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5 Questions with Matt Cookson, New Hampshire High Tech Council

April 17th, 2015

High technology. It’s not just a business sector in and of itself. It’s a critical element of every successful industry, integrated deeply into the work of companies and the lives of their employees.

New Hampshire has a strong and growing tech pedigree, and to learn more about it, we interviewed Matt Cookson, executive director of the New Hampshire High Tech Council. The council is a member-driven organization with a focus on advancing innovation throughout the Granite State and Cookson himself has been actively engaged in many boards and organizations in New Hampshire in his 25-year career.

Cookson

Matt Cookson ~ NH High Tech Council

You’re in your fifth year as executive director for the New Hampshire High Tech Council. How has the industry evolved since then?

I took over as ED in 2010 and like other sectors it was a challenging time economically. Fast forward to today, and we are seeing solid job and sector growth, great movement in advanced manufacturing, software development, apps, cyber-security and other areas.

I’d say there is much greater recognition that the tech sector is absolutely key when it comes to driving economic development. Serving, supporting, and growing this sector will lead to job creation, enhanced state revenues, and stronger communities. Look at the difference in Manchester, for example, as well as the expansion of incubators across the state, including areas such as Plymouth.

Technically speaking, almost every industry is high-tech in one way or another. How has that affected the NHHTC’s mission and outreach over the years?

It’s true – hospitals are tech, real estate is tech, automotive is tech. It has affected us in terms of workforce development, knowing that tech training is key, be it at the four-year level for computer science, at the two-year level through the partnerships our community colleges have formed with advanced manufacturing companies, such as Safran or Hypertherm, and at the training level as well.

From a membership standpoint, we have always attracted members from the service sector as well, so our outreach has been consistent. Last, from an outreach perspective, we have become much more proactive and while we have a strong membership base in the Route 3 and Route 93 corridors, we plan to do more in the Seacoast in the near future in terms of creating a stronger presence in that tech-heavy region.

Where are the best opportunities in the traditional high-tech space for businesses in New Hampshire- or for those considering a relocation to New Hampshire?

Geographically, we have strong hubs in greater Manchester, Nashua and Portsmouth. In a recent report, Nashua led the pack with the highest number of advertised tech jobs in the state. We will continue to see relocations that hug the border because companies like to draw from Massachusetts. We also hear from our members along the highway corridors that having rail in the region is attractive to those in the tech industry.

Quality of life is a huge selling point for companies moving to the Granite State. What are tech companies finding here that they can’t get in Boston, Silicon Valley, or other traditional tech hubs?

There continue to be three primary selling points:

– The quality of life piece with an emphasis on having the mountains, the ocean, and Boston within easy drives

– The fact that employees will likely be better off in New Hampshire than other major tech hubs because they will not be paying an income or sales tax

– The overall cost of living is substantially less than a Silicon Valley-type of environment

What are the NHHTC’s top priorities for improving the state’s high-tech industry over the next one to two years?

Supporting start-up companies through visibility, networking and competitions; reducing taxes and regulations on business to encourage growth and investment; highlighting best practices and innovation to spur new partnerships; and working with the educational sector to provide data on what industries and skill sets are most needed for today’s and tomorrow’s workforce.

Five Questions with Michael Tentnowski, Enterprise Center at Plymouth

April 10th, 2015

 

At first glance, it might appear that the southern cities of New Hampshire are the primary hotbeds of entrepreneurial activity in the Granite State. But you’ll find the blood of the start-up culture running through the veins of every county – and it’s catching the attention of entrepreneurs across state lines, too.

To learn more about some of the unique opportunities for start-ups north of Concord, we interviewed Michael Tentnowski, executive director of the Enterprise Center at Plymouth, a business incubator/accelerator connected with Plymouth State University. The ECP supports entrepreneurs, small business owners, and overall economic development in central New Hampshire by providing services including leased space, state-of-the art conferencing facilities, mentoring, professional services, educational resources and networking opportunities.

