Team Washington Returns to GSMA Mobile World Congress
Department of Commerce organizes 16-company delegation to world’s premier mobile telecom trade show in Barcelona, Spain
Washington State’s innovative mobile technology solutions are showing up in force to collaborate and compete on the world stage once again. Team Washington is returning for a third consecutive year to the GSMA Mobile World Congress in Barcelona February 24 to 27, 2014 with 16 companies in a group pavilion. This is the preeminent international trade show and conference for the mobile telecom industry featuring the full range of hardware, software and digital media – everything mobile including cars.
Over four days, more than 70,000 business people and 1,700 exhibiting companies will meet to discuss the future of the mobile industry, hold developer marathon events, and negotiate partnerships and contracts that will impact the future work and lifestyles of enterprises and consumers around the world.
Washington State’s team features a diverse range of companies large and small, some returning to exhibit for a second or third time as a group and others are newcomers and startups. Leading the exhibitors in presence are INRIX, Kymeta, UIEvolution and Orca Wave and the full team includes Apptentive, Buddy.com, Flowroute, General UI, Guppy Games|Media, MobileAppTracking by HasOffers, Hipcricket, nFluence Media, Security Innovations, RootMetrics and Touchbase.
Commerce works with European trade representatives to promote the group and organize business-to-business introductions that will lead to export sales. Last year, introductions for Washington companies included: Deutsche Telekom AG, France Telecom LIBON, Telefonica Digital, PSA Peugeot Citroen, Fiat, Audi AG, Volkswagen, General Motors, Panasonic and British Petroleum.
Sales results for the 2012 group add up to over $2.8 million in revenues and 2013 results are still coming in. Many contracts start small with pilot projects of $20,000 to $50,000 leading to full scale results over the following 18 to 24 months that can sustain and grow a small company.
Commerce provided export vouchers through the Small Business Administration’s State Trade Export Promotion (STEP) program that helped to launch the first two delegations. And the assistance of Commerce has been helpful to members of this year’s delegation.
“We always wanted to go to Mobile World Congress, but the scale of the show and the logistics proved to be challenging,” said Alex Choe, CEO of Guppy Games|Media . “The Washington State Department of Commerce eased the burden so we could focus on our core business development.”
Apptentive, a mobile app company, also expects to realize benefits from their participation.
“Being a member of the Washington delegation to MWC has provided us with an amazing opportunity to create business opportunities abroad and further our reach in the mobile industry,” said Red Russak, business developer for Apptentive.
The Department of Commerce would like to see more businesses take advantage of this kind of opportunity.
“We are eager to grow the size of the Washington pavilion so more companies can participate and renewal of the STEP program is crucial to that effort,” said Wistar Kay, Business Development Manager in Commerce’s International Trade group. There is support in Congress, but funding for year three of the program is only about 25 percent that of years one and two, Kay said.
“Last year, over 90 percent of our revenue was directly attributable to our participation in Mobile World Congress, which we attended in part due to the export voucher,” said Dave McLauchlan, CEO and Co-founder of Buddy.com and a veteran of the mobile app scene. “We hired seven full-time employees and another three contractors, and we expect to double our team size on the back of this year’s business from the event. We are both grateful recipients of voucher funds, and overwhelmingly supportive of the program.”
A hub of innovation and global incubator for ingenious software and mobile technology development, Washington State’s Information and Communication Technology sector contributes over $25 Billion in revenues and $2.6 Billion in mobile app development plus over 267,500 jobs to the state economy.