On May 6, the Maryland/Israel Development Center organized an online conference on the work being done in the medical research community to combat COVID-19, featuring representatives from three different Israeli medical companies. Read the entire article written by the Baltimore Jewish Times>>>.
The Maryland/Israel Development Center (MIDC) was proud to host the Israeli Defense Technology Trade Mission to Maryland from March 10-13th, in partnership with the Israel Ministry of Defense’s SIBAT International Cooperation Directorate. SIBAT, which helps Israeli defense companies export their products and technologies, recruited the delegation of eight companies (see below).
While in Maryland, the delegation participated in over 115 one-on-one meetings with Maryland companies to discuss collaboration. They also attended workshops on doing business in the U.S. defense and homeland security industries, including a session with Maryland’s foremost homeland security leaders including Gen. Linda Singh, Adjutant General of the Maryland National Guard and Cal Bowman, Deputy Director of the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security.
The timing was perfect for the delegation visit because of the new requirements for U.S. military aid to Israel which requires that all of the U.S. funding, totaling $3.8 billion per year for 10 years, now needs to be spent in the United States, whereas previously 24% of the funds could be spent in Israel. The Israeli companies that benefit from the funding now need to do that work in the U.S. either through subcontracting to American companies or opening their own facilities. The MIDC’s goal is to attract those opportunities to Maryland.
Maryland Secretary of Commerce Kelly Schultz kicked off the conference at the opening dinner by delivering Gov. Hogan’s message that “Maryland is Open for Business,” especially for defense companies given that Maryland is home to the headquarters of the National Security Agency, the U.S. Cyber Command, Lockheed Martin and many other defense companies.
MIDC Chairman Alvin Katz, remarked on Maryland’s long economic development partnership with Israel stemming back to the Declaration of Cooperation signed by Gov. William Donald Schaefer and Israel’s Ambassador to the United States Moshe Arad in 1988.
The opening session was sponsored by bwtech@UMBC, the research and development park at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) with a welcome by Barry Bogage, Executive Director of the Maryland/Israel Development Center (MIDC) and Todd Dolbin, Business Development Manager of the Baltimore County Department of Economic Development. Rod Rodriguez, Vice President of Elta North America, delivered the opening keynote on “Lessons from Elta’s U.S. Market Entry.”
The “State and Local Homeland Security and Law Enforcement Technology Trends, Strategies and Needs,” panel was moderated by Howard Feldman, Partner, Whiteford Taylor & Preston and MIDC Board member. Panelists included:
- Cal Bowman, Deputy Director of Governor’s Office of Homeland Security
- General Linda Singh, Adjutant General, Maryland National Guard
- Lieutenant Colonel Fred Damron, Deputy Chief of Police, Maryland Transit Police
- Major Corey McKenzie, Special Operations Division, Maryland Transportation Authority Police
- Scott Canter, Commander, Homeland Security and Criminal Intelligence, Baltimore County Police Department
- David Engel, Director, Maryland Coordination and Analysis Center, Maryland State Police
Lynn Stein Benzion, Director of Business Retention and Expansion for the Montgomery County Economic Development Corporation, kicked off the second day of the delegation visit at the Universities of Shady Grove in Rockville.
The “Foreign Military Funding Opportunities and Teaming with Prime Contractors” panel was moderated by MIDC member Sam Feigin, Partner, Crowell Moring. Panelists were:
- Adelicia Cliffe, Partner, Crowell Moring,
- Chaim Kagedan, Deputy General Counsel, Israel Ministry of Defense Mission to the U.S.
- Steve Keefe, CEO, Patriot Technology
The afternoon session “Capturing Government Business: Strategies for the Success,” was moderated by Amanda Bresler, President, PW Communications. Panelists included:
- BAE Systems
- Senior Vice President, Business Development, Leonardo DRS, and President, DRS International
- Senior Vice President, ECR Division Business Development, ICF International
The Embassy of Israel hosted a welcome reception for the visiting delegation featuring remarks on the Maryland/Israel partnership from Walter “Pete” Landon, Homeland Security Director and Deputy Chief of Staff, to Maryland Governor Larry Hogan, Benjamin Krasna, Deputy Ambassador, Embassy of Israel, and General David Bassett of the U.S. Army.
