Making the Most of SelectUSA with Maria Onorato and Claire Gordon, California GO-BIZ

Bill Kenney: Welcome to the next episode of Belly2Belly! Today, we’re joined by Maria Onorato and Claire Gordon from California’s GO-BIZ organization to discuss SelectUSA preparation. The goal is to help you make the most of SelectUSA 2024. Welcome, ladies. It’s wonderful to have you here.

California GO-BIZ: Thank you, Bill. We’re thrilled to be here.

Making the Most of SelectUSA

About California GO-Biz

Bill Kenney: Our conversation aims to assist companies preparing for SelectUSA by providing insights into available resources. Maria, could you start by giving our audience an overview of what California GO-BIZ does to support companies entering the US, especially California?

California GO-BIZ: Certainly, Bill. GO-BIZ, the California Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development, is the state’s lead agency for job growth, economic development, and business assistance efforts. Our international affairs and trade team, which includes Claire and myself, works directly with businesses worldwide to facilitate their expansion into California. We offer services such as incentive navigation, site selection assistance, and permitting support. Additionally, we connect businesses with local and state partners, provide access to resources, and offer guidance in strategic industries.

Bill Kenney: Impressive range of services, Maria. Claire, would you like to add anything?

California GO-BIZ: Absolutely, Bill. In addition to our core services, we provide resources tailored for international businesses, such as an international investor starter packet, success stories highlighting businesses that chose California, an incentive guide, and information on incubators and accelerators. We strive to ensure that businesses have the support and guidance they need to navigate the complexities of entering the California market.

California GO-Biz

Why SelectUSA

Bill Kenney: That’s invaluable support for businesses looking to establish a presence in California. Now, turning to SelectUSA, why does California GO-BIZ participate in this event, and what benefits do you see in attending?

California GO-BIZ: SelectUSA is a crucial event for us on multiple fronts. Firstly, it’s an opportunity for us to showcase California’s business-friendly environment and diverse opportunities to a global audience. Secondly, it allows us to engage with international businesses directly and provide them with insights into the resources and support available in California. Finally, it facilitates networking with other states and local communities, fostering collaboration and sharing best practices.

Making the Most of SelectUSA

Bill Kenney: Indeed, SelectUSA serves as a platform to promote investment opportunities and foster collaboration among states and businesses. For companies attending SelectUSA for the first time, what tips or recommendations do you have to help them make the most of the event?

California GO-BIZ: One key tip is to leverage California’s diverse regions by exploring various opportunities across the state. We provide tools like the Zoom prospector mapping tool to help businesses identify industry clusters, workforce data, and incentives in different regions. Additionally, scheduling meetings with our delegation through the networking app in advance can ensure meaningful connections. Attending California’s spin-off events before and after SelectUSA is also beneficial for engaging with local partners and gaining insights into specific regions.

Bill Kenney: Excellent advice, Maria and Claire. Leveraging California’s diversity and utilizing available resources can enhance the experience and outcomes for companies attending SelectUSA. Thank you both for sharing your insights today, and I look forward to seeing you at SelectUSA in June.

California GO-BIZ: Thank you, Bill. We’re excited for the event and eager to support businesses interested in exploring opportunities in California.

Bill Kenney: Likewise, looking forward to it. Thank you again, and see you soon!

Summary Points:

  1. California GO-BIZ, the state’s lead agency for business and economic development, offers a range of services to support companies entering the US market, including incentive navigation, site selection assistance, permitting support, and connections with local and state partners.
  2. Participation in SelectUSA allows California GO-BIZ to showcase the state’s business-friendly environment, engage with international businesses, and network with other states and local communities to foster collaboration and share best practices.
  3. For companies attending SelectUSA for the first time, it’s essential to leverage California’s diverse regions, utilize available resources such as mapping tools, and schedule meetings with the California delegation in advance. Attending California’s spin-off events before and after SelectUSA can also provide valuable insights and networking opportunities.

About MEET

MEET helps international B2B & B2G companies gain traction and scale in the U.S. through trade shows, events, and strategic connections. Contact Bill Kenney for a no-obligation conversation: or +1 (860) 573-4821.

Meeting ended after 00:10:41 👋

Podcast Recording with Maria and Claire (2024-03-05 15:05 GMT-5) – Transcript


Bill Kenney, International GO-BIZ


This editable transcript was computer-generated and might contain errors.

Watch the conversation here

Read “Ready for SelectUSA? Crush this 12-Step Checklist to Make Sure


SelectUSA Summit, 23-26 June 2024, Washington, DC


Maria Onorato,

Claire Gordon,

California GO-BIZ:


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Bill Kenney,


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