State export activation program accepts Reston company into March 2008 class
RICHMOND - The Virginia Economic Development Partnership (VEDP) Division of International Trade today announced that Gatekeeper of Reston was accepted into the March 2008 class of the Accessing International Markets (AIM) program. The year-long export development program helps Virginia companies pursue new business opportunities overseas. The March 2008 class will target countries in the Americas, Europe and Asia.
Gatekeeper is in the vehicle identification and bomb detection business. The company is actively involved in combating global terror through its development and deployment of systems that deny terrorists the ability to use their weapon of choice, the Vehicle Borne Improvised Explosive Device (VBIED). Gatekeeper's technology is designed to automatically detect vehicle bombs and/or changes to a vehicle's undercarriage along with the authentication of each vehicle's identity.
“Two years ago the Virginia Economic Development Partnership played a major part in getting Gatekeeper into the international markets,” said Gatekeeper CEO Chris Millar. “We intend to use the strength and foresight of the Virginia government to further assist Gatekeeper grow the level of technology we export annually to the Middle East, Europe and Russia. We see the acceptance of Gatekeeper into the AIM program as a way for Gatekeeper to further develop and diversify our reach into foreign markets. The access to capital funding, research resources and assistance to hone our international skills are all benefits that we look forward to from the AIM program.”
AIM jump-starts exports by encouraging a proactive, systematic approach to exporting in order to minimize risks and maximize returns. Participants learn the basics of export while they simultaneously explore sales in a new market overseas. Companies do not need prior export experience, but must agree to visit their target export market prior to graduation, and must attend quarterly seminars covering the basic steps of exporting.
“To support their efforts, AIM connects participants to the tools and resources needed for successful export sales,” said Elizabeth Morgan-Brown, AIM Program Manager. “VEDP looks forward to supporting Gatekeeper as they develop and implement their international business strategy.”
Participants have access to $5,000 that will be refunded to offset approved export-related expenses. They also receive pro-bono counseling from six private-sector export specialists including an attorney, a Web designer, a banker, a translator, a freight forwarder and a U.S. export compliance specialist.
AIM draws upon public and private-sector resources to help participants develop and implement a custom Market Access Plan (MAP) for their target market that incorporates the 10 basic steps of export. The AIM “MAP” approach can be replicated to target new markets in the future. Participants are also encouraged to initiate projects to support their overall exports, such as conducting a compliance audit, translating marketing materials, updating Web sites or purchasing export software.
Based on a competitive quarterly application process, 20 companies will be accepted into the AIM program each year.
To learn more about the AIM program visit www.ExportVirginia.org
The Virginia Economic Development Partnership, a marketing organization, was created by the Virginia General Assembly in 1995 to encourage, stimulate, and support the development and expansion of the economy of the Commonwealth. The Partnership is a state authority, which is governed by a 21-member Board of Directors appointed by the Governor and the Virginia General Assembly. To accomplish its objectives of promoting economic expansion within the Commonwealth, the Partnership focuses its efforts on business recruitment, expansion and international trade. VEDP has offices in Virginia, Belgium, Hong Kong, Mexico, Brazil, Korea and Japan.