ATLANTA, Aug. 25, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The five finalists for the 2016 Atlanta Metro Export Challenge were announced today as part of the JPMorgan Chase-powered grant program designed to help small and medium-sized businesses begin or expand their exporting programs. Narrowed down from a pool of 14 semifinalists, these five companies will be part of a public voting phase, which began on Aug. 22 and ends on Sept. 14. The top three finalists to emerge will move on to a final judging phase and compete to receive a combined $35,000 in additional grants to further increase their export strategies.
Part of an initial group of 38 companies which had each received a $5000 reimbursement grant in January, the five finalists were chosen by a panel of judges comprised of executives from export assistance agencies and local exporting companies after participating in a "Shark Tank" style semifinals competition. To become one of the top five, each semifinalist presented on how they had leveraged the initial grant to increase their exports. They also showcased their exportable product or service and shared a business plan detailing how they will use the additional grant funds. Through a combination of the judges' decisions and a public voting phase, the top three contenders will receive $20,000 (1st Place), $10,000 (2nd Place) and $5,000 (3rd Place).
"Despite the pressure of presenting in front of our panel of judges, the pool of 14 semi-finalists truly distinguished themselves," said Jorge Fernandez, vice president of global commerce at Metro Atlanta Chamber (MAC). "While all of these companies are producing innovative products and services that will undoubtedly help drive business growth by increasing international sales and growing our metro Atlanta exports, five of these companies were exceptional."
The five finalists selected by the judging panel include:
AdEdge Water Technologies – AdEdge Water Technologies specializes in everything from design, development, fabrication, and supply of water treatment solutions. AdEdge recently expanded into Gwinnett County, and with the additional grant money, the company will continue to work in places such as India, providing American technologies at local prices.
Aventure Aviation – Aventure Aviation is a global and leading aftermarket aviation parts supplier. As part of their export plan, Aventure Aviation intends to expand their business and brand into China and Ireland.
DDM Systems – Founded in 2012 in the labs of Georgia Tech, DDM specializes in 3D printing materials used to make jet engines. The startup will use the additional grant money to increase awareness of its patented technology and expand into European markets.
Pure Air Filtration – Pure Air Filtration is a manufacturer based in Norcross, specializing in filtration technologies and services that protect sensitive electronics for companies, purify air at sewage plants, and capture toxic gases, including urban exhaust fumes. With the additional grant money, it hopes to increase its European brand awareness.
United Sciences – United Sciences is a manufacturer based in Atlanta providing precision 3D scanning technologies and services. They have started a program that allows customers to have their ears scanned and fitted with unique earbuds. With the additional grant money, United Sciences will create more engagement with overseas customers.
"To further our region's economic growth, it's important that we help local companies of all sizes learn to compete globally. We are proud to support the MEP Challenge, which showcases innovative businesses and supports them in their quests to grow internationally," said David Balos, head of commercial banking for Chase in Atlanta and market leader for JPMorgan Chase locally."
This competition is one initiative being used to increase global trade in the region and the state, which is critical for spurring economic growth. The Atlanta MEP is being implemented by the Metro Atlanta Chamber, the Georgia Department of Economic Development and the City of Atlanta, working in partnership with several other regional and local economic development agencies as well as public and private organizations. The MEP is a product 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.
To cast a vote for one of these progressive companies, visit atlantaexportportal.com.
About the Metro Atlanta Chamber
The Metro Atlanta Chamber (MAC) serves as a catalyst for a more prosperous and vibrant region. To advance economic growth and improve metro Atlanta's quality of place, MAC is focused on starting, growing and recruiting companies to the 29-county metro Atlanta region. The Chamber is also focused on growing the region's innovation economy by promoting and strengthening connections to drive Atlanta's innovation and entrepreneurial culture. MAC is committed to being an active voice for the business community, serving as an advocate for a competitive business climate and telling Atlanta's story. For more information, visit www.metroatlantachamber.com.
SOURCE The Metro Atlanta Chamber