Gov. Gary R. Herbert led a delegation of 15 Utah companies on a trade mission to Toronto, Canada. The trade mission to Utah’s third-largest export destination focused on innovation.
“Toronto, like Utah, places a large emphasis on innovation and entrepreneurialism,” said Derek B. Miller, president and CEO of World Trade Center Utah (WTC Utah). “The trade mission delegation made important connections that we expect will lead to future collaboration between the Canadian tech sector and Utah’s own Silicon Slopes. This will further strengthen our valued trade relationship with Canada.”
Six of the private companies that attended the trade mission participated in Gold Key business matchups facilitated by the U.S. Commercial Service. This connected Utah companies with potential Canadian clients and partners. The contacts made during the trade mission will help these Utah companies to grow in the Canadian market.
“Though the locations for trade missions vary, the purpose remains constant: provide meaningful opportunities for Utah companies,” said Val Hale, executive director of the Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED). “Companies that have participated in these trade missions continue to make great strides in the global economy.”
A highlight of the trade mission was the delegation’s visit to York University’s Lassonde School of Engineering, where benefactor Pierre Lassonde welcomed the group. A Canadian businessman and philanthropist, Lassonde received his graduate degree from the University of Utah (U of U) and is a strong supporter of the state. Lassonde donated $25 million in 2014 to the U of U for the creation of the Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute.
Delegates had the opportunity to learn about the school’s research, network with faculty, and find opportunities for collaboration with industry-specific companies brought in by the university.
On the final day of the trade mission, the delegation traveled to Waterloo, a major tech hub and part of Canada’s Technology Triangle. The delegation visited Communitech, a large tech incubator, and Desire2Learn, an education tech company. Desire2Learn’s software has a large presence within the Utah education space. The company brings tech into classrooms through educational learning software.
The trade mission, supported by GOED, WTC Utah, the Canadian Consulate in Denver, Wells Fargo, U.S. Commercial Service, U.S. Small Business Administration, and the Office of Energy Development, was comprised of private and public organizations from various sectors, including energy and technology.
Businesses that participated in the Utah Trade Mission to Canada: