San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer and World Trade Center San Diego have jointly announced that Avacen Medical has been selected for the MetroConnect Program, a flagship initiative seeking to help local companies accelerate their global growth.
Avacen designs noninvasive, drug-free alternatives for the palliative management of pain associated with chronic and acute conditions, including the temporary relief of minor muscle and joint pain and stiffness associated with diseases like fibromyalgia, arthritis, or Lyme disease.
This year, 73 companies applied for the MetroConnect Program. Of those, 15 companies were selected based on criteria including interest in new markets, interest in targeted metro markets, estimated impact of funds, or current international traction.
Avacen CEO Thomas Muehlbauer said in a press release the company was pleased about the grant, “but even more enthusiastic about having direct access to the high value resources of the World Trade Center.”
Muehlbauer said Avacen’s FDA-cleared Class 2 medical device, the Avacen 100, is designed to address the drug-free treatment of chronic pain.
“With a total available market of 500 million homes worldwide and the intense international fight against opioid addiction, the timing of this award for our company couldn’t be better,” he said.
As a selected participant, J.P. Morgan Chase awarded Avacen with a $10,000 grant to help with international expansion strategies. Avacen will have access to a dedicated trade and investment manager at the World Trade Center San Diego and can get professional guidance on export compliance, financing, and fundraising, as well as global marketing and other relevant business advice.
Avacen also will be considered for the MetroConnect Grand Prize Pitchfest in November 2016. This is an opportunity to receive an additional $35,000.
Nikia Clarke, executive director of the World Trade Center San Diego, applauded Avacen for taking the next step in going global. “The MetroConnect Program is essentially a business accelerator program for globally-minded companies. The funding and guidance provided by their selection will help Avacen Medical explore new world markets, resulting in economic growth for San Diego,” she said.