Prior to joining ECP, Michael consulted with business and industry primarily in the high tech arena.  He has been involved with business development for start-up companies for over twenty years, and has expertise in commercializing defense technologies, promoting renewable energy initiatives, and in entrepreneurial ventures. Michael is also a professor in the College of Business Administration at PSU.

What was the landscape like for entrepreneurs and start-up companies in your area, prior to the opening of the ECP? 

I think that the framework of entrepreneurial activity was present prior to the ECP opening its doors, but now like-minded individuals have a gathering place and a one-stop shop for all types of business assistance.  By offering seminars, workshops, access to professorial expertise, student internships and partner organization like the SBDC and SCORE networks, the ECP filled a void in the knowledge transfer arena.

How is the ECP making an impact in Plymouth and the surrounding communities? 

     We not only impact Plymouth proper, but the entire main service area of Belknap, Carol, Coos and Grafton Counties (and beyond).  We do this by offering business educational opportunities throughout the region, by assisting entrepreneurs from surrounding states (primarily Vermont and Massachusetts) and by promoting the entrepreneurial ecosystem in New Hampshire.

We have partnered with the other incubator programs in the New Hampshire Business Incubation Network, which provides networking and access to assets at other locations throughout the state.  The direct impact to the Plymouth community is 37 jobs created, $5,625,000 in revenue generated by ECP companies (2014) and 26 internships for students, five of which turned into full time employment for those students.  This helps to keep young people in the State by providing high quality, well-paying jobs.

What kinds of businesses are best served by incubators like the ECP? 

New Hampshire business incubators serve different sectors, whereas some are considered “mixed use.”  The ECP is a mixed-use facility that primarily houses software developers and other Internet services, a material science manufacturer (office space only), iPhone repair service (student-owned) and an array of consultants in high-tech fields.

Rather than what is the best company for an incubator program, I say who is best served by one.  This means: are they coachable, do they need the services offered, and do they have a plan to employ people in the area with business growth potential, following structured business acumen.

What are the goals of the ECP for 2015 and beyond? 

To empower entrepreneurs to succeed during the difficult stages of a start-up, and to assist existing companies in accelerating their growth by mentoring, match-making, and receiving advice from experts in various disciplines.  Ultimately, the ECP’s success is defined by the success of the ventures being spun out of the incubator program.

What events/programs do you have coming up in the near future? 

April 14 – How to Apply for a Business Loan (Littleton)

April 21 – Small Business Legal Series (Plymouth)

May 5 – Planning for Growth; What’s Next (Plymouth)

May 7 – Start and Grow Your Business (Plymouth)

May 12 – Start and Grow Your Business (Littleton)

May 14 – How to Apply for a Business Loan (Laconia)

May 19 – Small Business Legal Series (Plymouth)

 

For more information and to register for these programs, click here.

Uncle Sam Wants Your Products and Services – Yes, *Your* Products and Services

April 8th, 2015

The US government is the world’s largest buyer of goods and services and last year, New Hampshire manufacturers and service providers met its needs to the tune of $1.7 billion.

Uncle Sam is a valuable client for any company, but it takes some patience and finesse to land a federal contract.

That’s why the upcoming DOD Northeast Regional Council Matchmaker event May 6-8 in Manchester, Vt., is an opportunity of which New Hampshire businesses should plan to take advantage.

“The government needs just about everything an ordinary business needs, from office furniture to food and clothing to specialized defense systems,” said Dave Pease, program manager for the New Hampshire Procurement Technical Assistance Program, part of the state’s Division of Economic Development. “The catch is that landing a federal contract, while beneficial to any business, is not easy. The process has to be fair and it has to be transparent.”

Next month’s matchmaker is the second of three being held in the northeast this year; Portland, Maine will be the site of the third one on Aug. 7. Matchmaker events draw scores of prime contractors; for example, BAE Systems, Albany Engineered Composites and Crane and Co., are expected to be among the primes on hand in May, ready to meet with representatives from more than 400 small businesses.

