JERUSALEM, March 24, 2015 — A delegation of influential Miami entrepreneurs and leaders in the tech start-up community is in Israel with Project Interchange, an educational institute of AJC (American Jewish Committee), to learn from the country’s thriving tech and innovation sector while sharing best practices and making connections. The knowledge exchange is being supported by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.
This week-long intensive trip and workshop in Israel’s globally-recognized tech and innovation sector, dubbed the “Start Up Nation,” is intended to provide participants the opportunity to broaden their networks and develop the personal connections necessary for collaboration. The delegation is gaining exposure to this highly diverse tech sector, which has helped fuel and sustain rapid economic growth in Israel.
The program will be centered in and around Tel Aviv, the hub of Israel’s tech corridor. Participants will also visit technology and innovation centers throughout Israel, including Haifa, Jerusalem and Beersheba. Workshops will highlight key drivers of innovation in these areas, introducing the delegation to leading entrepreneurs and investors. In addition, the program will educate participants about the entrepreneurial environment in Israel, including policies that foster and encourage innovation and practices that can be replicated in Miami.
Delegation participants have already made significant contributions to the tech and innovation industry, including: the formation of an entrepreneurship education company that offers turn-key models to create a worldwide entrepreneurial ecosystem and network of collaborators, investment organizations that help cultivate successful startups, and creation of a business that develops global startups focusing on urban challenges.
Robin Levenston, Project Interchange Executive Director, stated, “Project Interchange is thrilled to host the first-of-its-kind delegation of Miami entrepreneurs and innovation leaders for their first trip to Israel. Israel’sworld-class research and innovation, its unique academia-to-technology transfer programs, and its emphasis on integrating immigrants into the country’s society, are key areas for collaboration and sharing of best practices that can truly benefit the greater Miami community and beyond.” Levenston added, “The Miami innovators represent a diverse array of constituencies, from academia to the private sector, and they share the common interests of job creation, high-tech innovation, and collaboration; all areas of importance to Israel and Miami.”
Matt Haggman, Program Director of Miami for Knight Foundation, and a member of the delegation stated, “Getting Miami on the map as a global innovation hub means forging strong connections with the larger international community, and learning from the experiences of innovators across the globe. Israel’s startup and tech sectors have gained increased attention and wide acclaim in recent decades. Its experiences can give our entrepreneurs a view into the drivers of a successful innovation ecosystem and help them make connections to expand Miami’s reputation as a global innovation hub.”
The Project Interchange delegation includes entrepreneurs, venture capital and angel investors, and experts in the nonprofit and academic sectors focused on bringing innovation, creativity and entrepreneurship to Miami. Brian Siegal, AJC Miami director, is accompanying participants on the trip.
Support for Project Interchange forms part of Knight Foundation’s efforts to invest in Miami’s emerging innovators and entrepreneurs as a tool to build community, while fostering talent and expanding opportunity. Over the past two years, Knight Foundation has made more than 90 investments in entrepreneurship in South Florida.