<SAN DIEGO, Calif.> – Whova is pleased to announce it has been selected to take part in the MetroConnect Program, a comprehensive export support program run by the World Trade Center San Diego and designed to help San Diego companies accelerate their global growth. The announcement has been made June 30th, 2016 by San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer and World Trade Center San Diego.
The MetroConnect Program, a flagship initiative of World Trade Center San Diego, seeks to cultivate a pipeline of export-ready firms to elevate San Diego’s global reach. Similar to the 2015 pilot round, program participants will receive a $10,000 grant, presented by JPMorgan Chase, to assist with international expansion strategies. In 2016, the MetroConnect Program has created additional support services to directly help participating companies. Program participants will have access to a dedicated trade and investment manager at WTC San Diego and will receive guidance on export compliance, financing and fundraising and global marketing, amongst other areas of relevance.
This program will allow Whova to give special effort in ensuring our product meets the requirements of the events in various countries.
“We’d like to thank San Diego World Trade Center for initiating the MetroConnect award program,” said Dr. YY Zhou, founder and CEO of Whova. “The Whova event app started to go global and has already supported events in over 80 countries. The MetroConnect program will greatly help Whova further accelerate the global reach, and build better services for our international customers.”
“We applaud Whova for taking the next step in going global,” said Nikia Clarke, executive director of World Trade Center San Diego. “The MetroConnect Program is essentially a business accelerator program for globally-minded companies. The funding and guidance provided by the prize will help Whova explore new world markets, resulting in economic growth for San Diego.”
In total, 73 San Diego companies applied for acceptance into the MetroConnect Program. Fifteen companies were selected based on a variety of criteria, including interest in new markets, interest in targeted metro markets, assessed impact of funds, current international traction and more. Applicants were assessed by a panel of judges, including representatives from Applied Membranes, Biocom, Qualcomm Ventures, San Diego Regional EDC, San Diego State University, Taylor Guitars, Tech San Diego, U.S. Department of Commerce, UC San Diego and World Trade Center San Diego.
Participating companies will also be considered for the program’s MetroConnect Grand Prize Pitchfest in November 2016, which will provide an additional $35,000 to help one or two companies further advance their global agendas.
The MetroConnect Program is underwritten by JPMorgan Chase & Co, with additional support provided by Japan Airlines, Qualcomm Ventures, SYSTRAN and Taylor Guitars.
Whova is a San Diego-based technology startup that spun off from UC San Diego and offers a mobile app to build a community within an event by connecting all the participants together. Founded in 2013 by Dr. YY Zhou and her team, Whova’s vision is to revolutionize events’ engagement and networking to help every party involved in an event, including attendees, organizers, sponsors, and exhibitors, make more productive connections and create more business opportunities.
About World Trade Center San Diego
World Trade Center San Diego operates as an affiliate of San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation. WTC San Diego works to further San Diego’s global competitiveness by building an export pipeline, attracting and retaining foreign investment, and increasing San Diego’s global profile abroad. sandiegobusiness.org/wtcsd