When Indianapolis-based Word Systems Inc. first began selling its products in Zambia in 2015, the company saw opportunities for growth — and a need for export assistance. Since 1977, the company has provided mission critical recording solutions for law enforcement and private sector interviews. In 2017, the company took advantage of a GoGlobal Grant, presented by the Indy Chamber and JPMorgan Chase – and – the Export Indiana Fellowship, a partnership between the Indiana Small Business Development Center (ISBDC), Purdue University Krannert School of Management, and the International Center. Both programs have enabled Word Systems Inc. to expand in new and existing markets in Australia, Canada, Vietnam and Thailand.
The Export Indiana Fellowship Program, which is now welcoming applications for its summer 2019 session, offers Hoosier firms professional export guidance, management training, and research to create an executable Export Development Plan. The program runs three months and equips companies with a strategic approach to best position their product or service in the global marketplace. Companies can either elect to have a staff member complete the program or hire a Purdue MBA fellow to assist in the export development process.
“The program helped us focus on the best export strategies and untangle the red tape of exporting,” notes Ryan Vogt, Director of Business Development for Word Systems. “Without funds from our GoGlobal Grant, and support from ISBDC, Purdue, and the International Center, we might still be lost in the shuffle. Instead, we’re moving forward with exporting.”
Since completing the program, Word Systems Inc. has grown its overseas sales in Australia and Thailand, with healthy business activity developing with both the Canadian and Vietnamese governments. In addition, the company has sold and installed a country-wide program in Zambia, in collaboration with its international partner, Planson International. More programming interest has been projected for 2020 and counting, as part of Word Systems Inc’s growth initiative.
“Word Systems’ participation in the GoGlobal Grant and Export Indiana Fellowship programs is a great example of how the Indy Chamber is working with local partners to connect Hoosier firms with a continuum of export support,” noted Jennifer Pearl, Director of International Programs for the Indy Partnership, a business unit of the Indy Chamber. “We are continuing to grow our international business resources to help more companies like Word Systems.”
“Hoosier entrepreneurs and small businesses are increasingly seeking new ways to sell their products or services in international markets,” said Aaron Vigil-Martinez, vice president of Small Business and Entrepreneurship at the Indiana Economic Development Corporation. “Through the Export Indiana Fellowship, Indiana SBDC advisers help small business owners identify, enter and compete in high-growth markets around the world, developing export plans aimed at driving sales growth and positioning their business in the global marketplace
Companies can apply for the 2019 Export Indiana Fellowship Program here. March 1, 2019 is the deadline to apply.