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UTSA SBDC International Trade Center
Founded by pioneering technology professionals based in San Antonio, Texas, Parlevel Systems is a provider of innovative vending technology tools for the food and beverage industries. Their products bring cloud computing, just-in-time inventory management and data analytics to the vending machine industry that optimizes deliveries and product offerings while increasing profitability.
One of the Co-Founders and current CEO of Parlevel Systems, Luis Gonzalez, is a graduate of the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) and previously served as a student intern at the UTSA SBDC International Trade Center where he gained firsthand knowledge on how to help entrepreneurs sell their goods and services all over the world. During the process of starting Parlevel Systems, Luis became a client of the UTSA SBDC. At the UTSA SBDC, Luis received technical and financial advising, as well as market research for the U.S. market that enabled them to develop software and hardware prototypes and obtain seed capital that launched Parlevel Systems in 2013.
As Parlevel Systems expanded in the U.S. market with the support of the UTSA SBDC, they saw an opportunity to expand into international markets. Gabriel Senior, Parlevel Systems COO, contacted the UTSA SBDC International Trade Center for assistance with international market research, industry and competition analyses, and distribution channel information. Thanks to the advising support of Sr. International Business Advisor, Julio Garcia de las Mestas, Parlevel Systems began selling their innovative products in Australia, Chile, France, Mexico, New Zealand and the United Kingdom.
Being a proactive client with an innovative product, Parlevel Systems was selected for the second Internationalization Pilot Program of the UTSA Center for Global Development. The objective of the Internationalization Pilot Program is to facilitate trade opportunities among clients of SBDC networks located throughout the Americas. Thanks to the potential buyers identified by the Servicio Nacional de Aprendizaje (SENA) SBDC Network in Colombia and with the advising provided by Julio, Parlevel Systems signed several contracts with Colombian clients, began to market products and services in Colombia and hired a sales representative in Bogotá to support their expansion in this new foreign market.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Parlevel Systems began creating tools that would be useful for consumers during the global crisis. The company determined that due to state lockdown restrictions, there was a need to expand their micro market productions into more apartment complexes and office buildings. They also realized that home delivery options were growing worldwide. In response, they launched their Parlevel Run tool which is a home delivery operating system for their micro market, vending, and coffee operators. Through this system, customers could use existing vending technology tools to sell products online and have these products delivered to end users. This operating system would in effect allow their customers to continue to sell their products even during the pandemic.
To help Parlevel Systems through the pandemic, Julio provided COVID-19 resources to help the company apply for federal loans and grants. In 2020, Parlevel Systems was awarded an Economic Injury Disaster Loan for $150,000 and a Paycheck Protection Program loan for $513,000 that helped retain talented staff. The UTSA SBDC International Trade Center also conducted market research on the apartment complex industry and compiled a list of potential customers so that the company could sell their new technology. This information was useful for Parlevel Systems to determine what region of the U.S. to focus resources on and to determine possible new customers.
In just seven years Parlevel Systems went from being a start-up to a successful exporting company with a global presence in 22 countries. The company was even able to expand their product line and continue to grow during a global pandemic. “The SBDC provided high value assistance, research, and guidance, vital help for a young company like ours”, said Gabriel. Parlevel Systems represents a great example of how SBDCs successfully help local businesses start, grow and thrive.
To learn more about Parlevel Systems, please visit their website at: https://www.parlevelsystems.com/