International Business Networking Via the Internet and Video Conferencing

By Stephen Johnson
April 4, 2002

Washington, DC-based Tradebuilders, Inc., is hosting a "Virtual Trade Mission" April 22 - May 22 for companies in the region that are interested in developing business relationships with Israeli technology firms.

According to Virginia Littlejohn, Chairman of Tradebuilders ( "this will be the Washington area's first Internet-based trade mission with Israel, and will provide security technology companies in DC, Virginia, and Maryland an efficient and cost-effective opportunity to meet and develop business partnerships."

One Washington-area company participating in the Virtual Trade Mission with Israel is Potomac, Maryland-based WILL Interactive. This award-winning training company produces virtual experience interactive movies that have been selected by the FBI's Crisis Negotiation Unit and the military's Joint Chiefs of Staff to train FBI agents and military commanders. Its patent-protected software enables users to practice making critical decisions regarding crisis negotiations, anti-terrorism and force protection on their computers before making them in real life. The company won first place in the U.S. Government and University of Pennsylvania 16th Annual Technology Games Competition.

According to Sharon Sloane, the firm's President and CEO: "WILL Interactive wants to partner with Israeli and U.S. subject matter experts on security and counter-terrorism to develop and provide world-class security training products for governments, corporations and organizations."

Tradebuilders has organized successful Virtual Trade Missions with companies in countries such as the U.S., Canada, India, Malaysia, and Singapore. The firm will also host a Virtual Trade Mission for Washington-area technology firms with their counterparts in Germany from June 5 - 28. Additional Virtual Trade Missions are planned for later this year with technology companies in the United Kingdom, China, and the Republic of Ireland. "Virtual Trade Missions represent the new face of trade," says Elizabeth Vazquez, President of Tradebuilders.

Washington-area firms that offer or need one or more of the following security technologies or services are invited to participate in the April 22 - May 22 Virtual Trade Mission with Israel:

Vazquez explains how the Virtual Trade Mission will work: "After online applications have been evaluated and accepted, qualified company representatives will use assigned access codes to engage in business discussions over the Internet. These discussions can take place as often as necessary over a four-week period of time.

"Business facilitators will help participants build business relationships based on mutual interests and trust. The online environment will provide all participants with access to online discussion areas for business networking, a member directory complete with Website links, a library of valuable resources, and access to industry experts who can answer questions and provide advice on topics such as government procurement, trade law, finance options, sales and marketing, etc. Participants will also take part in a video conference between DC and Tel Aviv on May 22, the final day of the Virtual Trade Mission."

Organizers of the Virtual Trade Mission include the Washington DC Technology Council; Greater Washington Board of Trade's International Gateway; US-Israel Business Exchange; Israel Export Institute; McDermott, Will & Emery; Ropes & Gray; Sonic Telecom, and Sughrue, Mion.

Companies interested in applying for the Virtual Trade Mission with Israel should visit, contact Elizabeth Vazquez at, or call (202) 237-5703. The cost of the mission is only $250.

Stephen Johnson is Executive Director, Corporate Communications, for HireStrategy.

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