Capitol Hill was the scene of the final day of the delegation visit featuring Maryland’s Congressional representatives including Senators Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen, and Congressmen Dutch Ruppersberger and Anthony Brown.
MIDC board member Lew Berman, Vice President of ICF International, moderated a panel focused on “Doing Business with DOD, DHS and the Alphabet Soup of Government Agencies,” featuring:
- Jeffrey Grover, Senior Procurement Analyst, Office of the Under Secretary of Defense Acquisition and Sustainment
- Carla Thomas, Communications and Industry Liaison, U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS)
- Steve Mensh, Executive Vice President, Textron Systems
- Rick Dunn, Founder, Strategic Institute for Innovations in Government Contracting
- Eyal Banai, CEO, Mistral Group
To read about the Israeli defense, homeland and cybersecurity companies, click here >>>.
January 4, 2019
For its countless technological innovations and contributions to the world, Israel has long been called a startup nation of great vision. Now, the Jewish state is doing something to help those who are blind or visually impaired.
On Jan. 9, the Maryland/Israel Development Center will present a talk by Mark A. Riccobono, president of the Baltimore-based National Federation of the Blind. Riccobono will discuss his recent trip to the Jerusalem headquarters of OrCam, which produces breakthrough assistive technology for individuals who are blind or visually impaired.
OrCam was invented by Amnon Shashua, co-founder of Mobileye, an Israel-based autonomous driving company that was acquired by Intel Corp. in 2017 for $15.3 billion and is used today in virtually every self-driving vehicle.
OrCam’s MyEye technology is wireless, lightweight and employs a magnet to clip to the frame of eyeglasses. It is a self-contained unit, working independently of the Internet, a smartphone or wireless connection.
Read the entire JMORE article.https://www.jmoreliving.com/2019/01/04/midc-event-focuses-on-israeli-technology-for-blind-and-visually-impaired/
In recognition of Israel’s 70th anniversary, the Maryland/Israel Development Center (MIDC) hosted a series of events throughout the state showcasing Israeli companies with offices in several Maryland counties.
The MIDC thanks its co-sponsors: Anne Arundel Economic Development Corporation, Baltimore Chamber of Commerce, Baltimore County Economic & Workforce Development, Frederick County Office of Economic Development, Howard County Economic Development Authority, Maryland Chamber of Commerce, Maryland Tech Council, Montgomery County Economic Development Corporation, and the World Trade Center Institute. Additionally, MIDC’s 2018 Strategic Partners sponsored the series.
Kicking off the Start Up Nation series was “Taste of Business-Israel” with the World Trade Center Institute in partnership with the MIDC. Eran Nitzan, the Embassy of Israel’s Minister of Economic Affairs, and Bruce Spector, CEO, Electronic Technology Associates, addressed the crowd at The Cordish Company’s Spark facility in Baltimore City.
Minister Nitzan spoke about promoting the economic relationship between Israel and the United States, both through the advancement of Israel’s ties to the American government and the international institutions in Washington DC, as well as through the promotion of the Israeli government’s relations with the business sector. He credited much of Israel’s global success to Israel’s entrepreneurial spirit to programs like incubators and accelerators; engines of growth to kick-start certain industries such as hospitals for medical devices and the military for defense, cyber and IT; as well as a well-trained workforce with experienced managers and executives and private resources like venture capital.
The Baltimore Cyber Range is powered by Israel’s Cyberbit Range Platform, a cybersecurity simulation and training environment that enables security teams to train in realistic settings. This hands-on experience expands cyber professionals’ knowledge base and enhances their skills to keep pace with evolving cyber threats. In addition, the training offered through the Baltimore Cyber Range, a joint venture between Cyberbit and Electronic Technology Associates of Baltimore, promotes team building and enables cyber teams to respond more quickly and more effectively to complex and advanced attacks.
