When you quite literally have a world of choices, it’s helpful to narrow things down. That’s exactly why NDTO member Weather Modification International recently sought out the US Commercial Service – North Dakota (CS North Dakota) office’s RAISE research program. The RAISE program is able to complete a worldwide scan of potential markets and determine the top countries on which a company should focus their exporting efforts. So far, Weather Modification International’s RAISE research project results are impressive and the cost quite low, especially considering that they used an NDTO grant program to support it.
Weather Modification International (WMI) is a Fargo-based atmospheric research and cloud seeding company. They’re long-time exporters but are always seeking new frontiers in terms of business opportunities.
Alexandre Cyusa, who is part of the business development team at WMI, began the project by working with CS North Dakota office’s Heather Ranck and her team of export assistants. WMI supplied the research team with keywords and other criteria, and the team produced a worldwide country matrix that identified the best potential markets.
“RAISE was really helpful because there’s an ocean of possibilities,” said Cyusa. “But the research helped us narrow it down to targeted, specific countries.”
One of the target countries was Brazil, a country that WMI has long been interested in, but has proven difficult to penetrate.
With Brazil in focus, the RAISE research team came up with lists of local companies that may be potential buyers or potential partners in-country.
WMI selected five companies and the CS Brazil office then reached out to those companies to gauge their interest level. So far, WMI has begun relationships with several of those local companies and is positive they’ll soon have a partner in Brazil.
WMI was also able to support their research efforts by using NDTO’s State Trade Expansion Program (STEP) to reimburse up to 75% of the costs. STEP is open to all North Dakota small businesses and is currently accepting applications for reimbursement of RAISE project fees.
“We used RAISE to really guide our approach and keep a local lens on business development. Heather’s team is stellar, they made our experience stress-free and we felt included in the process,” said Cyusa. “Now in Brazil, we’ve got a nice momentum.”
To get started with RAISE, please click here. For more information on STEP and to apply for reimbursement for RAISE program research, please visit www.ndto.com. To learn more about Weather Modification International, please visit http://www.weathermodification.com/.