“New Hampshire small businesses are the government contracting champs of northern New England,” Pease said. “The key is having the best of something the government needs, not the size of the business.”

What do New Hampshire companies have that the government wants?

Gentex, in Manchester, produces microphones used in helmet systems for the military. C3I, Inc., of Hampton, specializes in aircraft lighting for US Navy ships. Winchester Precision Tech, of Winchester, works with the Los Alamos National Laboratory to learn more about dark matter. Mission Information Resources in Lancaster designs field notebooks for US Special Forces.

Pease notes that government contracting in New Hampshire is more than high tech and military. The process extends into places like the White Mountain National Forest, where everything from bundled wood for campgrounds to road repairs is needed.

In preparation for the federal matchmaker events, workshops will be held around the state to help businesses prepare for them.

Making the Most of the Matchmaker will be held from 9 – 11:30 am, April 16 at Manchester Community College and from 9:30 am to noon, April 20 at River Valley Community College in Keene.

One of the most important pieces of marketing for selling to the government is a capabilities statement. Capabilities Statement Coaching will be held from 9 to 11:30 am on April 29 at Manchester Community College.

For more information on the matchmaker, and government contracting, visit our website or  call NH PTAP at 271-7581; to register, visit http://www.us-ipe.org

Lorna Colquhoun
Communications Director
NH Division of Economic Development

Northern Borders Regional Commission Grant Applications Available Now

April 6th, 2015

Applications for the 2015 round of grants from the Northern Border Regional Commission are now available, according to Mark Scarano, the alternate federal co-chairman of the Northern Border Regional Commission.  About $4.5 million is available; the maximum grant amount for any applicant is $250,000.

Created by the US Congress in 2008, the NBRC’s mission is to help alleviate economic distress and encourage job creation throughout the northern regions in Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont and New York.

Within New Hampshire, the commission’s grant programs cover Coos, Grafton, Carroll and Sullivan counties. The deadline is 4 pm, June 19. Application information is available here.

Eligible grant projects must develop the transportation, water, sewer, energy and telecommunications infrastructure of the region; assist the region in obtaining job skills and employment related education, as well as entrepreneurship, technology and business development; provide basic health care and other public services for those areas that are severely economically distressed and underdeveloped; promote resource conservation, tourism, recreation, and preservation of open spaces in a manner consistent with economic development goals and to promote the development of renewable and alternative energy sources.

Last year, the commission awarded $968,365 to New Hampshire projects. The Women’s Rural Entrepreneurial Network (WREN), $161,670; the Town of Littleton, $250,000; the Coos Economic Development Council, $250,000; the Northern Community Investment Corp. (NCIC), $200,000 and the University of New Hampshire Broadband Mapping and Planning Program, $106,695 were recipients of grants in 2014.

Applications from New Hampshire agencies and organizations must be submitted to the state’s Division of Economic Development for processing. The division will also provide technical assistance to prospective grantees and make sure that applications are full and complete. After the ranking is completed, the governors of the four states will certify to the commission their priority projects.

Over the past five years, the NBRC has awarded 50 grants totaling over $9 million. At the completion of these projects, it is estimated that almost 5,000 jobs will be created and/or saved.

For every $1 of NBRC federal funds expended, they will be leveraged with approximately $2 of other public or private funds.

New Hampshire applicants should contact Christopher Way of the NH Division of Economic Development at (603) 271-2591.

5 Questions with DRED Commissioner Jeffrey Rose: Catching Up on the Past Two Years

April 3rd, 2015

Jeffrey Rose marked his second anniversary this week as commissioner of the Department of Resources and Economic Development. We ran really fast and caught up with him to talk about these past two years – the successes, the exciting projects moving forward and, of course, the Red Sox.

1. Congratulations on completing your second year as commissioner! What’s been the most surprising aspect about the job for you?

