"... The pilot deployment is likely to make a healthy "five-figure" contribution
to the company's earnings..."
Paul Alexander, co-founder of Cohda, quoted in Adelaidenow.com.au September 4, 2012
Pilot Projects are a Viable Non-traditional Market Entry Strategy
Australian companies are often advised that the US is a large market and that they should consider tackling
one region before trying to sell to the whole country. Another way to handle the large scale of
America is to run a pilot project to test the market and learn firsthand how Americans do business. Pilot projects
also enable US investors to analyse Australian products without having to travel around the world.
Two Australian companies that have taken that approach are WRG and Cohda.
WRG (Water Resources Group)
WRG is a Perth company that develops low-cost water treatment technology. It is currently running a
pilot project in El Dorado Hills, California, to demonstrate its product to potential customers and
investors. US organizations that would not take the 26 hour flight to get from New York to Perth can
visit the California operation. This also enables WRG to gain access to broader opportunities for
collaborative R&D with US companies and research organisations.
Cohda Wireless is participating in a pilot program with the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) to test
vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) and vehicle to infrastructure (V2I) communication. The program involves more
than 2,000 vehicles and will enable Cohda to demonstrate its products ability to improve driver safety.
While Cohda provides technical inputs to the program it will also gain a great understanding of how US
customers evaluate technical products. It also exposes Cohda to major automotive and telcommunications
companies in the US.
For more information see the following link:
Lessons for Other Australian Companies
1. Pilot projects attract partners who can help develop your product for the American market.
Cohda works with several technology providers which creates opportunities for Cohda to learn the ropes
in the US by being part of a bigger team.
2. Having a functioning prototype in America makes it easy for your customers to come and see your product
in action. A serious US customer would travel to Chicago to meet Cohda or to California to meet WRG but they
may not be willing to travel to Adelaide or Perth.
3. Trialing your product in America helps move beyond hypothetical questions about how US governement
bodies will regulate your US operations. Transport and communications are two highly regulated sectors in the
US and Cohda will be able to learn the application of those regulations under the guidance of the US Department
These are just some of the Australian companies participating in pilot projects in the US. The medical field is
another area where Austraian companies use pilot projects to enter the US market. If you want to provide input
on other successful Australian companies then comment on this blog or send me a message on Twitter (@simonboylen).
To learn more about entering the US market then send me an email or tweet: