On Friday, June 19, 2020, World Trade Center (WTC) San Diego, with San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer, Procopio, and JPMorgan Chase & Co., unveiled LunaPBC as one of the 15 companies selected to participate in MetroConnect V, the fifth iteration of WTC San Diego’s comprehensive international sales accelerator program designed to help local companies jump-start and scale their global growth.
“The LunaDNA platform solves for geographic and inclusiveness barriers that have long plagued cross-border and fully representative data flows by working directly with people, versus institutions, to receive share their health their data for research,” said Dawn Barry, LunaPBC’s president and co-founder. “Disease knows no borders, and our platform doesn’t either. By enabling virtual, dynamic research communities that are controlled by the individuals that share their data, we make it easier for patients and their families to join studies right where they are and share valuable insights from their lived experiences. We’re delighted to access MetroConnect’s resources and experience to amplify Luna’s health equity objectives internationally plans.”
Now in its fifth year, MetroConnect continues to cultivate a pipeline of export-ready firms in San Diego by equipping small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) with the necessary resources to grow their international sales. Program participants receive a $5,000 grant, a one-year subscription to premium translation software (courtesy of program sponsor SYSTRAN), discounts on international travel, executive workshops on export-related topics, and access to a global mentor and service provider network. In the program’s four-year history, the 65 graduate companies collectively generated a net increase of $85 million in international sales. These companies also hired 269 San Diego employees during their tenure in the program.
“We applaud LunaPBC for taking the next step in going global,” said Nikia Clarke, executive director of World Trade Center San Diego. “Amidst a global shutdown caused by COVID-19, ongoing trade negotiations with key trading partners, and rapid changes to global supply chains, it is more important now than ever to give local SMEs an edge in the global marketplace by equipping them with valuable resources.”
The MetroConnect program is highly competitive, with just 15 San Diego companies 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 Qualcomm Ventures, Connect, Biocom, the U.S. Commercial Service, CMTC, Viasat, Mitsubishi Electric, Procopio, San Diego State University, Tech San Diego, UC San Diego, San Diego Regional EDC, WTC San Diego, and last year’s grand prize champion, Eddy Pump Corporation. LunaPBC joins a cohort of 14 other companies representing a unique cross-section of San Diego’s industries, from genomics to manufacturing to craft brewing – each with plans to take San Diego innovation global.
The companies in this cohort will also have the opportunity to participate in the program’s final competition, the MetroConnect Grand Prize PitchFest, which will grant an additional $25,000 to help one company further advance its international efforts. MetroConnect is co-underwritten by JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Procopio, with additional support provided by American Airlines, British Airways, City of San Diego, Japan Airlines, Japan External Trade Organization, Mitsubishi Electric, Qualcomm, RSM, San Diego and Imperial SBDC Network, SYSTRAN, Takeda Pharmaceuticals, Taylor Guitars, United Kingdom Government Office, YCP Solidance and more.
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 cultivating a pipeline of export-ready firms, attracting and retaining foreign investment and increasing San Diego’s global profile abroad. Learn more at sandiegobusiness.org/wtcsd.