses. Here's how BuyUSA.com works from the foreign buyer side. Say a Brazilian natural healthcare products distributor or retailer is looking for new products from the U.S. The Brazilian firm, whose bona fides have been checked by the Commercial Service, can post a lead on the site. U.S. suppliers such as Scandinavian Naturals (which now doesn't have to worry about speaking fractured Swedish) can contact the Brazilian directly online. If the Brazilian is unsure about the U.S. supplier, they can contact their local U.S. Commercial Service (located in Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Brasilia, and Belo Horizonte) office to get more information about the supplier. These offices also provide access to local Commercial Service experts, business and industry information on all 50 states, assistance scheduling meetings with U.S. suppliers either face-to-face or via videoconference, online discussion forums, and a calendar of U.S. trade events.
But buyers can come from any country that has access to the Internet, and as business owners like Lactona's Robert Coglia knows, it doesn't take many to make a big difference to the bottomline. "I know there will be distributors throughout the world interested in our products," he said, "we need help finding them and completing the sale."
Replies the Commercial Service's Maria Cino, "We want BuyUSA.com to be a marketplace that saves both buyers and sellers time, money and worry. Our primary function is creating perfect matches. We've done it successfully for 20 years around the world, and now we're doing it online."
The U.S. Commercial Service of the Department of Commerce and the U.S. Pan Asian American Chamber of Commerce have partnered together to provide small and midsized businesses global business solutions. Let the U.S. Department of Commerce help your business grow. Visit www.BuyUSA.com today and see your sales grow tomorrow.Please enter the MBITA subscriber code 502 when prompted during registration.
For a live site demonstration, please contact the Monterey Bay International Trade Association at 831-469-0148 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call the BuyUSA customer service team at 1(866) 855-8666.
Please go to MBITA web site and CLICK on BuyUSA icon or go to: http://www.mbita.org/buyusa.php3. Please enter the MBITA subscriber code 502 when prompted during online registration on MBITA's website. The Monterey Bay International Trade Association is an Affiliate Partner of BuyUSA.
MBITA Santa Cruz Luncheon Trade and Investment opportunities in the Pan-European Marketplace
Mike, a former graduate of UCSC, spoke about the great opportunuties that exist in Spain for smaller businesses to export to Spain in the high-technology, telecommunications, bio-tech and environmental technology industries.
"With all of our Spanish-speaking people in California, we sometimes forget about Spain as a great place to market our goods and services", stated Mr. Likala. Mr. Likala commented that his days in Santa Cruz as a student at UCSC were very poignant in his life, and helped develop his deep thinking process throughout his life.
A Way With Words (AWWW)
MBITA corporate sponsor A Way With Words (AWWW)/Tacitus Group offers a range of outsourced marketing services that help build value for your enterprise. From global strategy definition to corporate brand development to integrated public relations and advertising, AWWW can give your business the marketing expertise to thrive and succeed in the local and international marketplace. Visit our web site at www.awaywwords.com or contact Elizabeth Bourget at (831) 430 - 9719.