Trip Blog: Conexx Israel Mission 2016

Trip Blog: Conexx Israel Mission 2016

David R. Cohen

David R. Cohen is the former Associate Editor of the Atlanta Jewish Times. He is originally from Marietta, GA and studied Journalism at the University of Tennessee.

Above: Members of the Conexx delegation take a group photo in the old city of Jaffa overlooking Tel Aviv beach on Nov. 8 (Photo by David R. Cohen)

AJT Associate Editor David R. Cohen is accompanying the 2016 Conexx Israel Business Expedition Nov. 5-10. Follow here to get the latest insights into Israeli business innovation and the folks from the Southeast getting a piece of the action. Follow the hashtag #ConexxMission16 on Twitter and Instagram for more coverage.

Day 5: Tel Aviv, the Heart of Start-Up Nation

The fifth and final day of the 2016 Conexx Israel Business Expedition saw the group end in Tel Aviv, the center of Start-Up Nation.

Starting the day at We Work Sharona in Tel Aviv’s upscale Sharona Market, the delegation met with Yael Elad, the CFO of Aleph VC, a fund focused on building small Start-Ups into globally recognized brands.

The next stop was FoundersGroup where the group heard pitches from six Israeli Start-Ups:

  • Resec – ReSec Content Disarm and Reconstruction (CDR) technology prevents infiltration of malware into your network.
  • Tomobox – A customer engagement platform with AI-powered analytics and smart bots.
  • Kwik – Empowering IoT e-Commerce End-To-End. kwik is a flexible and modular IoT platform, enabling businesses to pick and choose the elements that they need.
  • Ondigo – Automatically syncs your team’s activity into Salesforce, analyzing performance and alerting you only about things that require your immediate attention.
  • MakeMyPlate – App. Visual Eating Plans with thousands of healthy meal options.
  • Howazit – A Smart, Simple, End-to-End Customer Communication.

After an off the record visit to The Bridge by Coca-Cola in Tel Aviv, a commercialization program for Start-Ups, the group visited the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange and the “State of Mind” Innovation center there which highlighted the many Israeli Start-Ups that have grown into global brands and the many more that may join them.

The delegation finished the day at Fischer Behar Chen Well Orion & Co. where the last of two panels on professional Women in Israel was held.

The panel included:

  • Esther Barak Landes, CEO Nielsen Innovate, Caesarea
  • Naomi Assia, Founder & Owner at Naomi Assia & Co. Law Offices, Tel Aviv
  • Shari Neumann, Director Brand Center, Georgia-Pacific LLC
  • Sigal Admony Ravid, Director of Marketing at LeumiTch Bank Leumi, Tel Aviv
  • Anat Shavit, Partner and Head of FBC’s Tax Practice

Photos from the day are below. (Photos by David R. Cohen) 

Day 4: Medical Innovation in Northern Israel

The fourth day of the Conexx mission was a day for taking in Israeli medical innovation in the picturesque rolling hills of northern Israel. It was also a day for exploring the expanding role of women in the medical field.

The group began the day with a visit to the Rambam Medical Center in Haifa which houses the city’s newest digital medicine incubator. The next stop was Misgav, Israel where the delegation got an up close look at the Trendlines medical incubator in the Galilee.

A new initiative for this year’s Conexx mision was a focus on women in medicine, science and technology and day four featured the first of two women’s panels on the topic.

The panel included:

Prof. Marcia Javitt – Director of Medical Imaging at the Rambam Health Care Campus.

Julia Hillard – Georgia Research Alliance Scholar & Professor and Director, Viral Immunology Center, Georgia State University.

Prof. Ora Israel – Director of Nuclear Medicine at Rambam

Reem Younis – Co-founder, Alpha Omega in Nazareth

Shannon Pierce – Founder, CareCam Health Systems, Greenville, SC

Suzanne Erez – IP Law Counsel, IBM Israel

Delegation member Dexter Caffey captured some shots of the day’s action that can been seen on his Facebook page

Day 3: Rehovot, Israel’s Science Center

The Conexx Business Expedition spent the entire third day of their trip in Rehovot, a hub of Science and technology in the center of Israel.

The group spent the first part of the day at the Weizman Institute of Science and finished with a tour of Landa Digital Printing, the most technologically advanced digital printing company in the world. It was there that the group was privileged to briefly meet the “father of commercial digital printing” Bennie Landa.

In between stops, the Conexx delegation toured the Ayalon Institute, the site of an underground bullet factory that was operated in secret by the Haganah during the British mandate. The punishment for producing bullets was death, but 45 Israeli men and women worked in secret for two years to produce bullets for Israel’s eventual War of Independence.

Highlights of the day are below.

Photos by David R. Cohen

Day 2: A Taste of Jerusalem Innovation

The second day of the Conexx Business Expedition to Israel began with an early morning and ended with a late night in Jerusalem.

The delegation again visited with multiple companies in a variety of tech spaces and concluded the day with a special meeting of the Jerusalem Business Networking Forum held at the Jerusalem College of Technology. Highlights from the day are below.

Photos by David R. Cohen

Day 1: Kicking off Conexx Israel Mission 2016

A warm fall afternoon on Tel Aviv beach Nov. 5 greeted those arriving to take part in the Conexx Israel Business Expedition. (View the full roster here)

The delegation met for dinner that evening at the Carlton hotel and was joined by guest speaker Chuck Ashley, the environment, science and technology officer for the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv. Also joining the group were Tal Cohen, founding partner of My Seed Tech Fund, and Limor Nakar-Vincent of the BIRD Foundation.

The next morning, the expedition headed south toward Be’er Sheva to meet with Israeli companies specializing in bio and cyber tech but first stopped to gain a perspective on one of the most valuable commodities in the Middle East: water.

At the Advanced Technologies Park in Be’er Sheva, the Conexx delegation heard elevator pitches from three cybertech companies in the JVP Israeli Start-Up Incubator:

  • Source Defense protects companies against vulnerabilities to hacking. A recent hack to third-party scripts on Facebook caused widespread outages to websites including CNN, ESPN and The Huffington Post.
  • SCADAFence provides passive, real-time monitoring of industrial networks for advanced manufacturing. Co-founders Yoni Shohet and Ofer Shaked started SCADAFence after serving together in the Israel Defense Forces’ cybersecurity unit.
  • Secret SKYDB encrypts data in the cloud using complex mathematical equations that frequently change. The chief technology officer is Ben Gurion University professor Shlomi Dolev, who founded the university’s computer science department.

The first day concluded with a carnivorous feast at the Butchery in Be’er Sheva and guest speaker Or Haviv, the CEO of Eilat Hub, the first startup and tech center serving the Eilat and Arava area.

Highlights below.

Photos by David R. Cohen

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