Speaking at both the Montgomery County and Baltimore County events was Yifat Alon Perel, the Embassy of Israel’s Trade and Economic Minister. She gave a brief overview of “Israel’s Entrepreneurial Ecosystem” and highlighted that Israel has a significant impact on global innovation and Israeli companies are well connected throughout the world. Israeli’s strong education system provides a pipeline of skilled talents that supports innovative sectors. Israel invests in R&D at one of the highest rates in the world. The military plays a key role in innovation and expansion of technological sectors including health, robotics, cyber security, missile defense systems and drones used both for defense and civil uses (such as precise agriculture). To view a PowerPoint on Israel’s Economy, click here>>>.
Lt. Colonel Pini Brosh, Israeli’s Missile Defense Organization Liaison Officer headlined the Howard County event and shared how Israel’s high-tech prowess led to the groundbreaking missile defense systems, known as Arrow, David Sling and the Iron Dome system. He also discussed how the U.S./Israel partnership that developed the anti-missile systems benefits both Israel and the United States.
In addition to the presenting companies the Montgomery County event speakers were James C. Edgemond, Treasurer and Vice President, Strategic Financial Planning, United Therapeutics; David Petr, CEO, Montgomery County Economic Development Corporation; Tami Howie, CEO, Maryland Tech Council; Yifat Alon Perel, Minister for Economic and Trade Affairs, Embassy of Israel and Barry Bogage, Executive Director, MIDC. United Therapeutics hosted the event.
Speakers at the Baltimore County Start Up Nation event were: Mike Gill, Secretary, Maryland Department of Commerce, Yifat Alon Perel, Minister for Economic and Trade Affairs, Embassy of Israel; Will Anderson, Baltimore County’s Executive Director of Economic & Workforce Development; Brent Howard, Director of Membership, Baltimore County Chamber of Commerce; Steve Dubin, Chair MIDC, and Barry Bogage, Executive Director, MIDC. BWTech @ UMBC hosted the event.
Howard County Executive Allan Kittleman spoke at the Start Up Nation Howard County event along with Vernon Thompson, Deputy Director, Howard County Economic Development Authority; Lt. Col. Pinhas ‘Pini’ Brosh, Missile Defense Liaison Officer, Office of the Ministry of Defense Attaché, Embassy of Israel; Steve Dubin, MIDC Chair, and Barry Bogage, Executive Director, MIDC. The Universities Space Research Association hosted the event.
Patriot Technologies President Steve Keefe hosted and spoke at the Frederick County event along with Jodie Bollinger, Business Development Manager, Frederick County Office of Economic Development; Alvin Katz, newly elected Chair, MIDC, and Barry Bogage, Executive Director, MIDC.
ELTA North America is a global leader in the design, manufacture and support of innovative electronic systems for the United States government. These proven high-performance systems and a focus on customer satisfaction are the foundations of the company’s commitment to providing solutions to the nation’s warfighters, security personnel and first responders. The company provides solutions in the ground, maritime, airborne and security domains. For more information, click here>>>.
Integrated Systems Research Corporation (ISR Corporation)) is a pioneer in the IoT fleet telematics industry and has installed custom fleet management systems for numerous governmental and commercial clients around the world. With ISR FleetTrack®, a cloud-based browser application, real-time GPS tracking, event recording and a new array of safety features allow fleet managers to better utilize resources to save time, fuel, money, and overtime. ISR’s fleet management reports allow managers to see what their fleet vehicles did yesterday, last week, last month or any period you need to review. Ron Smith, National Sales Manager, ISR Corporation presented. For more information about ISR Corporation, click here >>>.