It’s hard to believe it’s been two years. It’s gone by fast, but I guess that means I’m having fun. Actually that has been one of the most rewarding aspects of the position – how interesting every day is for me. I thoroughly enjoy the diversity of the job and love the mission of the agency. I like to joke that DRED is the agency of fun, but it’s true. You take all the best things about our state and put it under one roof. How can you not have fun?

I’ve also been overwhelmed by the commitment and passion of the staff. We have a great team in place, led by four highly engaged directors. Our employees are absolutely dedicated to the state and impress me at each turn. But when you think about it, it makes sense why our team is so passionate, they are dedicated to mission of the agency. You don’t become a park manager unless you love being outside. You don’t become a forest ranger unless you appreciate our natural resources. You don’t become a business specialist if you don’t care for working with business leaders and you don’t become a welcome center attendant unless you enjoy interacting with public.

Commissioner Rose briefing the Coos County delegation last month about The Balsams.

Commissioner Rose briefing the Coos County delegation last month about The Balsams’ development plan.

2. What are two or three projects you’re most proud of seeing completed during this past year?

It’s hard to limit to just a couple, as we’ve celebrated the completion of many projects over the past year. However, a few highlights that come to mind include working with Comcast leadership in its selection of New Hampshire to become home for its new call center. The new Comcast facility in Hudson has already hired hundreds of employees and there will be more jobs created there.

Another highlight is the public – private partnership that led to the amazing new welcoming centers in Hooksett on Interstate 93. It was so rewarding to participate in the dedication ceremony on the new northbound facility last month, particularly to honor the legacy of the late Councilor Burton. He was passionate about the North Country, about the state and about our welcome centers.

I was really proud of our effort to complete the third largest conservation project in state history with the Androscoggin Headwaters. This beautiful area – more than 31,000 acres – will be protected as a working forest for generations to come.

Finally, we’ve accomplished some really exciting stuff over at Cannon Mountain. With the improved snowmaking capacity, our partnership with US Ski Association and Franconia Ski Club and the expansion at Mittersill, the energy is palpable.

3. Which industries in the state do you see as being poised for the greatest level of success or growth in 2015?

Manufacturing continues to be the backbone of the state’s economy and it’s great to see some of the growth at key companies throughout the state, but I’m particularly excited about some of things happening within the bio-medical field in New Hampshire. There are about 265 companies doing work in this industry, refining cutting edge technology with a goal of making our lives better.

Novo Nordisk in Lebanon comes to mind, and its work in treating diabetes; so does Gamma Medica in Salem. This company is making advances in the war against breast cancer with its molecular imaging technology. Biotech start-up Avitide, also in Lebanon, is refining purification technology for improving process of manufacturing protein drugs.

4. What are your biggest priorities for your third year as commissioner?

My top priority is the redevelopment of the historic Balsams Resort in Dixville Notch. This is a transformational opportunity for our North Country and stands to make New Hampshire the ski capital of the East. The $143 million project expects to create over 1,500 jobs in Coos Country and would spur nearly $1 billion of economic activity over the next decade.

This project is not just critical for the North Country – it will bring millions of dollars into the state’s coffers through increased rooms and meals tax, real estate transfer tax and a host of other revenue generators.

I’m also working diligently on my review of the Mount Sunapee Master Development Plan. I anticipate making an announcement on my draft decision of the MDP in the weeks ahead and look forward to continuing the public engagement process.

5. You’re a passionate baseball fan. How do you think the Red Sox will fare this year?

Ah yes, an important question. Much like spring itself, there is always a sense of optimism at the start of the season. I can’t wait for baseball season (and weather) to start. I am confident the Red Sox will be significantly improved over last season. There is some great young talent on the team and much improved offensively; however, I’m a little concerned over the pitching depth. I feel like we’ll be right in the mix for the post season, but either some young talent needs to emerge or a few trades need to bolster the pitching staff to be considered World Series contenders. That being said, I think we can do it. It’s going to be an exciting year.

