International visitors are flocking to Israel to see its startups despite the political turmoil.
GoforIsrael, a showcase of some of the country's most dynamic new businesses, held its 30th annual conference with a record turnout of investors from around the world hoping to be part of Israel’s tech sector.
“The event showcases Israel's dynamic and thriving high-tech ecosystem, which is the country's ultimate economic strength.” Jacob Millet from the London branch of Cukierman & Co, one of the event organisers, told the JC.
GoforIsrael is a business conference that accelerates investors' relationships with the Israeli ecosystem by creating focused and direct meetings between Israeli entrepreneurs and senior investors from around the world.
“Cukierman and co. has a track record of providing assistance to Israeli Companies. In the last 30 years we have advised on over 10 billion dollars of transitions globally.” said Millet.
He said that investments in companies causing disruptive innovation in areas like fintech, healthcare, and biotechnology are currently popular.
30 per cent of the 1500 participants were from outside including Frank Yang from BOCG from China who said he attended the conference to "scout for new investments and to meet experts." He told the JC it was his first time in Israel and aside from the ancient friendship he said the two countries have he was came because, “ Israel has a known reputation for innovation and is famous for its medical devices and biotech.”
“If we put science aside, and talk about the culture for innovation, Israel is very practical and highly efficient. I come from Shenzhen. It's one of the most entrepreneurial and innovative cities, I see a lot of similarities in Tel Aviv, I can arrange meetings every half an hour - it’s very results-oriented.”
“BOCG is a healthcare fund so I am particularly interested in health tech, we are looking for early-stage companies. I have lots of meetings set up with research institutions.”
Lisya Bahar- Manoah, originally from Istanbul, is a Partner at Tel Aviv- based Catalyst Funds told the Jewish Chronicle that now is the most important time to invest in Israeli startups due to global turmoil and fluctuating economies. She says it’s crucial to support Israeli start-ups for the Israeli ecosystem.
“As an engineer you get excited about every new technology, I get most excited when I discover a company that can make an impact on people's lives, providing food solutions for food safety or climate change. We have invested in a lot of energy solutions.”
Omer Ne’eman, one of the co-founders of Hairsetics was one of several startups that showcased their innovations for potential investors. Hairsetics implant artificial hair into women who have hair loss.
“We are here today to attract investors. We are looking for enough to break even for marketing and production."
Other start-ups included Robotican, who brought their “rooster robot “ used for search and research rescue, Snappers which enables media outlets to cover world events without leaving the office and Entoprotech who use black soldier fly larvae to process food and waste.