Export Accelerator Program
The Advanced Industries (AI) Export Grant is a Colorado financial assistance program for aspiring and current Colorado exporters administered by the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade (OEDIT). The grant program supports small and medium-sized business through funds to offset international business development and marketing costs. The grant is funded by the Colorado Advanced Industries Acceleration Program.
Grants are capped at $15,000 per business to reimburse for costs associated with projects, activities or services. Because of limited funding, reductions will be made to awards after a majority of the funds have been awarded. Funding will be renewed in July 2020.
Approved applicants pay for the project up front, and then submit proof of payment to be reimbursed 50% of the approved expenses. Grant program applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until funding runs out.
Applicant Eligibility Checklist
Colorado company participant must meet the following qualifications to be eligible for the AI Export Grant the business must:
- Be an Advanced Industry company: Advanced Manufacturing, Aerospace, Bioscience, Electronics, Energy and Natural Resources, Infrastructure Engineering, Information Technology Company must have less than 200 employees.
- Be new to export or expanding to a new export market
- Employ fewer than 200 employees globally
- Have its headquarters located in Colorado or have at least 50% of its employees based in Colorado
- Have at least two years of domestic sales experience
- Have a commercialized product or service that is ready to be exported
- Must be registered and in “Good Standing” with the Colorado Secretary of State
- Company must show a profit during the last fiscal year
- Company must apply directly to grant program. No third party consultants, agents, or representatives may apply on behalf of a client company or their own consultant firm. A participant is defined as a company, not an individual employee of a company
Eligible Export Projects, Activities or Services Covered by Program
Eligible international export development expenses include:
- Participation for up to two company employees in an overseas trade mission, international or domestic trade show, or an international market sales trip
- Conducting due diligence or credit reviews on potential buyers or distributors
- Legal fees related to a contract, intellectual property protection, or other issues relating to exporting goods or services
- Design and production of international marketing materials
- Compliance with international requirements for labeling, packaging or shipping
- Translation services for a contract, official document, marketing materials or a website
- Quality or environmental certifications
- Preparation of product documents, product registration or assembly or maintenance instructions
The Export Grant will NOT reimburse for certain activities, including but not limited to:
- Any expense that a state agency would be prohibited under state law to reimburse an employee for
- Airfare upgrades to Economy Plus, Business, or First Class for domestic or international flights
- Entertainment, receptions or social events
- Staff pay
- Routine business operation expenses
- Infrastructure-related expenses
Financial assistance through the AI Export Grant is only applicable to expenses which have yet to be incurred by the applicant and which have specifically been deemed as eligible for reimbursement by OEDIT. Applications must be submitted a minimum of six weeks prior to planned activities.
- Applicants will be asked to submit a market research report explaining their decision to enter or expand into the proposed market. Click here for a suggested market research report template.
- A panel reviews all submitted applications. Please allow 2-3 weeks from submission date for notification about funding. Companies are encouraged to submit applications 4-6 weeks prior to travel to ensure execution of grant.
- Grant awardees will receive a detailed commitment letter from OEDIT indicating the agreed upon export development project or activities, timing and breakout of approved expenses in USD.
- If you have any questions, please contact the relevant staff member below.
Funding is available through June 2020