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DEGC helps local businesses learn export strategies to grow globally

Jun 26, 2018

By Sandra Choi, Business Development Manager — FDI

Executives from seven companies graduated from ExporTech Detroit – a national export technical assistance program that helps manufacturers develop and implement an international export growth strategy. ExporTech Detroit is one component of Built in Detroit, DEGC’s initiative to support local business expansion into global markets to create, retain and attract quality jobs for Detroiters. Built in Detroit reflects DEGC’s commitment to introducing innovative programming to support Detroit companies throughout their entire lifecycle, from start-up to local growth and now, international expansion.

The following businesses successfully completed ExporTech Detroit:

  1. Kirlin Lighting, specialty lighting manufacturer
  2. Sentinl, fingerprint gun lock manufacturer
  3. Vaughan Industries, car wash components manufacturer
  4. Srinergy, solar energy systems designer
  5. DG Technologies, vehicle diagnostic products manufacturer
  6. Flash Bainite, lightweight steel manufacturer
  7. Sterling Oil, petroleum products for manufacturing

DEGC is proud of its first class of graduates, and looks forward to how these businesses will implement what they’ve learned in this program. Detroit and its ExporTech program partners are invested in the export growth of local businesses because their global success contributes to sustainable regional economic growth here at home. Moreover, high-quality goods exported throughout the world help bring Detroit to the international forefront, drawing attention to the city, its manufacturing excellence and growing global economy.

“These graduates help power the engine of Michigan’s economic growth, adding new jobs and revenue from export sales,” said Eve Lerman, senior international trade specialist, U.S. Department of Commerce, U.S. Commercial Service. “We look forward to working with each of the graduates to execute the strategic plans they’ve developed and leveraging our network of offices in U.S. Embassies and Consulates around the world to their benefit.”

As part of the program, executives received access and exposure to trade related grants and resources, such as the Small Business Administration’s STEP Grants and the U.S. Commercial Service’s Gold Key Matching Service. Additionally, graduates will become part of the National Institute of Standards and Technology ExporTech Program network, an active group of American manufacturing exporters.

Businesses participating in the program, a number of them family-owned multigenerational manufacturing firms, represent a variety of industries from firearm safety to sustainable energy design. Many have served as pillars of Detroit’s business community for decades, and are now looking to expand throughout the world, from Singapore to Belgium and beyond.

DEGC partnered with a variety of organizations to assist participants with international market research and best practices to develop their global sales strategies. Recruiting for the second ExporTech Detroit program will begin in the fall of 2018.

“ExporTech provides an excellent opportunity for companies to sharpen their strategic export plans under the guidance of seasoned experts in various fields,” said David Newhouse, international trade development manager, Michigan Economic Development Corporation. “Ultimately, export assistance programs like ExporTech lead to heightened awareness and ability to increase export sales, which in turn results in the need for additional Michigan-based employees.”

DEGC thanks its ExporTech partners for making the program a success;

  • U.S. Commercial Service
  • Michigan Economic Development Corporation
  • Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center
  • Saginaw Valley State University

For more information on Built in Detroit, visit

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