With a spirit of innovation and resilience, many Maryland exporters have adapted to new ways of doing business during the COVID19 pandemic. Similarly, the Maryland-DC District Export Council (DEC) and the U.S. Commercial Service in Baltimore needed to adapt to best serve Maryland exporters during this challenging time. The solution was found through the flagship annual ExporTechTM program, reimagined to meet the needs of a changing world.
ExporTechTM is the premier program for Maryland exporters—a proven method for driving international expansion in a structured setting, working with experienced coaches and trade professionals. The program has formidable roots in Maryland with the very first of this now nationwide program launched in Baltimore in 2006. With the support of the MD-DC DEC, the 2021 cohort has now officially joined more than 1,200 companies that have successfully completed the ExporTech™ program nationwide—including 57 companies in the State of Maryland.
Unlike previous in-person versions of the program, ExporTechTM 2021 was redesigned in an online format to fit the schedules of busy executives working remotely. The result was a seven-week program in which participants met twice weekly in a dedicated virtual classroom. Each session highlighted a different learning objective and featured an expert guest speaker and facilitator. Six participating companies, including traditional manufacturers, early stage med-tech companies, and beauty lines, explored export topics ranging from market selection and digital strategy to sales and distribution to the legal and financial considerations of exporting. Each company was paired with a trade expert from the U.S. Commercial Service in Baltimore and a seasoned exporter from the DEC for personalized coaching. Partners from the Maryland Department of Commerce, University of Maryland Smith School of Business Center for Global Business, Maryland Manufacturing Extension Partnership, Small Business Administration, EXIM Bank, and the Development Finance Corporation joined to share their expertise.
Constituting the capstone project for the course, participants developed actionable export plans which they presented during the final sessions. These plans integrated the course learning objectives and codified participants’ next steps. Each company is excited to continue their export journey through engagements with the U.S. Commercial Service in Baltimore, the DEC, and state and local trade partners through counseling and defined services in their target markets.
Hear what our 2021 cohort is saying about ExporTechTM:
“The program is useful for small or large, new or experienced exporter alike…The best way I can describe the program is to be invited to an exclusive network of senior business professionals that you can call upon in a variety of business situations to ask for advice and discuss best practices.”
-Paul Lippner, Director of International Sales, Meridian Medical Technologies, Inc. (Columbia, MD)
“The ExporTech program helped me develop a clear, concise, and actionable plan that we started using even before the program was over. My coaches were extremely supportive and encouraging and went the extra mile to help us reach our goals. We’re a small business so having a very focused plan is vital to being able to implement it. Even as a service provider and not an actual exporter of goods, the program was very helpful, informative, and useful to me and my company.
-Jen Murray, Founder & CEO, JGS Group (Baltimore, MD)
“The ExporTech program has been a game changer for me as well as my business. To be a part of a group of leaders that are committed to your success is unbelievable…I recommend this to any Maryland business interested in exporting.”
-Maisie Dunbar, Founder & CEO, Bluffajo Cosmetics (Germantown, MD)
About the Maryland-DC District Export Council: The Maryland-Washington D.C. District Export Council, Inc. (MD-DC DEC)is one of more than 60 District Export Councils throughout the United States. DECs are organizations of leaders from local business communities, appointed by successive Secretaries of Commerce since 1973, whose knowledge of international business provides a source of professional advice for local firms. Working closely with the Department of Commerce’s U.S. Export Assistance Centers (USEACs), DEC members volunteer their time to sponsor and participate in numerous trade promotion activities. Like the USEACs, they are especially focused on assisting small and medium-sized exporters.
The MD-DC DEC consists of international business leaders from Maryland and Washington, D.C. As such, it works closely with the U.S. Commercial Service in Baltimore, the export promotion arm of the U.S. Department of Commerce.