OWIT-Toronto’s trade mission to Monterrey in February was so successful that the participating Canadian businesswomen returned with leads, and some even with requests for quotes. An important outcome of the trip was the impact made by the group, which helped showcase the contribution of women in international trade, particularly in male-dominated sectors. This was highlighted by some media outlets in Mexico.
Myrna Bittner, CEO and Founder of RUNWITHIT Synthetics (RWI), is one of the 11 businesswomen who participated in this mission. When she decided to pursue opportunities in Monterrey as part of the delegation, she was hoping to make business connections in Mexico, but at the time she did not know those relationships would grow and strengthen as fast as they have.
Myrna founded RWI Synthetics, a company leading the development of Synthetic Intelligence, five years ago. Synthetics are Artificial Intelligence driven agents that learn, observe, plan and respond creatively and that can be coordinated at an exponential scale to bring other technologies and systems to life realistically. They can be applied by the health, banking, manufacturing and utilities industries to remove critical risk. They can also bring entire cities to life, including citizens and smart infrastructure, to connect, innovate, and experience even the most unpredictable disaster response and recovery scenarios.
Not even half a year ago, Myrna met with Axtel for the first time as part of the business matching program coordinated by OWIT-Toronto. Axtel is a Mexican telecommunications company, part the ALFA group that manages a portfolio of diversified subsidiaries and operates 133 plants in 28 countries.
After her meetings in Monterrey, Myrna left Mexico convinced that she would be returning soon. “This was one of the best organized trade missions I have ever experienced because it was all about entrepreneurs,” she says. “The mission’s spirit was to make things happen, and to connect people. I gained amazing contacts that would have taken me a long time to find and I had incredible meetings.”
Five months later, she has returned to Monterrey, and things have progressed so positively that RWI Synthetics has been chosen to participate in ALFA’s 2019 business accelerator, called NAVE, run by Alestra, ALFA’s IT company. RWI Synthetics is one of the eight companies selected from 3,700 companies considered from around the world. Being part of this accelerator program has given Myrna access to funding, business development, and infrastructure support, as well as curated introductions to some of the more than 18,000 Alestra clients.
In this brief period of time, Myrna has already presented to Axtel and Alestra’s executive group, the Vice Presidents, and at a client event. RWI Synthetics has recently added synthetic cities to its portfolio of capabilities, delivering the keynote at IoT World Expo in California with Itron, and simulating an earthquake in Synthetic Santa Clara. They demonstrated different ways of using Smart City data to provide 42,000 citizens with location specific relevant emergency information using utility data streams.
In addition to her prospects, Myrna has kept in touch with other contacts she met while in Monterrey, to ensure she has a network she can reach out to, like the Trade Commissioner Service at the Canadian Consulate General in Monterrey, when she visits. Moreover, the trade mission also allowed her to build another network with fellow Canadian businesswomen. In her most recent visit, Myrna was pleasantly surprised to learn that another delegate from OWIT-Toronto’s trade mission to Monterrey, Barb Wilmer, Director of Sales at Racer Machinery International, was also in town following up on opportunities with contacts in Mexico. They were able to get together and share their experiences, which is another valuable outcome of the trip.
“Thank you to OWIT for showing me what Monterrey is all about and how to navigate the landscape, and for curating such amazing meeting,” says Myrna. The best part is that she is not the only one making great strides as a result of this trade mission. OWIT-Toronto is proud to have contributed to these successes and committed to continuing to encourage trade diversification among Canadian businesswomen.