Third Centrallia a hit: organizers

Organizers say tens of millions of dollars of potential business was generated last week on the floor of the RBC Convention Centre, making the latest version of Centrallia another big success.

It was the third international Centrallia event in Winnipeg since 2010. It attracted nearly 700 delegates from 30 countries and provided a boon for small and medium-sized Manitoba businesses looking to establish relationships with international partners.

Derek Earl, vice-president of the World Trade Centre Winnipeg, said all the talk around the meeting space was positive.

“We’re very pleased,” said Earl. “The feedback was very positive.”

Hundreds of entrepreneurs came from as far as The Pas, Paris, Sao Paulo and the Philippines, pitching each other on everything from avocados to yurts, rocks that heal to apps that save lives, solar energy to road construction, from beautiful Parisian-styled bras for women to wear following breast cancer to funky furniture for the office.

“This was our third international Centrallia, and we really feel like we’ve scored the hat trick this time,” said Mariette Mulaire, president and CEO of the WTC Winnipeg, the Centrallia creator and organizer.

“We screened business more thoroughly and made sure the CEOs, presidents and decision-makers were in the room and put some serious discussion on the table,” she said.

Centrallia is the forum for the first “date” for many businesses and the chance to meet future business partners eye-to-eye, but it may take months of follow-up and due diligence to get to the “married” stage.

Source: The Winnipeg Free Press