Jedvice delivers unique solutions for the deployment and operation of security systems based on extensive field experience at the most threatened sites in the Israeli security market. Jedvice has developed JedEye, a mobile solution that delivers contextual and intuitive situational awareness directly to field responder JedEye grants tactical advantage to field responders by accelerating and improving their response to emergency situations such as active shooter incidents.As a solution that bolts-on to existing surveillance infrastructure, JedEye revolutionizes the use of cameras and sensors to facilitate proactive security and daily monitoring operations. Eran Jedwab, Founder & CEO, Jedvice presented. For a complete brochure click here>>> and for a short summary of Jedvice, click here>>>. For more information on Jedvice go to www.jedvice.com
Dr. Inbar Freiderich Ben-Nun, Senior Manager, Cell Therapy Research & Development, Lonza, Walkersville, research and work is devoted to novel technologies and methods to enable the transition from early stage cell therapy production to commercial, viable, life-saving products. She spoke about Lonza’s new research and development Collaborative Innovation Center (CIC) in Haifa, Israel which will be designed to leverage Israel’s scientific strengths in engineering, software and cell/molecular biology. With the launch of the CIC, Lonza aims to accelerate leading research & development (R&D) projects from across Lonza’s pharma & biotech divisions.
The CIC will have a dedicated Lonza R&D team in Israel, who will work with local industry and academic experts through collaborations and sponsored research.
Lonza’s headquarters is in Basel, Switzerland, and is a global leader in pharma & biotech, boasting over 1,000 trademarks and 14,600 employees worldwide spanning 3 continents with 29 manufacturing plants. For more information go to www.lonza.com.
Medispec is the “oldest” Israeli company in Maryland since 1992 and is a market leader in the development of state-of-the-art, non-invasive shock wave and radial wave technologies, offering a safe and reliable alternative to major surgeries.
As a leading designer and manufacturer headquartered in Maryland, Medispec specializes in shockwave-based systems for urology, cardiovascular and orthopedic applications. With over 5,000 installations worldwide from governments, universities, hospitals to private institutions spread over 80 countries, Medispec’s business operations extend to nearly all continents including offices in Germany, Japan, Israel and Peru.
Partnering with physicians and medical facilities nationwide, Medispec consistently delivers advanced technologies and cost-efficient solutions. Its proficient clinical and service teams promote and ensure a superior experience for patients, physicians and medical facility staff.
To learn more about Medispec products and services, click here>>>.
Nayax (www.nayax.com) is a global leader in the engineering and manufacturing of cashless devices currently used in hundreds of thousands of unattended machines in over 55 countries around the world. Nayax has over eight international offices including one in Baltimore.
Harry Kozlovsky presented on behalf of Nayax. His presentation can be found here.
Nayax has leveraged its international leadership in engineering high-tech cashless devices for unattended machines, to also develop machines for three emerging growth sectors:
- Real Estate Investors or Professionals – Sometime today in the near future, you will be looking at Electric Vehicle (EV) charging for your properties. Nayax has leveraged its easy open cashless payment device into its EV Meter, with low cost of entry, open and easy payment, and a convenient EV Charging Station that is perfect for apartment complexes, government buildings, parking garages, malls, hospitals, sports venues, movie theaters, restaurants, hotels, supermarkets, country clubs, and more.
- Non-Profit Board Members/Leadership – Bring in additional donations by meeting potential contributors where they and offering them the easiest, most convenient (and cool) way to make fast donations by clicking here>>> and here.
- Micro-Markets – Grab and Go alternative to vending machines and click here>>>.
For details, contact Harry Kozlovsky, Executive Customer Success Manager, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 410-302-9015.
Patriot Technologies is a TS Level Cleared ITAR Registered Facility in Frederick, MD and has been providing solutions for mission and critical applications since 1996.
On June 19, 2018, Patriot Technologies hosted “Gateways to Success,” in conjunction with the Frederick county Department of Economic Development featuring Frederick/Israel business opportunities and grants for R&D collaboration.
Patriot President and CEO Steve Keefe discussed business opportunities working with Israeli companies having done business in Israel for over 15 years.
