Detroit businesses graduate from DEGC’s global export program

written by: Roz Edward

Owners of seven companies became graduates of the first-ever ExporTech program held in the city of Detroit on Friday, March 30.  Launched this year by the Detroit Economic Growth Corporation (DEGC) for the first time in Detroit, ExporTech is a national export technical assistance program that helps manufacturers develop and implement an international export growth strategy.

“We’re proud to announce our graduating ExporTech class today, and look forward to how these businesses will implement what they’ve learned in this program,” said Sandra Choi, senior business development manager, DEGC. “Detroit and our program partners are invested in the export growth of our local businesses because we understand that their global success contributes to sustainable regional economic growth here at home.”

ExporTech Detroit is offered through Built in Detroit, the Detroit Economic Growth Corporation’s program 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 first class of Detroit ExporTech graduates includes:

  1. The Kirlin Group 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

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 Service. Additionally, graduates will become part of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) ExporTech Program network, an active network of American manufacturers that are actively selling internationally.

“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.”

The DEGC partnered with the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, the U.S. Commercial Service, Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center and Saginaw Valley State University to assist participants with international market research, best practices regarding international exports and to provide support to develop their international sales strategies. This network of organizations, invested in the export success of local industry, will begin recruiting for a second ExporTech Detroit program 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,” 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.”

For more information on Built in Detroit, visit


About the Detroit Economic Growth Corporation (DEGC)

Detroit Economic Growth Corporation (DEGC) is a non-profit organization that serves as the lead implementing agency for business retention, attraction and economic development initiatives in Detroit. DEGC is led by a board comprised of business, civic, labor and community leaders. Its staff provides services for key public authorities that offer tax credits and other forms of financing for projects that bring new jobs or economic activity to the city. DEGC also manages important initiatives to support small businesses, such as Motor City Match and Motor City Re-Store, and offers programs for existing businesses to enter into the global market, like Built in Detroit.