ATLANTA – (July 9th, 2017) GridQuire Labs is a recipient of a $5,000 grant and a semi-finalist in the annual Atlanta Metro Export Challenge (Atlanta MEC), a grant competition supported by JPMorgan Chase, UPS and Partnership Gwinnett, which boosts support for small and medium-sized businesses looking to begin exporting or to increase their export programs.
Twenty-eight companies from metro Atlanta were selected as semi-finalists and will each receive a reimbursement grant of up to $5,000 to apply toward expenses related to building export capacity and activities.
Andrew Katz, CEO of GridQuire Labs stated, “We are very excited to be named a semi-finalist for this challenge. We are grateful that JP Morgan Chase and UPS are sponsoring this innovative initiative. We look forward to partnering with the Metro Atlanta Chamber, the Georgia Department of Economic Development, and the City of Atlanta to help us do more business globally. The contacts we have already made through this journey have been invaluable.”
GridQuire Labs will have a chance to win additional prize money early next year. Each semi-finalist must utilize the grant funds during the second half of 2017 and show export success to be invited back for the second round of competition at Pitch Day – a Shark Tank-style pitch session before a panel of judges. At Pitch Day, companies will present their exportable product or service, their export success with the initial grant, and a business plan detailing how they will use additional grant funds to increase exports. The top three companies will receive $20,000 (first place), $10,000 (second place), and $5,000 (third place).
The Atlanta MEC will distribute a total of $200,000 over the course of the competition. This competition is one of the key components of the Atlanta Metro Export Plan (MEP), an initiative launched in June 2015 to stimulate economic growth in the region and create quality jobs through exports. The grants competition aims to encourage area companies to export and drive business growth by increasing international sales of local products and services.
The program was created through a grant from JPMorgan Chase as part of the firm’s ongoing work to promote global competitiveness in metros around the country. This year they are joined by UPS, contributing an additional $25,000, and Partnership Gwinnett, contributing $5,000.
“Companies with global perspectives are more likely to create new jobs and tend to be more resilient and innovative as they respond to global market demand,” said David Balos, head of Chase Middle Market Banking. “We applaud the latest round of winners and believe these export efforts will lead to more job creation and growth for our local economy in Metro Atlanta.”
“We congratulate the first round winners for their innovation and focus on global growth. UPS is honored to be a part of this collaborative effort to encourage metro Atlanta companies to explore and pursue export opportunities,” said Bill Seward, U.S. International President at UPS. “Being an integral part of the Atlanta Metro Export Challenge aligns with UPS’s commitment to expand our customers’ horizons and connect a global community through intelligent logistics networks.”
The Atlanta MEP is being implemented by multiple organizations, including the Metro Atlanta Chamber, the Georgia Department of Economic Development, the City of Atlanta and Partnership Gwinnett working in partnership with several other regional and local economic development agencies, public and private organizations.
The MEP is the first phase of Atlanta’s participation in the Global Cities Initiative (“GCI”), a joint project of the Brookings Institution and JPMorgan Chase that aims to help leaders in U.S. metropolitan areas reorient their economics toward greater engagement in world markets.