5 Questions with Tina Kasim: Opening the Door to Exporting NH Goods

March 27th, 2015

On first blush, the idea of exporting products and services to another country can seem daunting, overwhelming, or confusing to businesses that have never done it before. However, New Hampshire has a prolific network of resources to support new and currently exporting businesses with financing, insurance, export controls, market research, logistics, and other specialized aspects of the exporting business.

To get an introduction to the world of exporting opportunities, we interviewed Tina Kasim, international program manager for the Office of International Commerce. Tina has more than 10 years of experience in international economic development programs. She started her career with the New Hampshire Division of Travel and Tourism Development, before moving to Jordan and later to Washington, DC, where she worked on internationally funded economic development programs in the Middle East-North Africa Region. She then brought this diverse range of expertise back to New Hampshire and the OIC, a part of the Division of Economic Development.

Tina Kasim, NH Office of International Commerce, and Justin Oslowski, US Department of Commerce, at the Paris International Air Show, where five NH businesses exhibited in 2013.

Tina Kasim, NH Office of International Commerce, and Justin Oslowski, US Department of Commerce, at the Paris International Air Show, where five NH businesses exhibited in 2013.

With the assistance of the OIC and the support of STEP Grants, many companies have been able to participate in international business events over the last several years. Can you share some brief success stories from companies that attended those events?

Over the last few years, the State Trade Export Promotion (STEP) grant has enabled our program to offer several opportunities to New Hampshire exporters, including access to and attendance at key international trade activities, in order to build a presence in a variety of markets.

Whether funding was put toward a State of New Hampshire pavilion made up of several New Hampshire exporters at a trade show or funding provided via a matching grant dedicated a company’s sales mission to Europe, OIC’s approach to put the STEP grant to use effectively centered on the needs of New Hampshire businesses.

Their successes range from signing distributors and agents in new markets, which allows them to increase sales, to connecting with numerous existing and potential clients in a single arena that allows them to nurture the relationship they have been cultivating for many years. After all, a lot, if not all, business is based on relationships.

Additional successes include the increased make-up of international sales in the revenues of participating businesses, which have resulted in the creation of new jobs in the state.

OIC is one piece of a larger infrastructure that supports businesses in their exporting efforts. Can you share a bit about the other public and private sector organizations all working together to serve New Hampshire’s exporting businesses?

The OIC is one link to a global network supported by the US Department of Commerce/US Commercial Service. Wherever in the world there is a US embassy or consulate, there is a team on hand that works to advocate and promote US businesses in that market.

OIC is also closely connected to SBDC, SBA, Export-Import Bank, and SCORE, all of which help tackle issues related to developing an international marketing plan and finding the financing for your export plans.

OIC also has a key partnership with the Granite State District Export Council (an affiliate of the US Department of Commerce, made up of mostly private sector business people), which offers peer-to- peer counseling to all things related to international business.

The great thing though about all these resources is the fact that there is no wrong door to knock on when you want to get into this line of business. Everything you may need is only a phone call or an email away.

Why, in your opinion, is New Hampshire such a great place for exporters to start or expand their businesses?

New Hampshire companies are run by savvy business owners and teams. They’re aggressive in identifying new markets and opportunities and they have great products and services to export that are innovative and really customized based on client requests. There is also this tight-knit network of resources available to businesses for the vast array of questions or obstacles that might pop up for business owners when developing international markets.

Where do you see the biggest opportunities for growth for New Hampshire businesses?

There is not a one-size-fits-all answer to this question; it really does depend on the sector/industry on which a business focuses and which markets are best suited to the product or service.

Trends are pointing to areas in the Middle East for the medical sector, where there is a high demand for solutions, monitoring equipment and delivery of medications related to diabetes. The region is also experiencing the construction of new and big hospitals in various parts of the countries and has a need to monitor patients remotely.

