SelectUSA 2022 Preparation: A Visit with John Bourdeaux, AdvanceCT

Link to podcast found HERE

Transcript to podcast found below:

Bill : Hi and welcome to the belly to belly podcast and today our focus is the preparation for select USA 2022 And we’re joined by are with John Bordeaux from advanced CT. Hey, welcome John.

John : Thank you so much. I’m glad to be here with you.

Bill : Fantastic so, you know AdvanceCT does so, so much amazing work and our audience are all international companies that are there either have already created a presence in the US and are looking to expand that or are companies that are looking to enter the US and obviously that’s a lot of the work you all do to help those companies come into Connecticut. Could you take just a couple minutes and tell us about advanced CT and the service you provide for companies that are looking to enter Connecticut?

John : Sure. AdvanceCT is a private organization. We’re a nonprofit we partner with the state of Connecticut to help companies that are interested in investing in the state of Connecticut have an easier job of doing. So we’re facilitating inward investment whether that’s coming from another state or particularly from overseas or foreign direct investment. We help companies in the state of Connecticut as well are looking to expand here. So once companies have come and made an investment, they also are we’re in relationship with them on a continual basis to help them figure out the best way to expand and grow here. And what we like to say is we offer a concierge level service. Every company has a unique need when they’re coming and making an investment here in the state of Connecticut. And we like to see exactly what those are and pair companies up with the resources that they need. Sometimes we have those resources we help with site selection. We help with helping folks navigate the permitting and the state of Connecticut’s different departments. We do all those things. And then we also are trying to help folks figure out even innocuous and small questions like hey, you know, what’s this town like? Or if I’m interested in, you know, building relationship with University of Connecticut or Yale, who should I be talking to? We facilitate all those conversations out of those relationships. And we’re helping those companies come here to do interesting things. Get engaged in our ecosystem. One of the great things about Connecticut is we’re a small state. So we’re about 3.6 million people, and we all know each other. And we want everyone in Connecticut wants everyone else to be successful. And so whereas in some in some jurisdictions at some places you’re sort of 6, 7, 8, 9 steps away from somebody here in Connecticut, you’re maybe one or two jumps away from talking to the person that you need to talk to you in order to get the help you need or the leverage that you need, or the relationship you need for your business to be successful. So our job is to help facilitate those those connections and understand what each business’s unique set of needs are, so that we can, as I said, provide that white glove service, and we’ve done everything from you’ll help people find the right site, to helping companies talk to the Department of Transportation to understand trucking tonnage on our highways and bridges, to helping folks figure out, you know, what the permitting is for a particular area of the state, introducing them to the mayors of towns, you name it, we’re here to do it. We’re here to help.

Bill : Sounds like an incredible amount of facilitation. Your team must be really good listeners to sort of diagnose what companies need and help make those connections

John : We do and what the one of the great things about our team in advance CT is that we’ve got a lot of subject area experts. So Advanced Manufacturing Technology, life sciences, renewable energy, offshore wind, and more. And so we have people in our organization who have extensive experience in those in those industries. So not only are we good listeners, but we also know the right questions to ask. We also understand what it’s like to be a life sciences company coming from overseas coming from Europe, for example, and setting up a shop here we understand a lot of the questions and can anticipate a lot of them because some of the people on our team have actually done that in their professional careers. So we’re able to provide those services in a way that I think is a uniquely help.

Bill : Cool. So let’s talk about Select USA itself for a minute and you know, some have called it the Super Bowl of US market entry or the World Cup of US market entry and you know, I guess why does advanced CTE participate? What is it about the event that’s particularly valuable for you?

John : Well, I’m a World Cup guy, as I know, most of the rest of the world is too so I’m gonna go with the World Cup of events. You’re basically what we see. A Select USA is it’s it’s the focal point. It’s a focal point gathering of everybody who cares about making investment and in the US, and that’s the companies. It is the government officials, its partners. It’s the people who care about sustainable economic growth and in Connecticut, we care very deeply about the success of our of our of our companies. And one of the things that we take great pride in is the fact that, you know, the companies that do come here and are working at that apex of the knowledge economy are succeeding in incredible ways. We know a lot of great ideas are happening all over the world. And we know that this sort of entry point this World Cup match, if you will, is the place to go to meet the person who has got a great idea who needs to be connected up with some folks here in Connecticut and an ecosystem that will help them grow and thrive. We want people to understand Connecticut, we get it. We’re a small state, as I said before, and sometimes people recognize us as a box between New York City and Boston and say I wonder what I have to do to get from New York City to Boston. What we like to say is you need to stop between New York City and Boston and see what’s going on here in Connecticut. We have an ecosystem here that is designed to help companies succeed. And so we come also to tell Connecticut story. We want people to know that foreign direct investment in Connecticut. We’re very serious about it. Our governor is very serious about it. Our industry is very serious about it. Our educational institutions are serious about it. We’re in a chord in one voice, asking for companies to come and make investment here we know that they’ll be successful. We go to Select USA to meet them. We go to facilitate those conversations. And as we were talking about before, listen, we want the companies that come here to know that we’ve heard them and that they’re going to be successful and building their business here. We want good long term job creators. And we’re a place where this knowledge economy whether you’re thinking about AI, advanced manufacturing, you know, this is where Pfizer’s Research Center is where they did in Connecticut where they did a tremendous amount of work on vaccine development. And you know, that’s if you’re thinking about Connecticut, and you’ve got a business that is working at that level, we want to talk to you. And we know that those companies go and the government officials who are helping those companies from other countries go to Select USA and we want to be present there and we want to tell our story, and we want to hear yours.

