State College business Xact Metal is expanding its distribution to South Korea, thanks to its partnership with SEDA-Council of Governments (SEDA-COG) and PA’s Authorized Trade Representatives in South Korea. Xact Metal is a developer and manufacturer of metal 3D printers.
After visiting South Korea as part of Pennsylvania’s High-Tech Trade Mission in February, Xact Metal signed a distribution agreement with Korean firm, YES01. YES01 will market, sell, and support Xact Metal’s products in Korea.
This success builds on Xact Metal’s trip to Europe last year, partly funded by a grant SEDA-COG secured, where the company signed 10 European distributors covering 80% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of Europe, said Dave Jankowski, Xact Metal’s commercial operations leader.
“After harnessing the tremendous power of SEDA-COG to help us succeed in our European distribution strategy last year, we wanted to leverage their expertise and partnership to help us execute our Asian distribution strategy this year,” Jankowski said.
Noelle Long, director of SEDA-COG’s Export Development Program, coordinates the annual Bringing the World to Central PA event where businesses can learn how to sell goods and services in over 50 international markets. Jankowski met South Korea trade representatives Ken Yang and Min Lee last September at this event.
“Bringing the World to Central PA served as an excellent entryway for Xact Metal to discuss their Asian market opportunities with our trade representatives,” Long said.
After the event, Long introduced Jankowski to those coordinating the trade mission to Korea.
Jankowski visited Seoul, South Korea, right before the COVID-19 crisis escalated – and the assistance and coordination the trade representatives provided made the trip efficient and as safe as possible.
“SEDA-COG and the trade representatives gave me the support I needed to make effective use of my time in South Korea and accomplish in two days what would’ve taken a week to accomplish on my own,” he said. “The timing was very good; I can’t say enough about the trade reps in South Korea – they were dynamite,” Jankowski said.
Trade representatives Yang and Lee provided an analysis of the market for additive manufacturing, gave a list of potential companies for Jankowski to visit, coordinated the trip, advised on hotel bookings, provided translators, and more. Because of the start of COVID-19, Lee also prepared Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for him such as masks and hand sanitizers, along with a private vehicle to avoid public transportation.
“For small companies such as Xact Metal, having that support is tremendous – and at a very reasonable cost to attend the trade mission,” Jankowski said.
Lee said this success is a homerun.
“It was a meaningful experience for us to see how successful this trip was for Xact Metal, and to set the stage for success, especially in such a difficult economic year with the pandemic,” Lee said.
Long said these successes are a testimony of the power of partnerships.
“Businesses often don’t realize the opportunities they can leverage with our partnerships,” Long said. “We bridge the gap for businesses through our expertise, network of global connections, and funding opportunities.”
While the pandemic has slowed business, Jankowski said they should start getting orders out to Korea within six months. Next year, Xact Metal hopes to expand its distribution network to Japan, China, Australia, and New Zealand.
Located at 200 Innovation Boulevard, Suite 257, Xact Metal develops and manufactures high-performance powder bed 3D printers at affordable prices. For more information about Xact Metal, visit www.xactmetal.com.
SEDA-COG’s Export Development team serves the businesses and communities of central Pennsylvania by encouraging and facilitating economic development through growth in world trade. It is funded by the state Department of Community & Economic Development’s Office of International Business Development and Partnerships for Regional Economic Performance. For more information about SEDA-COG’s Export Development Program, contact Noelle Long at email@example.com or 570-524-4491.