The aviation industry as a whole is and will continue to see the need for components for airplanes, as airliners replace aging fleets with more fuel efficient and lightweight materials. There are also several new airports and airport expansions under construction in various parts of the world, many connected to major world sporting events. These airports and the event organizers and cities need safety and security equipment and tools.

There is a growing interest in East Coast seafood from China and Japan, where the clean and high quality of our seafood is held in very high regard.

There are also demands for water recycling, treatment, conservation, and management, not only in the world’s driest locations but also in areas prone to flooding.

Again, it is not a one-size-fits-all solution or answer for New Hampshire businesses, but we can help narrow things down in order to see what is the best fit and to be successful.

What programs do you have coming up for companies wanting to start or expand their exporting activities?

Keep an eye out for our on going webinar series. We select the topics based on feedback from the businesses, so if there is a particular area you think is a challenge to your business and others in the international realm (i.e., what is an ATA Carnet, Incoterms, etc.), just let us know. In the fall, we’ll have a couple of export compliance trainings available to businesses.

We also have the Export Expansion Fund, available to businesses looking to find and vet in-country partners; run a background check on a potential partner; or conduct a preliminary search of interest for a particular product in a market. This is all done in partnership with the US Department Commerce/US Commercial Service.

If you have any questions about these upcoming and ongoing activities, please contact Tina Kasim at tina.kasim@dred.nh.gov or visit ExportNH.org

5 Questions with Dawn Wivell, New Hampshire Aerospace and Defense Export Consortium

March 20th, 2015

New Hampshire has seen dramatic success in recent years in the aerospace and defense industries. The expansion and co-location of Albany Engineered Composites and Safran USA to Rochester are just two high-profile examples of the manufacturing renaissance happening right now in the Granite State.

To learn more about the opportunities within this high-tech industry, we spoke with Dawn Wivell, consortium manager for the New Hampshire Aerospace and Defense Export Consortium. As Dawn notes, “NHADEC is the ‘go-to’ organization for the A&D sector. We have a very close relationship with the Congressional Delegation, whose various staff members attend every meeting.”

 

NHADEC
What does the aerospace market look like for New Hampshire businesses in 2015? Where are the opportunities?

The overall global aerospace and defense industry is expected to grow in the 3 percent range in 2015, similar to growth in 2014. Much of the growth is in the commercial aerospace sector, which is expected to sustain its significant revenue and earnings growth in 2015, underlined by extended record-setting production levels. This growth is likely to be driven primarily by increased production rates attributed to the accelerated replacement cycle of obsolete aircraft with next generation fuel-efficient aircraft.

Growth is also attributed to the continued increases in passenger travel demand, especially in the Middle East and the Asia-Pacific region. This increase in production rates by major aircraft makers will place intense pressure on every part of the supply chain, ultimately affecting delivery schedules and costs. OEMs and suppliers will need to conduct analyses of their supply chain capabilities to assess risks and to identify and address weak links.
And the defense market? How does that look by comparison?

In the global defense sector, continued declines in revenues are expected. The United States defense budget is a key driver of this decline. Despite calls for increases in defense spending, sales revenues lag outlays, appropriations and budget authorizations. Budget cuts and the suspension of the armed conflict in Iraq and Afghanistan have been key factors over the last three years.

Regional tensions in the Middle East, North Korea, and the East and South China Seas are considered as potentially leading to increased defense budgets, but that is still uncertain. The United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, India, South Korea, Japan, China, Russia and other affected governments have and are expected to continue to increase purchases of next generation military equipment. The F-35 (Joint Strike Fighter) will remain one of the few large weapons platforms achieving meaningful growth.

Other areas that are fairly safe bets include cybersecurity, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance. Defense suppliers should consider migrating their business models toward commercial applications to offset defense spending declines.
What does NHADEC do for NH exporters above and beyond what the OIC and US Commercial Service offer?

