Mina Izadjoo, president of Integrated Pharma Services in Frederick, made valuable connections in Tokyo that could potentially lead to expanding her business internationally.
Through the help of translators, she was able to introduce her company and the services it can provide to a global marketplace, thanks to being one of seven bio-tech companies from Maryland to be represented at the Medical Japan Expo in Tokyo.
Maryland was the first state to be represented at the conference, which attracted 15,000 attendees last year. The goal of the trip was to introduce Maryland’s many bio health and medical assets into the global marketplace and make international connections.
Integrated Pharma Services was founded in Frederick in 2018 and is a contract research organization, which means they do research and testing for pharmaceutical companies on a contract basis. The company and iIzadjoo have won several awards over the past few years.
Izadjoo heard about the opportunity through the Maryland Department of Commerce. For her, connecting with other companies abroad is an important way to grow her business. In the past, she has attended exhibitions in both Germany and the United Arab Emirates.
“It provides you a platform to solicit business from international companies. There is no other way to be able to have a dialogue with companies outside of the U.S.,” she said. “And I can introduce my company to them in face-to-face meetings, rather than just exchanging e-mails.”
The other six companies from Maryland include bio-tech companies in Bethesda, Pikesville and Baltimore, as well as start-ups by universities. One such start-up is producing a device that can detect acute kidney failure early in its onset.
Governor Larry Hogan says that since their trade mission to Asia back in 2015, Maryland’s relationship with Japan has continued to grow, especially in the bio health, cybersecurity and energy sectors.
“During this trip overseas, our administration is excited to see more Maryland companies build on our existing partnership and explore the global medical market,” Hogan said, before the trip began.
The representatives from the Maryland companies also met with Maryland’s sister state, Kanagawa Prefecture, and Baltimore’s sister city, Kawasaki City, often referred to as Japan’s Silicon Valley. Schulz says these partnerships have thrived for the last 40 years.
Izadjoo felt that these meetings were crucial to the success of the trip. During one trip, they visited a large research organization housed in the second biggest building in Tokyo. Izadjoo was able to introduce her company and make contact with professionals in her field.
One of the key takeaways of the trip for Izadjoo was that a business that offers services, like hers, has a good chance of doing business with Japan. She noted that Japan has incredible technologies already, so it might be harder for those trying to sell medical technologies abroad to get their foot in the door.
“The technologies I’ve seen in Japan are mind-blowing,” she said. “They’re pretty sophisticated.”
Many of the Maryland companies who attended Medical Japan did so with the help of ExportMD grants. These grants are awarded to small and mid-sized companies to assist with travel costs to international trade shows.
The Maryland Department of Commerce also hired translators for the trip to help the visitors communicate with the Japanese organizations. Izadjoo was grateful for all of the help the Department provided, and the opportunity to go on the trip. She was in Japan for 8 days.
“It was quite a learning experience for me,” Izadjoo said. “For them to give us an opportunity to go there and present the company and say what you’re doing, that was very nice.”