Patriot Technologies has over 22 years of experience in creating solutions for military, defense and intelligence programs to assist US and foreign initiatives. Patriot continues to apply its expertise and creativity for innovative cyber security solutions to support a wide variety of mission goals with special expertise in mobility and public safety for emergency personal and first responders, linking EMS vehicles and ground personnel with in-building public safety agency frequencies. Patriot brings decades of wireless product design and systems experience including the design, installation and commissioning of complex mobile systems for homeland security, emergency personnel services, as well as cellular and PCS communication networks.
For more information go to www.patriot-tech.com
Sepio Systems is a pioneer in securing organizations against attacks via rogue hardware devices. Strategic cyber weapon technology has been leaked. Now, this technology is currently in the hands of criminal organizations that are using it against civilian commercial targets with no defenses against it. These enterprises never suspect that the seemingly legitimate devices they are using have been compromised, allowing access to key assets—often over long periods of time.
The Sepio security suite detects infected peripherals or altered and malicious device behavior, isolates the attack and triggers alerts, stopping the rogue hardware before it can jeopardize normal operations. Founded by cyber security experts from private industry and government agencies, Sepio Systems is the first security solution on the market that identifies and blocks malicious hardware devices before they cause harm.
Sepio Systems is headquartered in Maryland, with offices in New York and South Carolina. The Research and Development Center in based Tel-Aviv, Israel. Sepio Systems’s presenter was Greg Poch, Vice President, Sales. For more information go to www.sepio.systems.
Sesame Enable is the newest Israeli company in Maryland. Sesame Enable was founded by and for people with disabilities, with one mission in mind, to provide a bridge between people’s physical abilities and access to the mobile revolution. Sesame Enable provides touch-free access to “smart” devices for people with limited to no use of their hands. Shai Eilat, head of US operations, was the presenter. To view Sesame Enable’s presentation, click here >>>and for a one sheet summary of Sesame Enable, click here>>>. For more information on Sesame Enable, go to www. sesame-enable.com.
VAYA™ focuses on developing drug-free, clinically-validated products for the dietary management of disorders that are associated with lipid imbalances in the brain, such as Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and Early Memory Impairment (EMI). VAYA’s products deliver nutritionally-based solutions that have been shown through robust clinical trials to be safe and effective. VAYA’s innovative products address the lipid nutritional needs of people with health conditions that cannot be met through modification of diet alone. To read more about Vayarin click here>>>; to learn about Vayarin Plus click here>>> and for Vayacog click here>>>.
Michelle Cuccia, CEO of VAYA presented. For more information go to www.vayapharma.com.
Photos from the Start Up Nation Series
Taste of Business Israel:
Montgomery County Event
Baltimore County Event
Howard County Event
Frederick County Event
Grants for new product development up to $1 million are available from the U.S.-Israel Binational Industrial R&D (BIRD) Foundation. Contact the MIDC for more information contact Barry Bogage. Upcoming submission deadlines are:
Sesame Enable, an Israeli company recently set up offices in Maryland, reaping benefits from Governor Hogan’s 2016 Trade Mission to Israel. Lonza Announces the formation of a new research and development Collaborative Innovation Center in Israel.
Read articles about Sesame Enable: https://marylandisrael.org/2017/11/israeli-tech-company-opens-u-s-headquarters-in-bethesda/ and Governor Hogan’s website: http://governor.maryland.gov/2017/11/13/israeli-tech-firm-opens-u-s-headquarters-in-maryland/ and https://www.bizjournals.com/washington/news/2017/11/13/israeli-tech-company-opens-u-s-headquarters-in.html.
To read about Lonza see below: http://www.lonza.com/about-lonza/media-center/news/Tensid/2017-10-09-13-00-English.aspx and https://www.lonza.com/custom-manufacturing/capabilities-overview/our-sites/walkersville-md-usa.aspx.
