‘Wisely’ connecting Israeli and American companies

IsraelWise’s Maoz Tenenbaum: What we’re about is helping American companies explore Israeli technology, to provide market research and background on the company and the management.While it’s a known fact that outside of Silicon Valley, Israel possesses the largest concentration of …

IsraelWise’s Maoz Tenenbaum: What we’re about is helping American companies explore Israeli technology, to provide market research and background on the company and the management.While it’s a known fact that outside of Silicon Valley, Israel possesses the largest concentration of top-quality high tech firms in the world, it has not always been so easy for North American businesses interested in collaborations and investments to make contact with the appropriate company.

Tel Aviv startup IsraelWise has identified the problem and is hoping to serve as an intermediary between burgeoning Israeli companies and international companies searching for cutting-edge technology, innovative products, business partners and sales opportunities.

Conversely, powers behind IsraelWise will also help Israeli companies seeking opportunities on the international market by providing them with contacts, research and other assistance.

“Making contact is a small part of the whole process,” explains IsraelWise founder and senior partner Maoz Tenenbaum. “Billions of dollars are drained because of communications problems stemming from language and cultural issues. What we’re about is helping American companies explore Israeli technology, to provide market research and background on the company and the management.

“If you go directly to a company and ask them to describe themselves, of course they’re going to say, ‘we’re a good company’. IsraelWise is the third party – and we’re providing added value to American companies beyond the initial stage of making contact,” he told ISRAEL21c.

IsraelWise’s market research and business intelligence assets closely follow Israeli companies involved in manufacturing, telecommunications, medical devices, biotechnology, software and other fields, which then enables them to develop targeted shortlists, backed by facts and figures about company structure and management and the marketability of specific products and technologies.

“Sure, companies, or manufacturers or investment companies can find information about Israeli companies or technology on the Internet, but from us they’re going to get everything first hand and double checked. We truly represent their interests, and are able to close the cultural gap. They’re getting the real picture, and not just what the company is telling them,” said Tenenbaum.

IsraelWise’s clients already include BullGuard, a Danish developer of security software for home users and small businesses that wants to expand its operations into Israel; HiTechPR, an award-winning US-based technology public relations agency; Saltman Studios, an Israeli startup that produces online games and is seeking capital from US investors, and a leading US investment house for which IsraelWise is providing information on Israeli stocks traded on the NASDAQ.

HiTechPR’s CEO Mark Bruce said that IsraelWise has been able to help his company in specific tasks which before were subject to hit or miss random tactics.

“For example, at one point recently, we needed an Israeli PR agency to partner with and IsraelWise found just the right group within a few days,” he told ISRAEL21c. “On the marketing front, IsraelWise introduced us to a potential client, Avi Regev CPAs. Regev is an established Israeli CPA firm that is interested in creating a presence and locating business partners in the US to establish a training institute for CFOs and Controllers. Thanks to IsraelWise, they are now our client – and more than that – it’s a perfect fit for us and Regev. And IW continues to work with us as a liaison between our organizations.”

According to Bruce, IsraelWise is a trusted point partner in Israel with the business acumen who knows the country, customs, and language.

“HiTechPR a 35 year old American PR and communications firm that is focused primarily on technology accounts and has worked with a number of Israeli companies over the years including divisions of Tadiran, MEMCO, Genoa Color Technologies and Integrated Systems Research. However, with IsraelWise, we now have a proactive marketing strategy and stronger links to Israel whereas before our connection was much more haphazard,” he said.

Much of the credit goes to Tenenbaum – who boasts more than 12 years of experience in working with leading Israeli high tech – and with international companies in North American and Asian markets. Having lived abroad in Tokyo and in the US, he says that Israel’s reputation in the high tech world is unsurpassed.

“Israeli technology is second to none – it’s the diamond of the technology market in the world. More companies are listed on the Nasdaq than any other besides the US and Canada – more than Japan and Germany,” he said.

“Sometimes I’m visiting abroad – and I’ll ask my business hosts ‘how many people live in Israel?’. Usually the answer is in the hundreds of million. Nobody can imagine that we’re so productive with only 7 million people. It’s quite an achievement. Israeli technology is making waves abroad.”

Tenenbaum attributes the buzz about Israeli high tech to the high quality of its engineers and its work ethic.

“We have the highest percentage of engineers per 10,000 employees – something like 130, and they’re the best engineers in the worlds. It’s something to do with the spirit of Israeli companies to succeed. There’s something very unique about it. That’s why companies like IBM, Nokia and Intel open R&D centers here – they understand the added value that Israel has to offer,” he said.

According to HiTechPR’s Bruce, Israel is now recognized in the US as a technology center with limitless potential.

“The realization that Israel is very similar to the US, Japan and other technology-based economies is growing quickly here. More American companies are – and will be – looking to collaborate with their Israeli counterparts,” he said.

IsraelWise recently launched a new Web site featuring a sophisticated matching engine that enables companies anywhere in the world to perform vertical searches to find their Israeli counterparts. In turn, they can add themselves to the database, ensuring wide exposure in Israel.

“This feature of our Web site has been designed to increase the interaction between the international business community and Israel,” said Tenenbaum. “Companies interested in exploring the Israeli market will find the database a valuable tool – and by adding their name to it, they’ll be similarly available to companies in Israel. Our proprietary database covers the full spectrum of Israeli high tech industries, affording our clients access to a rich directory of companies seeking partners, customers and investors.”

“The site’s only been live a few weeks and a service provider from New York already found an Israeli contact through us and the contact is now in the US for meetings,” he added.

Founded in 2002, IsraelWise has been sanctioned by the Israel Export Institute to support Israeli companies in their dealings on the world market. For those interested in obtaining key information about Israeli companies in order to make an informed decision, the brainchild of Maoz Tenenbaum provides a one-stop supermarket of ideas.