The ITRC and the USEAC are intensely involved with NHADEC, bringing resources and programs directly to the organization. Tina Kasim, program manager for the OIC, is a member of the NHADEC board and the OIC, along with the USEAC, are involved at every level of our operation.

That said, NHADEC offers many additional benefits to members, including but not limited to:

• Individual company profiles on the NHADEC member portal and on the NHADEC website
• Quarterly newsletter
• Member meetings every alternate month
• Additional export consulting and expertise
• Links to local, national, and international institutions and special NHADEC partners worldwide
• Bespoke training activities, assistance with compliance and regulatory issues
• Common information system
• Industry and supply chain access
• Collective participation in exhibitions and trade shows, domestic and international
• Trade missions abroad, private and public
• Participation in incoming buyers’ missions
• Collective hosting of potential clients
• Bespoke market research
• Identification of distributors and clients
• Negotiation of preferential agreements with service providers
• Joint bidding on projects, domestic and international
• Invaluable tribal knowledge and networking with and leveraging of statewide and regional players

NHADEC also provides an opportunity to service providers, who have a viable service to provide the core membership, to become members and network directly with said core members.
What’s happening with our neighbors to the north, in terms of New Hampshire companies doing business with Quebec aerospace and defense companies?

The focus seems to be somewhat more in the aerospace sector in terms of Canada at present. Canada has the world’s fifth largest aerospace market. In 2011, Canada generated roughly $22 billion in revenues, over 80 percent of which were from Quebec and Ontario. Canada is home to large OEMS such as Bombardier, Pratt & Whitney Canada, Rolls Royce Canada, Bell Helicopter Textron Canada, Boeing Canada, CAE and L-3. Approximately 83 percent of the industry is in civil aircraft manufacturing, while 17 percent is in military aircraft manufacturing.

Over 80 percent of production is exported; over 50 percent of imports are from the United States. Sub-sector best prospects are:

• Civil and military aircraft, and aircraft parts
• Aircraft engines and engine parts
• Avionics and instrumentation
• Aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul
• Air defense and combat technology
• Air surveillance systems
• Simulation software Opportunities
• Bombardier Platforms: CSeries, Challenger 7000/8000, Learjet 85 (over $4 billion)
• Bell Helicopter Textron Platforms: Bell 427 and Bell 429 Helicopters
• Boeing Platforms: Dreamliner 787, Chinook (over $1 billion)
• LM F-35 in Canada: approximately $9 billion in contracts over the next 20 years

What’s next for NHADEC and its member businesses?

NHADEC membership continues to grow every month. Our first quarterly newsletter will be coming out shortly. Some of the upcoming events are:

• Hosting the aerospace and defense specialist from the U.S. Commercial Service in Malaysia in March, who will be conducting one-on-one meetings and facility tours of our members;
• Hosting the defense attache’ from the British Embassy at an upcoming meeting;
• NHADEC’s first event in June 2015, with member exhibits, and attendees from the OEMs and key players throughout the region;
• NHADEC members participating in the Dubai Airshow in the fall, which is being coordinated by the state;
• Participating in a trade show to a prime export location for defense, and safety and security.

A Look at Where Businesses Start-up and Accelerate in NH

March 19th, 2015

Every third Wednesday of the month (at 3 pm), NH Economy hosts New Hampshire Business Matters on WTPL.FM.

Our guest yesterday was Mark Kaplan, president and CEO of Alpha Loft in Manchester, who gave us a great overview of the start-up ecosystem in New Hampshire.

It’s worth a listen.

 

Lorna Colquhoun
Communications Director
NH Division of Economic Development

 

 

Grogan Named NH SBDC State Director; Begins April 6

March 18th, 2015
Rich Grogan

Rich Grogan

Following a nationwide search, Dr. Rich Grogan, PhD has been named the new state director for the New Hampshire Small Business Development Center, succeeding Mary Collins.

