THE GREAT AMERICAN ISRAEL MASS CHALLENGE: [ 2 ]

20 Feb

THE GREAT AMERICAN ISRAEL MASS CHALLENGE: Israel is beginning to take off in the world of technology FINALLY. Israeli startups are participating in this years MASSCHALLENGE is no traditional accelerator. MASSCHALLENGE is holding MASSCHALLENGE ISRAEL in Boston June 25 – October 30. Startups get office space and mentorship. There is no guaranteed exchange of funding for equity. 125 startups compete for prizes of up to $100,000. MASSCHALLENGE released the statement Israel with its innovation [ Startup Genome’s Startup Ecosystem Report ranked Tel Aviv the #2 startup ecosystem in the world, after Silicon Valley ] is a logical expansion choice.

1.   “Israeli defense exports for 2012 are expected to show an
increase, despite the global economic crisis…. Israeli defense exports
for 2012 may cross the $7 billion line…. 10% to 15% higher than 2011
exports, though it will not match the peak of more than $7.5 billion
recorded in 2010…. A substantial effort is currently under way to
increase sales mainly in countries such as India and several other
countries in Eastern Asia, South American countries, Australia, Africa
and Canada, where Israeli defense exports have recorded a growth trend
(IsraelDefense, Dec. 31, 2012).”  Israel is ranked between fourth and
sixth in the world for weapons sales. The US and Europe are Israel’s
leading markets.

2.  “Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer said that even though there is only
one Silicon Valley, ‘Israel is among the second tier of innovative
places’ — akin to Microsoft’s hometown, Seattle…. Ballmer said that
“the range of innovative things that Israel is doing is remarkable.
There is such a wide scope of exciting things going on there. Israel
is a start-up center, and there is always something to challenge us
here, or one that we can acquire.’ A number of MS technologies are
‘Made in Israel,’ Weisfeld explained in a previous interview: These
include Microsoft gateway VPN technology; Microsoft Security
Essentials anti-virus suite; and the newest product, the
recommendation system for Xbox systems…. Israel was the first
Microsoft R&D center outside the US, which opened in 1991. Today, the
company has centers around the world, but… there are only four places
in the world where the R&D centers get involved in general and
innovative projects: the US, China, India, and Israel (Time of Israel,
Nov. 5, 2012).”

3.  The Swiss-based Institute for Management Development (IMD) has
ranked the Bank of Israel in the top five among central banks for its
efficient functioning in its 2012 World Competitiveness Yearbook for
the third year in a row. The report also ranked Israel’s economy 9th
highest for its durability in the face of the global financial crisis
(http://bit.ly/Xf6Cr9).

4.  The $110BN Cisco acquired Israel’s IntuCell for $475MN, Cisco’s
11th Israeli acquisition, including NDS which was acquired in March,
2012 for $5BN  (Globes, January 24).  Israel’s Keryx
BioPharmaceuticals raised – on NASDAQ – $70MN, its 4th IPO (Globes,
Feb. 4). Israel’s MedGenics raised $29MN on NASDAQ (Globes, Feb. 11).
DKPartners hedge fund joined York Private Equity, investing $55MN in
Elbit Imaging bonds (January 24).

5.  In 2012, 575 Israeli high-tech companies raised $1.92 billion from
local and foreign investors, a 10 percent decrease from $2.14 billion
raised by 545 companies in 2011 (Israel Venture Capital Research
Center).  The Georgia-based EndoChoice merged with Israel’s Peer
Medical, raising $43MN in a round of private placement led by Sequoia
Capital (MarketWire, January 4).  Benchmark Capital, Battery Ventures
and HPV Investment invested $16MN in Israel’s Panaya (Globes, Jan. 9).
 Sequoia Capital, Bessemer Venture Partners and Norwest Venture
Partners invested $15NM in a round of private placement by Israel’s
Ravello (Globes, Feb. 7). The NYC-based Millennium Technology Value
Partners invested $12MN in Israel’s WatchDox (Globes, 31).  Orbimed
invested $8MN in Israel’s Medigus (Globes, Jan. 7). $5.5MN invested in
Jonathan Medved’s OurCrowd (Globes, Feb. 7).

6.  Israel’s natural gas potential.  Jonathan Baron and Dr. David
Wurmser, (Forbes, September 27, 2012):  ”With in excess of 25 trillion
cubic feet of natural gas discovered since 2009, Israel now enjoys
historic opportunities to produce domestic, affordable, and secure
energy…. Under any realistic scenario, Israel possesses ample supplies
to ensure energy security in the power sector for a generation…. The
well-established pattern of such development suggests that the natural
gas discoveries to date represent only a fraction of the total
recoverable resource. Based on other basins, current discoveries in
the Israeli Levant Basin likely are only a fraction of the total
technically recoverable resources…. “

7.  Kinetic Energies – Alternative Electrical Energies, owned by Isaac
Sutton, leads a 250MN Euro investment in the construction of 120
megawatt 50 wind-turbines in the Golan Heights (Globes, January 24).

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