This past December, our office partnered with the Economic Mission at the Embassy of Israel to the United Kingdom to bring a delegation of investors to Israel. The investors, about a dozen in total, represented the angel and VC communities in both London and New York. They came to Israel for three days of intensive meetings, networking and introductions to the lucrative business opportunities around Startup Nation.
Day 1: Tel Aviv
The first stop for the group was at the luxurious new offices of the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange. The investors met with the directors of the TASE, and kicked off the trip with a briefing of the Israeli economy. Next the delegation met with the chief economist for Bank HaPoalim, one of Israel’s largest financial institutions. They also were introduced to a number of FinTech startups in which Bank HaPoalim had invested. From the TASE and BH, the investors turned their attention to Tel Aviv’s accelerators. They met with Uri Weinheber of The Time incubator, and also visited AlphaZone, IBM’s first international accelerator, located nearby in Petakh Tikva.
Day 2: Jerusalem
On the second day of the trip, the delegation made a pilgrimage to Israel’s capital city, and newest hub of high-tech innovation. Nearly the entire day was spent at the star-studded Our Crowd Investor Summit, where the group participated in the conference and networked with the assembled entrepreneurs, and industrial and political players. Our Crowd is itself a leading crowd-funded VC, making Israeli startups accessible to a whole new set of investors, headed up by the incomparable Jon Medved.[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-AgxV1M8ylQ&list=PLRrVdVXskdD4DJis_o9QJW23h_OLmLDc-[/youtube]
Finally, our investors had a chance to meet and mingle with VCs and startups at Our Crowd’s cocktail reception.
Day 3: Beersheva
In the last few years, Israel’s southern city has become one of the hottest cybersecurity labs in the world, and our investor delegation had a chance to see all of the innovation and research up close. The first stop was to the Cyberlabs incubator, a project of Jerusalem Venture Partners, where they met startups. Next they met CyberSpark, a non-profit initiative from EMC, JVP and BGN Technology promoting the cybersecurity technology park in Beersheva. The group also had a chance to visit Deutsche Telekom labs at Ben Gurion University, and met with Yaniv Harel of EMC.
After departing from Beersheva, the investors stopped at MindCET, a revolutionary incubator focusing on education technology. To conclude the tour, the investors enjoyed a final dinner with local VCs.
The early feedback from the tour was very positive. The group met an impressive lineup of quality startups and was exposed to tons of technology in an incredibly short time, over a substantial range of industries.
For more information about investing in Israeli technology, contact Erik at the Israel Economic Mission in NYC.