Business Rx: As start-up seeks more capital, it gropes for ways to grow
Daniel Horowitz, Sam Winter and Brian Peisach are on a mission to dispel the negative perceptions regarding the quality of items produced in China. The trio, as undergraduates at the University of Maryland's Hinman CEOs entrepreneurship program, hatched a business idea last fall specifically geared toward small to mid-size U.S. companies, such as those in the electronics industry. They would offer a one-stop shop for companies to get their products manufactured in China.
Their company, Trade Assurance International (TAI), officially launched in January, after a two-week visit to the Far East as the only undergraduate competitors in the 2010 China MBA Business Plan Competition, organized by the Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship at the University of Maryland's Robert H. Smith School of Business. On their trip, Horowitz and Winter were able to firm up partnerships with key manufacturers, financiers, quality-control firms and shippers. A recent month-long trip to Hong Kong and China allowed them to further establish their rapidly expanding network of strategic alliances. Now they are building a Web platform designed to set TAI Group apart from its peers.
"We're in the process of creating a centralized online platform for the simplification of outsourcing manufacturing production to more cost-competitive areas of the world -- initially China. We manage the entire process A to Z, taking out the complexity by isolating and attacking risk, thereby allowing our clients to focus on their core competence of growing business with operational efficiency during the most difficult economic times."
"It's all the main elements that go into sourcing production in other countries, but we simplify the process for clients in an online platform and take care of the details. We're focused on mitigating risk for clients as much as possible."
"Our target clients are companies that don't have the ability to set up their own production oversight in Hong Kong or China and eventually other emerging industrial economic regions. We're starting out by focusing our efforts on building the business in China through the partnerships and contacts we've forged. For companies that want to outsource production but don't know where to start, we can help make sure the whole process is managed properly. The partners we're working with in China all have extensive experience working with international clients and, most importantly, an appreciation for Western business ethics. We're scaling slowly to test partnerships. Thus far, we're very pleased with the cooperation shown from strong strategic alliances in China and Hong Kong."