With export financing options limited, some states are helping U.S. businesses go global. Could your company do with a ticket abroad?
After a successful stint in the pharmaceutical industry, Shawn Kinney launched Hyaluron Inc.in 1999 as a manufacturer of hyaluronic acid, a product that can be extracted from rooster combs and used in orthopedics and eye surgery. Because hyaluronic acid is viscous, or resistant to flow, the company developed a process for putting the product into a syringe. Though born out of necessity, Hyaluron's syringe-filling expertise soon evolved into a bona fide commercial niche. Today, the $10 million company--which provides formulation and sterile manufacturing services to the pharmaceutical and biotech industries--has a growing international client roster.
Hyaluron recently had the opportunity to expand manufacturing capabilities at its Burlington, Massachusetts, facility by adding equipment to freeze-dry its clients' products, prolonging their shelf life. "To do that, we also needed to upgrade and enhance our clean-room capabilities," recalls Kinney, 48, Hyaluron's president and CEO. His longtime bank encouraged him to seek funds from Massachusetts' economic development agency, MassDevelopment, which offers foreign-trade financing to support economic growth and job creation in the state.
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