As summer continues, with record highs in the United States now is the time many business and government leaders participate in organized trips to Israel. In fact, there are several nonprofits and organizations bringing emerging leaders to Israel. The United States has had the strongest relationship with Israel not just on the federal level, but with cultural, diplomatic, and economic ties. Even with the strength of the relationship there are plenty of areas in which cooperation on the state and city level are always improving, particularly when it comes to parlaying the expertise of Israeli tech startups. We’re going to cover some of the cities and states who have been cooperating and innovating because of their relationship with the Startup Nation.
New York, New York, what else can we say? Aside from having the largest Jewish population outside of Israel and being the second home of Israeli startups New York City (and state) are leaning on Israel’s tech experience when building their tech ecosystem. Two recent examples are Governor Cuomo’s recent mission to Israel and the Cyber NYC initiative to help make New York City a center of cyber excellence. As New York hosts many Fortune 500 headquarters and is a global center for financial services the city is building itself into a center for cyber excellence and is leaning on Israel technology companies to do just that. In the competition for where growing Israeli companies land in the United States, it seems like New York is passing Silicon Valley. But it’s not just Israeli tech companies scaling in New York, much of the work in representing states like New York (and Iowa) is done on the ground in Israel by accomplished executives who understand both American and Israel business cultures like Gerry Stoch.
Arizona has had an interest in Israel for some time because of the Startup Nation’s advances in water preservation. The relationship is strengthening as Arizona, like many other states, is interested in attracting foreign companies to set up shop in their state. An example is the Arizona Israel Technology Alliance, an organization which has served as a cornerstone for Israel-Southwest business tech relations due to the work of seasoned professionals such as Nitsan Naidorf. In order to attract more Israeli tech startups to Arizona (which promotes better incentives than neighboring California) the state opened a trade office in Israel. As quoted in this recent article “Israel’s new trade office is a major victory for Arizona. This development not only helps reinforce Arizona’s reputation as a business-friendly state, but it also provides Arizona and Israeli companies with an additional avenue to succeed in the global marketplace.” It looks like the Grand Canyon State and the Startup Nation have more in common than just the hot weather.
Cities such as Houston and Dallas have traditionally had large pro-Israel Jewish populations and strong ties to Israel. Political factors aside identity wise Israelis and Texans share many similar independent attributes, as the original founders of the State of Israel have been lionized as cowboys. There are also areas of economic mutual interest such as energy and cybersecurity. A good example of this was when the Texas-Israel Chamber of Commerce, Israeli Energy and Economic Mission and Southern Methodist University who partnered to present a Texas-Israel Cyber Security Conference last year. The Texas-Israel Cybersecurity Alliance has been called “an innovative body within the Texas-Israel Chamber of Commerce that engages industry leaders on U.S.-Israel partnerships in strategic cybersecurity technology, according to the Texas-Israel Chamber of Commerce’s Chairman George Seay.” And as Israel becomes a natural energy powerhouse that relationship will only strengthen, especially when organizations such as the Texas-Israel Chamber of Commerce facilitates relationships between the Lone Star State and the Startup Nation.
While many people assume that southern Florida, the area around Miami and Boca Raton are the hotspots when it comes to Floridian-Israel relationship, it’s Tampa and its growing tech ecosystem. In particular FIBA, the Florida-Israel Business Accelerator is looking to attract and grow Israeli tech firms. Tampa is among many cities in the United States that is looking to leverage its current economic standing in order to work with Israel tech companies to help build their tech ecosystem. We’ll see more from cities like Tampa as Israeli tech companies look for affordable cities open to international startups to launch their operations in the United States. Here in Israel the Enterprise Florida – Israel Office under the leadership of Nurit Gazit is working to make sure those cultural and economic ties continue to stay strong in the coming years.
As the summer continues, we’ll see more groups visiting Startup Nation Israel, some with visitors who have visited Israel before, some new. Like all relationships, their strength is not a given, they need to be cultivated and maintained. Similar to the relationship between Israel and the United States, strong authentic relationships are the cornerstone of everything we do here at Clearview Partners.