"GAP was a wake-up call for our vision to expand," says Danny Gruber, Chief Operating Officer of Blue Reef, which focuses on Internet management and security solutions for the SME and enterprise markets. He adds, "The program allowed us to clearly articulate and understand what to do and what not to do in regard to our prospective U.S. market entry. It was a truly enlightening experience for our company."
The GAP team visit to the company produced dramatic results."The team identified a cultural divide with the organization," says Simon Oxenham, Managing Director of Convic, which designs and constructs skate parks. "We immediately implemented the recommendation and saw a cultural shift, which boosted morale. It was as though we had a different company."
GTT-Goods That Talk
For Guido Dellagnelo, CEO of GTT, which develops intelligent Auto-ID solutions using RFID technology, one of the best benefits of participating in the GAP Program was for his employees. "I used GAP as a training tool for my employees in Brazil.They learned the English language by working with the GAP team and they also learned how to think differently." Mr. Dellagnelo points out another benefit. "We learned that what would be considered an innovation in Brazil is not in America, so the positioning needs to be different."
Andre Matos, CEO of Lumis, a Brazilian software company specializing in portal platforms, web content management and collaboration tools for digital environments, says of the GAP students, "We had a great team. They were all very interested and dedicated." He adds, "I would recommend GAP to any company with a product they wish to market in the U.S. as a way to find out their market potential."
For Genaro Castro, founder of Angecom, which provides consulting service for the telecommunications industry, the GAP project influenced the company before the project ended. "We made some changes before the project ended and we prepared for certification, which we needed for the U.S.," he says. "This project helped us reach our final goal."
"We learned a lot," says Ariel Gringaus, CEO of Colegium, which provides software to manage schools in Latin America. "The team was exceptional and very professional." Colegium had already made changes before the project ended: "After the primary research at the beginning of the project, we made changes with our customers and we moved people around in our organizational chart at the team's suggestion."
While no two GAP companies are the same, they often share common characteristics. Companies that qualify for GAP enrollment will meet one of the following corporate requirements:
• A technology-based product or service company with emphasis in high technology*
• Independent business or a business unit within a larger corporation
• U.S. or foreign-based company that wants to sell outside their home country
• Entrepreneurial company with a track record and current revenues for a product/service
• A project requiring business or strategic plan development
• Fluency in English at the senior management level
• Senior executives with business experience
• Customer validation of products or services
• Management commitment of personal time to work with students
• Full disclosure of financial information & corporate strategies
• Significant funding and/or a positive cash flow to continue operations for 1-2 years
To ensure the success of GAP projects, we require a modest investment of time and money, along with access to relevant data. These include:
• Top management’s time to meet with students (~2 hours/week over 24 weeks)
• Top management participation and attendance at events on July 25-27, 2013 and December 7, 2013
• Full access to strategic and financial data
• Positive or near positive cash flow to continue operations beyond December 2013
• Host students at their company headquarters
• Payment of $15,000 program fee (up to $12,000 is available for market research travel)
Assurance of Confidentiality
The FEMBA GAP program maintains stringent confidentiality standards regarding each field study project. All students, faculty, staff, and company executives must sign a program non-disclosure agreement in order to participate. Over the course of 14 years and 431 successful projects, we are not aware of any breach in confidentiality.
Deadline for Application May 1, 2013
Company Launch Weekend July 25-27, 2013
Final Formal Presentations December 7, 2013