San Diego Business Journal

Fifteen San Diego County companies will participate in the local World Trade Center’s Metro Connect program, a comprehensive support program to spur the companies’ global growth.

Each will receive a $10,000 award to help their international business.

The winning companies are Aurora Spine, Avacen Medical, Calbiotech, Deering Banjo Co. and ElliptiGO Inc.

Other winners are GroundMetrics, Hyperikon, Inova Drone, Manta Instruments Inc. and Ocean Aero.

Also included are Ocean Reef, Rough Draft Brewing Co., Solatube Worldwide Sales, VaultRMS and Whova.

Companies may compete for an additional $35,000 at a pitch event scheduled for November.

JPMorgan Chase provided the awards.

Winners were announced June 30. In all, 73 companies applied to the program. Judges evaluated the companies under several criteria, including strong potential for growth from increased international exports or foreign investment.

The MetroConnect program has already created success stories.

In 2015, grand prize winner Cypher Genomics was acquired by San Diego-based Human Longevity Inc. after using the money to fund a partnership with Genomics England. Another 2015 participant, pharmaceutical company IriSys, opened a business development office in Shanghai.