MIDC’s 25th Anniversary
The MIDC celebrated its 25th anniversary in May 2017 at the Baltimore Museum of Industry. Alvin Katz, chaired the event with Governor Larry Hogan as the keynote speaker. Barry Bogage, Executive Director, was honored for his 25 years of service with the Hanan Y. Sibel Maryland/Israel Business Leadership Award. See photos and 25th anniversary booklet.
Maryland/Israel Company Highlights
- Ametrine, developers of next generation camouflage technology; met during Governor Hogan’s trade mission; was recently was awarded a Montgomery County MOVE grant for its new facility in Rockville.
- Elta North America, moved into their new facility in Annapolis Junction, tripling in size.
- Cyberbit, the cyber security subsidiary of Israel defense company Elbit, opened a cyber security training facility in Baltimore, called Baltimore Cyber Range, with a local firm, Electronic Technology Associates.
- Insfocus, developer of business intelligence software for the insurance industry was introduced to co-working spaces in Rockville and Gaithersburg and opened a “virtual office” at Launch Workplaces in Gaithersburg.
- The MIDC assisted Lonza, a Swiss biotech company with a large presence in Frederick County, with opening an R&D center in Israel.
- Mantaro Networks, Germantown-based robotics company, working with Beeper Communications of Israel on robotics technologies received a $900,000 BIRD Foundation grant for a joint research project on robotics. Beeper is planning to open a Germantown office near Mantaro. This marks the third successive round of BIRD grant awards where Maryland has had a project approved. (KeyGene received a grant in the last round and Brimrose before that).
- Sesame Enable, an Israel-based technology firm, has opened its United States headquarters in Bethesda near the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. The company has developed a proprietary technology, known as Open Sesame, that enables people to operate a smartphone through head movements and voice control if they cannot use their hands to control the device’s touch screen. Maryland is one of the first states to adopt this technology, which is now available to citizens through the state’s Maryland Accessible Telecommunications (MAT) program administered by the Department of Information Technology (DoIT).
Four Maryland county economic development agencies became members of the MIDC for the first time, Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Howard and Montgomery Counties. MIDC had a record number of Strategic Partners with benefits that include year-round recognition on our website as well as listing these companies on handouts to potential Israeli companies.
- MIDC’s 25th Anniversary celebration headlined the year.
- Young Professionals gathering in Montgomery County with Israeli companies
- MIDC Day at the Embassy of Israel included the Commercial, ISA (Israel Security Agency, “Shin Bet”) and Political Affairs Attachés.
- A science-to-technology program with Israeli entrepreneurs sponsored by the MIDC and ScienceAbroad. Programs were held at Suburban Hospital in Bethesda and hosted in Baltimore by Sinai Hospital/LifeBridge Health.
- Technologies of the Future with Maryland Secretary of Transportation Pete Rahn, MTA/MDOT Administrator Kevin Quinn on the Mobileye/MTA/MDOT. The State of Maryland is working with Israeli Company Mobileye using collusion software technology from Mobileye. An MTA bus was parked at the event and a team of experts explained the objectives of the pilot project. Mantaro Networks/Beeper Israel and Roboteam demoed their newest robotic technologies.
Sponsors and Founding Partners
The Maryland/Israel Development Center is a non-profit membership organization that promotes bi-lateral trade and investment. It is a “public-private partnership” of the Maryland Department of Commerce, Israel’s Ministry of Economy, and The Associated: Jewish Community Federation of Baltimore. Additional partners include the Montgomery County Department of Economic Development. The MIDC is grateful for the continued and support.
August 14, 2017
Last Tuesday, the MIDC and their business development manager Adam Lipert held their summer’s young professionals happy hour at Owen’s Ordinary in North Bethesda. Young professionals representing start-ups such as Place Tempo, multiple embassies including the Israeli Embassy, and biotech non-profits to name a few, came out to network and mingle. Attendees were treated to a talk by the CEO of an Israeli multispectral camouflage company located here in Maryland who discussed how his company was able to enter the US market in Maryland as well as how he used his experience in the special forces to succeed in business and grow a company.