Bill : That’s great. And so one last question, and this is, you know, again, thank you the audience if some have already been to the US and they’ve kind of set up their shop and are looking to expand more and others this will be their first trip to the US. How would you suggest companies coming? Get the most out of Select USA and the opportunity to visit the US?

John : Well, obviously the first and most important thing to do is to stop at the Connecticut. I mean that is the key to success and select USA. If you don’t stop at the Connecticut booth and talk to us, we can not guarantee your success here. But all kidding aside, you know, we and you know, I know this from my experience and I’m sure that many folks have this experience too. Preparation is key. You know we’re not we’ll be happy to hand you a brochure and a business card. But we’d much rather be in a position to know that you’re coming and to be able to be prepared to have an extensive conversation. So my advice to anybody in this is to whether you stop the Connecticut with or not, though that’s the key to success. That you prepare and you think about who you’re going to be wanting to talk to and reach out to them and it adds, if you get meetings set up in advance. You know if you’ve got 70 or 75% of your time booked before you hit the ground in the US. I think that is the key for success. Yeah, I think that, you know, as you think about what companies think about and participants think about what their goals are and what they want to get out of this. You know, it’s important to also realize here United States is a big spot. It’s a very, very big place. And you know, there are a lot of differences between the regions of us and the states. And it’s something that we talk about a lot in the decision making process here in Connecticut because it gets very, very different. I’m originally from Georgia, and Georgia, I can tell you from great experience I love the state of Georgia. And I can tell you it’s a very different place than Connecticut and I also love the state of Connecticut. And where you know, Connecticut if you’re looking for a place that has you know, incredible quality of life. As we say see, to ski you want to put your toes in the ocean and you want to ski down a mountain. We can do all of that here. But I think you know, what we find in coming to a trade show like Select USA is if you’re ready to have that conversation, and you know what you want. So if you know that you want see to ski or you know that you’re interested in advanced manufacturing or you know that you’re interested in life sciences in our life sciences ecosystem in New Haven, Connecticut, whatever it is, we’re will we’re ready to have that conversation with anybody. So prep prep, prep is what I would say it’s the key and you will get a lot out of it. And if you get in touch with folks like me, or other folks that are going to select USA, and let them know you’re coming and let them know the questions you here’s what I need in order to be successful in the US is your state is your region of fit. It’s a great way to start that conversation and I strongly encourage folks to reach out

Bill : That’s a great tip. So prep prep prep prep prep that basically the planning and pre setting meetings and and and it also sounds like getting folks like yourself advanced information about what what you need so that when you meet at the event, it’s a much more productive conversation.

John : Absolutely. 100%. And if we you know, if you were to get in touch with me prior to the event and say, Oh, this is the type of company that we are, these are our top priorities. This is what our goals are. You know, I’ll be able to tell you very much what we are, what Connecticut can do for you, and whether or not you’ll be successful. We as we’ve said before, you know if you want to manufacture something pretty simple. There are places to do that Connecticut’s probably not the place for you. But if you want to manufacture the machine that Intel buys to make silicon chips, we make that machine in Connecticut. You know, if you want to, you know, just manufacture a bunch of pills, we can do that. There may be some other places for you. But if you want to invent the pill, we do that in Connecticut. And so you’ll be able to have those conversations in advance set the table as well as it is to be able to have those conversations. I think is a great way to guarantee some really fruitful conversations. That’s like USA.

Bill : Super. This has been fantastic John, what we’ll do is share your contact information and a link for advanced CT in the description below. So if you’re interested in connecting with John definitely do it there. Also like and subscribe so you stay tuned to future podcasts. And John, this has really been a delight and appreciate you taking the time today to share all the great info.

John : really my pleasure and I look forward to seeing everyone at select USA

Bill : awesome.

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