Judges this month selected 12 Atlanta Metro Export Challenge winners out of a competitive slate of applicants.

Twelve metro-Atlanta companies have been selected for $5,000 grants that will help them find or grow export business as the world pushes toward recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Aside from the reimbursable grants, the Atlanta Metro Export Challenge winners will receive a Delta Air Lines Inc. ticket voucher and customized mentorship to help build their business globally. 

The program is in its sixth year, the fifth since it transitioned from a Brookings Institution-led program to one that has been embraced by metro-area economic development organizations. 

As in previous years, the winners represent a mix of manufacturers and service providers, once again giving credence to the idea that exports go far beyond physical products. 

A company blending the two is Aquagenuity, which compiles and simplifies publicly available data into a score that helps communities and individuals get informed about water safety in their area; the company also ships filtration devices and kits that enable granular testing at the faucet. 

Product companies include cosmetics maker Astral Brands, hydroelectric turbine startup Emrgy and IML Corp., which makes emergency notification systems. A number of software and IT services firms also made the list, including Banyan Hill Technologies, Foundry45 and Safely.com, which provides hosts property insurance on rental platforms like AirBnB and beyond. 

Katie Kirkpatrick, CEO of the Metro Atlanta Chamber, which administers the program, said the participants are part of a thriving international business ecosystem in the city that must be intentionally cultivated. 

“Building upon metro Atlanta’s continued momentum as a global trade hub depends on  nurturing a pipeline of innovative businesses and equipping entrepreneurs with the guidance and resources they need to bring their products and services to the world,” said Ms. Kirkpatrick said in saluting the winners. 

Organizing partners this year were chambers from Cobb, Gwinnett, Fulton and Dekalb counties, as well as the City of Atlanta Mayor’s Office of International Affairs and the Georgia District Export Council. 

Since inception, the Metro Export Challenge has distributed $640,000 to more than 100 companies that have traveled to nearly 50 international markets. Amid the pandemic last year, with travel curtailed, winners got creative, using the grants to fund legal work around patent applications or certifications, boosting International marketing or 

See the full 2021 Atlanta MEC Class: 

Company County Industry
Aquagenuity Inc. Fulton Information
Astral Brands Fulton Retail Trade
Banyan Hills Technologies Gwinnett Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services
Blind Tiger Communications Fulton Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services
Emrgy Inc Fulton Manufacturing
Foundry 45 LLC Fulton Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services
GIS WebTech LLC Forsyth Information
IML Corp. Cobb Manufacturing
JETAIRE GROUP Fayette Manufacturing
Safely.com Fulton Finance and Insurance
spectrum international group LLC Fulton Wholesale Trade
United Soft Plastics, Inc. Gwinnett Manufacturing

Learn more about the program here. 

As managing editor of Global Atlanta, Trevor has spent 15+ years reporting on Atlanta’s ties with the world. An avid traveler, he has undertaken trips to 30+ countries to uncover stories on the perils...