International Trade / MN Governor Trade Mission



One of my product development initiatives at the university was around creating services for supporting international B2B joint ventures and strategic alliances.   We have been doing direct 1:1 education and consulting to corporations directly to support their international business development objectives.    These would be long running engagements providing education, coaching, international networking, building business models,  etc, etc.    It was during this time period that the Governors Trade Mission to Mexico was underway and I was asked to attended. This mission would be from August 9 – 14th and be visiting Mexico City and Guadalajara with multiple meetings in each location.   We also meet with many of the planners and share our current activities and serves to re-imagine what might be possible during a trade mission and how to support the mission directly and the ongoing business afterwards.

We separated the initiative into four distinct phases based on a time horizon.   The first three phases where trade mission centric focusing on the pre, during, and post mission activities.   The four phase would be really be offering these durable business services to the public in an ongoing model to build and continue the international relationships and accelerate the ongoing exchange of business between the regions.
(Image: Activities by time phase)
Pre-Mission Activities
  1. Pre-Mission Webinars:  Drive Awareness & Recruitment (MN/MX) B2B in Mexico Briefing:
  2. Event for Attendees to drive deeper into doing business and exporting to Mexico (MN) Attendee
  3. Profiles:  UMN Created profiles of attendees for pre-mission distribution. (MN/MX)
  4. Joint Fund Raising:  Explore Mission sponsors,  attendees, and interested firms. (MN/MX?)
Trade-Mission Activities
  1. UMN channels will publish a TBD: “International Business with Mexico” Article and highlight the trade mission. (MN)
  2. Host a TBD: “International Business with Minnesota” (MX)
  3. Host B2B Business Development Session (MX)
  4. Provide B2B Assessments (MX)
  5. Host Academic Networking Event in Mexico(MX)
Post-Mission Activities
  1. Joint Press Release (MN/MX)
  2. Publish Activity Report (MN/MX)
  3. On Going Joint Venture Services (MN/MX)
On-going Activiites
  1. Letter from Governor (MX)
  2. UMN Business in Mexico Article (MN)
  3. Host Int. Biz in MN / Emersion Event (MN)
  4. B2B Networking Sessions (MN/MX)
  5. International MN/MX B2B Report (MN/MX)
  6. Annual International Report (MN/MX)
  7. Joint Press Release (MN/MX)
( Image services )
The images gives a few examples of services based on timeframes.   Given there is a large number of services available, I would summarize the services portfolio by several major categories that could be use to corporations, academic and government institutions on both sides of an international relationship.
  • Networking: This category of services represents the development and maintenance of two way relationships between the regions.   This is intended to be a proactive effort to have developed networks prior to the need to accelerate the speed at which connections can be made.   This effort also builds various advisory boards in advance to help coach and mentor parties through the process of international opportunities.
  • Marketing:  Regional joint marketing is also a key set of activities to help both regions keep abreast of events,  business partnerships, market trends, etc.    Basic open communication and awareness.
  • Market Profiles:  Data collection on industries, companies, institutions, market trends, political trends, economic trends, etc.
  • Events:  These are planned and reoccurring trade events.   Includes registration and facilitated sessions.
  • Business:  These are deeper services around Strategic Alliances and Joint ventures.   Evaluating partnerships,  strategic plans,  cultural training,  operations models,  communication, investment, etc.
  • Assessments: This is the data and metrics underpinnings of all the other services.   It is measuring all the activity and deals being done to build a base of metrics around time, cost, practices required to do this type of business between the respective regions and the overall impact that portfolio of business has created.
These international services could be used directly to support the trade mission or for any corporation in general looking to build international business opportunities.   The long term goal would for these processes and services to be running on going for all regional business to plug into as they needed to accelerate their international business objectives.    It would also keep the relationships active between Minnesota and other key regions around the globe,  again speeding the ability to network interested businesses in both directions.