Fifteen Utah companies participated in a recent trade mission to Toronto, Canada, which is the state’s third-largest export destination. Led by Gov. Gary Herbert, the trade mission focused on innovation.

Fifteen Utah companies participated in a recent trade mission to Toronto, Canada, which is the state’s third-largest export destination.

Led by Gov. Gary Herbert, the trade mission focused on innovation.

“Toronto, like Utah, places a large emphasis on innovation and entrepreneurialism,” said Derek B. Miller, president and chief executive officer 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, with the contacts designed to help the Utah companies 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.”

Participating were Affiliate Solar, Amplexo LLC, Beddy’s, Black Pine Sports, BlueShift Technologies, ColdSweep, Deseret Media Corp., the Economic Development Corporation of Utah (EDCUtah), Imagine Learning, Integrated Energy Cos., inWhatLanguage, Specialty Imaging, Spectra Symbol, Wells Fargo and Xtiri.

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 and is a strong supporter of the state. Lassonde donated $25 million in 2014 to the UofU 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 was 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.

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