By Al Shams

Conexx: America Israel Business Connector has been taking delegations to Israel for 24 years, offering them a view into the country’s leading-edge technology and innovations. Israel has a business-friendly ecosystem that has spawned numerous startups that have become significant companies.

Over the years, Conexx’s efforts have resulted in significant economic growth for Israel and the Southeast.

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Find out more about the Conexx Business Expedition

This November, Conexx is leading a whirlwind business expedition to. Industry-specific and region-specific themes characterized previous Conexx missions, but this trip from Nov. 5 to 10 will embrace different industries spread across Israel.

This program also seeks to be have more appeal to women. Conexx women have planned some women-specific conferences with Israeli women who are leaders in life sciences, finance, cyber technology, and science, technology, engineering and math education.

After flying to Tel Aviv, the group will spend a day in Be’er Sheva in the Negev. This southern city, mentioned in the book “Start Up Nation,” has become a recognized center for cybersecurity.

Trip attendees will meet with officials from Cyber Spark and Ben-Gurion University.

Conexx President Guy Tessler.

Conexx President Guy Tessler.

Cyber Spark is a partnership of Jerusalem Venture Partners, Lockheed Martin and BGN Technology, the university’s technology transfer company, which has played a huge role in making Be’er Sheva a cyber center. Cyber Spark coordinates cyber activities with government agencies, the Israel Defense Forces, the public and academia.

The women’s segment will be coordinated by Rivka Carmi, the university president. Topics for discussion will be “Women in Cyber Security,” “Technology” and “Entrepreneurship.”

Jerusalem is the next location. Attendees will meet with senior officials from the following organizations:

  • Yissum, the technology transfer company for the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. It seeks to market the intellectual property developed by the world-renowned university.
  • Our Crowd, a world-leading equity-based crowdfunding platform for accredited investors, providing venture capital funding for Israeli venture capital startups. Our Crowd has been the subject of several AJT articles and is featured in “Start Up Nation.”
  • Jerusalem Venture Partners, a global venture capital fund based out of the JVP Media Quarter in Jerusalem and JVP Cyber Labs in Be’er Sheva. Established in 1993 as part of the Yozman program, Jerusalem Venture Partners has raised $1 billion and is ranked by Preqin as one of the top 10 consistently performing venture capital firms in the world. The fund is renowned for creating companies from seed and driving them to exit by leveraging strong technical and operational expertise. JVP is also known for various financing strategies that enhance returns for all investors.

JVP’s innovative approach to venture capital starts with its location at the JVP Media Quarter in the renovated Mint of the British Empire with the Historic Ottoman Storehouses next door. The quarter is heralding the revitalization of the area surrounding Jerusalem’s old train station. Over 200 employees work in a compound that includes the VC firm, the technology incubator, a dozen startup and portfolio companies, a performing arts hub (Zappa Jerusalem in the Lab), and a social profit organization.

  • Mobileye, a world leader in transportation technologies that recently ended a partnership with Tesla. Attendees will gain insight into next generation of autonomous vehicles and Mobileye’s partnerships with BMW, Intel and others.

In Tel Aviv, attendees will learn about The Bridge by Coca-Cola, a program that guides young companies on commercializing products and services around the world. The six-month program includes marketing advice and access to senior executives.

Rothschild Boulevard, also known as “Startup Nation Boulevard,” is the center of Tel Aviv’s high-tech community and is part of the trip. A visit to the Israel Stock Exchange is planned, along with meetings with exchange officials, venture capital bankers and corporate executives.

Haifa is the location of Rambam Medical Center, which serves as a hospital and research center for the northern part of the country. Attendees will learn about:

  • Underground emergency facilities for catastrophic events.
  • Innovations in emergency preparedness.
  • A digital medical incubation center with such partners as Medtronic, IBM, and Med Tech, Rambam’s tech transfer arm.
  • Collaborative programs with the Technion.

The northern segment of the mission will include a medical incubator in the Galilee. A women’s forum will provide an opportunity to meet with leading Israeli female venture capitalists, entrepreneurs, business owners and policymakers.

Rehovot, the group’s last destination, will address Israel’s world-leading technology in treating and reusing waste water. The Shafdan-Mekorot facility will showcase its capabilities.

The Weitzman Institute of Science will discuss its contributions in brain research, innovative drugs, physics and biology.

Landa-Digital Printing will showcase its nanographic technology, which enables printers to efficiently bridge the gap between offset and digital printing.

The mission also offers nonbusiness excursions:

  • Tel Be’er Sheva is a Negev archaeological site from the 10th century B.C.E. It addresses biblical history and has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  • Jerusalem provides opportunities to tour the Old City, visit the Israel Museum and sample an array of Middle Eastern food.
  • Tel Aviv and Jaffa offer tours of unique sites, old and new.

This trip should be a fantastic experience; those seeking more information should contact Conexx President Guy Tessler at gtessler@conexx.org.

Al Shams is a Sandy Springs resident, a former CPA and an investment professional with more than 36 years’ industry experience.