June 30, 2017 — In its 2016 annual report, GREATER MSP recognizes MentorMate founder and CEO, Björn Stansvik, for his key role in fostering deeper economic relationships between organizations both locally and abroad.
GREATER MSP was launched by the Itasca Project, which identifies and addresses issues in a way that enhances the quality of life and the economic vitality of the Greater Minneapolis-St. Paul area. Since 2009, the GREATER MSP initiative engages organizations across industries in a strategic economic development partnership that aims to generate jobs and capital investment in the region.
Aligning Locally to Enter International Markets
“I like to say that Minnesota is the best part of Sweden. People in both places are energized by collaboration and committed to helping entrepreneurs succeed. This was certainly the case when GREATER MSP and the Swedish American Chamber of Commerce brought a Swedish delegation to visit our headquarters. They recognized our services might be of value to Swedish-based AstraZeneca and worked together to coordinate an introduction.”
MentorMate now counts AstraZeneca as one of its clients, and it maintains an office within AstraZeneca’s BioVentureHub in Gothenburg, Sweden. Establishing its presence in Western Europe exposes MentorMate to new markets and opportunities: the company recently acquired clients based in the United Kingdom and the Netherlands.
“There are many advantages to operating globally… We believe our clients abroad could engender valuable relationships for GREATER MSP, which would enhance our economy… Our region’s commitment to collaboration set the wheels in motion. Partners here connected the dots, then worked on our behalf to create an opportunity. By capitalizing on that initial introduction, we were able to enter an important new market.”
The collaboration between GREATER MSP and MentorMate demonstrates how leveraging local partnerships can facilitate and enhance international business opportunities.