The NH SBDC is a co-operative program partnership between SBA, the University Of New Hampshire Peter T. Paul School Of Business and Economics and the Department of Resources and Economic Development. Since 1984, it has provided assistance in more than 200 communities throughout the state and assisted more than 39,000 Granite State entrepreneurs representing over 18,000 businesses.

“The New Hampshire Small Business Development Center is a key link for businesses in various stages of their growth here in the state and one of our valued partners,” said Jeff Rose, Commissioner of NH Department of Resources and Economic Development. “Rich brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to his new position and will be a great benefit for businesses working with SBDC.”

Grogan, most recently the Keene regional manager for NH SBDC, begins his new position on April 6.

He is a native of North Carolina and before joining the NH SBDC, Grogan was a professor in the MBA in organizational and environmental sustainability program at Antioch University New England. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in business from Wake Forest University; an MPA from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and he earned his PhD in organizational sustainability from Michigan State University.

“I am ecstatic to transition into a leadership position in this organization, especially because I feel that we are in a position of strength. We have an amazingly talented staff, and current State Director Mary Collins’ leadership has positioned us well for the future,” he said. “Entrepreneurship and the growth of small businesses are hot topics right now, and the SBDC, which has been in this business for 30 years in the state, is well positioned to lead the conversation about the growth of this community for the next 30 years and beyond.”

The NH SBDC Lead Center located in Durham, oversees the day to day operations, with satellite offices throughout the state. Its full-time certified business advisors provide one-on-one long-term management advising to small businesses, at no cost to the client. They are experienced business owners or managers, and have been certified through the New England SBDC Professional Development Program.

For more information visit: nhsbdc.org.

5 Questions with High Liner Foods

March 13th, 2015

High Liner Foods is the largest prepared seafood processing operation in North America. Last year, the company reported $1 billion in annual sales for the first time in its 115-year history and capped a terrific 2014 by moving its US headquarters from Danvers, Mass. to the Pease International Tradeport in Portsmouth.

Keith Decker, president and COO of High Liner Foods, said of moving the business from Massachusetts to New Hampshire, “The relocation and design of the new building will help us serve our customers better and attract and retain the top talent required for continued growth into the future.”

To get some valuable insights into the business relocation process, we interviewed Jim LaBelle, vice president of food service marketing, and Mark Leslie, vice president of business integration and special projects, at High Liner Foods. Both worked directly with Michael Bergeron, senior business development manager at the Division of Economic Development, to facilitate the move.

High Liner Foods invested $1 million in its test kitchen.

High Liner Foods invested $1 million in its test kitchen.

Thinking back to the beginning of your relocation process, what were the biggest factors that inspired you to explore the idea of relocating?

The biggest factor for us was we sold our existing facility to a company that needed our production space, which we no longer needed. That necessitated a need to find a new office facility for our US headquarters team.

What were the main reasons New Hampshire came out on top for you?

We wanted to be closer to our production facility, which is in Portsmouth. We wanted a modern but affordable solution that could be a showcase facility for our employees and customers. And we wanted a standalone building. New Hampshire rose to the top with all three of our criteria.

You worked with Michael Bergeron at DED during your relocation project. What were two or three of the most helpful things he did for you?

Michael helped us put together an initial meeting with city officials to discuss a couple of outstanding issues before we selected the site, put us in touch with local health officials to work through permitting issues, and explained potential government economic development incentives available to us in New Hampshire. He was invaluable throughout the process.
What advice would you give to other companies exploring a move to another state?

It’s important to develop a network of local experts and officials that you can reach out to when issues arise for resolution input. It’s also helpful to understand what economic development opportunities and incentives might be available.

What’s next for High Liner Foods? What big things do you have planned for 2015?

At High Liner Foods, we’re focused on bringing our customers innovative, on-trend seafood products to help them succeed, so that is always our main priority. We’re also excited to now be able to host our customers in a world-class facility in a world-class community.


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