In 2013 when we started commercializing this technology, we found that one of our largest initial barriers to success was simply market reach. As a small, unknown Canadian company developing an innovative technology for a global market, we struggled, not only to get our company and product line in front of the correct customers, but also to build conﬁdence in our technology platform. Working with a national institute, like NanoCanada was absolutely instrumental in setting up, training and maintaining a great distributor network in key markets like Japan and South Korea. Through the years of support and representation with NanoCanada, we have been able to grow our Asian business by over 40% year over year. In 2017 we did over $2 million dollar of business in Japan alone. Thanks to the generous support of NanoCanada, in 2018 we are now the leading provider of benchtop NMR spectrometers within the Asian market.
My final example of de-risking involves supporting commercialization initiatives by funding organizations such as NanoCanada. CelluForce has a product that is both a biomaterial and a nanomaterial, and NanoCanada has been instrumental in supporting CelluForce in our international commercialization efforts by offering shared booth space in international nanotechnology conferences and exhibitions. Not only are the logistics taken care of by NanoCanada, but they also closed the loop with Canadian embassies and trade commissioners. Continued funding to NanoCanada will greatly help CelluForce, and I would also recommend a similar approach for bioeconomy companies.
Last year, NanoCanada provided us with a booth space under the Canadian delegation in two tradeshows, Nano Korea (Seoul, South Korea) and Nanotech Japan (Tokyo, Japan). As a result, we are now doing business with a major Japanese distributor, a local team of business development in Korea experts in this market, and we are on the verge of closing strategic deals. We are on the road to success in these markets, and none of this would have been possible without NanoCanada for a start-up company of our size.