November 7, 2017

Purdue’s Krannert School helps Indy company expand internationally

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Recognizing the need to tap into customers and capital around the world, Indianapolis-based Word Systems Inc. is taking advantage of an Indy Chamber grant to engage expert help from Purdue University’s Krannert School of Management and the Indiana Small Business Development Center.

Funded by JPMorgan Chase, the GoGlobal Export Acceleration Grant is offered to businesses in the Indianapolis area that have an interest in global markets and international expansion.

Founded in 1977, Word Systems provides high-definition recording solutions that help law enforcement and other criminal justice agencies, along with private sector clients, capture and use irrefutably-clear audio and video of interviews, interrogations, testimony and other interactions.

“Every word, inflection, pause and nuance matters, especially in law enforcement,” said Ryan Vogt, director of Partner Channel Sales for Word Systems. “We believe that our iRecord platform and related products have utility outside the U.S., but needed technical and strategic support to get started.”

Toward that end, Word Systems leveraged its 2017 GoGlobal grant to access expertise and technical assistance through the Export Indiana Fellowship program, a joint effort of the ISBDC and the Krannert School that pairs Purdue MBA students with Indiana companies pursuing export development.

After completing a three-month, competitive application process in the spring, students who received the fellowships were hired as summer interns by the company, said Randall Lewis, executive director of the Krannert Professional Development Center at Purdue.

“The students worked with the Indiana Small Business Development Center, also known as ISBDC, to research technical specifications, sales potential and go-to-market strategies to sell the iRecord platform to law enforcement and other target customer groups in key countries,” he said.  “The result was a proactive plan that identified three key foreign markets for development, helping Word Systems execute its first export in October 2017.”

“The export fellowship program is really helping us focus on the best sales strategies and untangle the day-to-day red tape,” Vogt said.  “We’re moving forward and making progress – just recently, we’ve made deals with an international group cracking down on human trafficking in Thailand and a child welfare advocacy organization based in Australia. By exporting our solutions, we’re already finding new opportunities to do well and do good.”

Word Systems also tapped into the Krannert School’s Experiential Learning Initiative (ELI), an optional component of the fellowship program that allows the students — at the discretion of the company — to continue their internships part-time during the fall. Launched in 2009, ELI connects second-year MBA students and other Purdue graduate students with real-world companies in semester-long project consulting roles.

“Word Systems decision to continue the partnership and retain the students as part-time consultants is indicative of the quality of work they completed during their summer fellowship,” Lewis said. “Our goal is to expand the program even further and make it available to other companies.”

“There’s a whole ecosystem of services and support for growing businesses like ours in Indianapolis and beyond,” Vogt added. “The GoGlobal Grant, ISBDC and Purdue helped jump-start a much broader push for our company.” 

Purdue News Service contact: Amy Patterson Neubert, 765-494-9723, apatterson@purdue.edu 

Source: Randall Lewis, 765-494-4376, lewis254@purdue.edu

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