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Israeli startups take their show on the road

Posted By Abigail Klein Leichman On March 27, 2011 @ 12:00 am In | No Comments

Major US/Israel Venture Summit planned for Wall Street area will give new firms and American venture funders a mutual platform to meet and make deals.

Participants at a previous US/Israel Venture Summit.

Top management from more than 40 promising Israeli technology, life sciences and cleantech companies will have exclusive access to leading US investors at the US/Israel Venture Summit on March 29-30 at Digital Sandbox in New York City’s Wall Street financial district.

ISRAEL21c is a sponsor of the event, which is a production of youngStartup Ventures. Panel sessions with investors, startup company presentations and networking opportunities are to be the three main aspects of the program. Industry experts will provide updated analyses and share their experiences.

“Whether you’re an investor seeking new deals, a startup seeking capital or a service firm seeking new clients, this is one event you won’t want to miss,” says youngStartup Ventures chief executive officer Joe Benjamin.

He tells ISRAEL21c that the event has attracted the interest of venture capitalists, corporate and private investors, investment bankers, angel investors, tech transfer executives, incubator managers and an equal number of Israeli CEOs of emerging firms. This is the fifth summit youngStartup has organized focusing specifically on Israeli startups; the previous one was held in 2008.

New investment in Israeli firms

“Our participating VCs are aware that the companies we are featuring are Israeli ones that have established a presence in the United States or are planning to do so,” says Benjamin. Given Israel’s small market, he explains, most entrepreneurs from Israel realize it is to their benefit to establish US offices.

“Most investors are open to investing in companies that are further away, where they will be dealing with people on a virtual level, but some would prefer to have a presence closer by, so that they have easy access to someone speak with.”

Benjamin explains that youngStartup Ventures uses its extensive network to source deals for early-stage and emerging companies and assist them in procuring funding. “We do large venture capital summits for companies seeking anything from seed-stage to third-round institutional financing, either in high-tech, life sciences, healthcare/medical devices or cleantech sectors,” he says.

While many of the company’s summits feature international funders, the US/Israel Venture Summit is only for US-based VCs, he adds. “That is the main benefit we are offering — access to US-based funds.”

This year, says Benjamin, “our specific goal was to attract VCs that have not yet invested in Israeli companies, in addition to others that already have. We have 43 VC executives confirmed to speak, and more VCs than we have had in the past, so I think the interest is there.”

Organizing a summit exclusively for Israeli startups made sense professionally and personally for youngStartup Ventures. “Israel is a powerhouse for innovation, and we’d seen a number of Israeli companies applying to our other programs. Also, each of us at youngStartup has a specific tie to Jewish-owned companies, so there was that personal interest as well.”

Benjamin says participants were chosen following a review of summary outlines submitted by applicants who responded to youngStartup’s call for companies. “Most have already raised some funding and a few have presented at some of our other summits.”

The US/Israel Venture Summit advisory board includes executives from Canaan Partners, Point Judith Capital, Metamorphic Ventures, Norwest Venture Partners, Motorola Mobility Ventures, DFJ Gotham Ventures, Greener Capital, Signal Lake and BD Technologies.


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