“The event portrayed one of the many Israeli companies expanding business in Maryland building upon competitive advantages and cutting edge technologies while demonstrating mutual economic benefit, job creation and growth in both countries,” said MIDC volunteer and organizer Ilana Moyal (Acting Head of Economic Mission for the Ministry of Finance at the Israeli Embassy in Washington D.C.).
The MIDC would like to thank everyone who came out and we look forward to our next event and seeing everyone again (see our list of future events here! Please feel free to reach out to us anytime to discuss business opportunities in Israel and Maryland including grants from the BIRD Foundation which provides matching grants of up to $1 million for joint US-Israel R&D for new product collaboration.
2017 marks the 25th Anniversary of the founding of the MIDC. These companies have joined the ranks of our Strategic Partners ($1800 and higher membership) and recognize the importance of fostering business and research collaborations between Maryland and Israel. “We are grateful that the membership of the MIDC is so diverse, representing individuals, companies, organizations and businesses throughout the State of Maryland. Our membership and volunteers make our job of attracting Israeli companies to Maryland easier,” stated Barry Bogage, MIDC Executive Director.
Baltimore County Department of Economic & Workforce Development-With nationally recognized public schools and a variety of tight-knit communities, Baltimore County is more than just a great place to do business. It’s a great place for the people who make businesses work. The Department of Economic & Workforce Development is the agency focused on maximizing Baltimore County’s rich diversity of people and talent to stay at the leading edge of today’s hyper-competitive economic development environment. To meet the mission of business attraction and expansion, the department provides a range of services in Business Development, Small Business Services, Lending, Policy and Planning, Workforce and Talent Services, Marketing and Communications. Please visit www.BaltimoreCountyBusiness.com.
eHealth Ventures is a consortium of world-class medical organizations, industry leaders, and seasoned financial investors who are partnering to identify, fund and commercialize emerging digital health companies, with a focus on Israeli innovation. eHealth Ventures is operating as a technological incubator, maximizing high potential startups move from ideation to product commercialization. eHealth Ventures is closing its first venture fund and will be working to build on its success for a second venture fund, primarily investing in Israeli healthcare. For more information go to www.ehealthventures.com or email@example.com.
Greenebaum Enterprises is a real estate company engaged in the development and acquisition of office, retail, residential and large-scale mixed-use properties. Greenebaum Enterprises has been in business for more than 30 years with over 275 years of combined experience. They are proud to be known and trusted for their solid reputation and successful projects. For more information go to www.greenebaumenterprises.com.
The Zitelman Group of Rockville, MD (TZG) is a merchant and investment banking firm that has been family owned and operated since 1985. Specializing in real estate, closely held operating businesses, and other non-public investments, TZG is a direct investor as well as “fundless” sponsor with flexible investment periods and investment structures. TZG has both lead and co-invested in multiple Israeli companies, incubators and funds. To read more go to www.tzg.com.
During its 25-year history, the MIDC has created economic development programs for The Associated’s Israeli sister cities, including Ashkelon since the founding of the relationship in 2003. Ashkelon is the southernmost Israeli city on the Mediterranean coast. The MIDC launched a series of small business loan funds to help companies grow and create jobs. The original fund was $300,000 and provided small loans up to $10,000 for Ashkelon based small businesses. Over 75 loans were made.
In response to Israel’s conflict with Gaza in 2014 when businesses in the city were closed for over 50 days, the MIDC created an Emergency Small Business Loan Fund to help the companies get reestablished. The Jewish Agency for Israel (JAFI) worked with Israeli banking partners to provide a 7:1 match to the $225,000 raised by the MIDC.
“The Associated: Jewish Community Federation of Baltimore and the Maryland/Israel Development Center (MIDC) are committed to continuing to help Ashkelon businesses so they can grow and create jobs for the Ashkelon community, as we have been doing since the Baltimore-Ashkelon Partnership began” stated Jack Zager, MIDC Board Member who serves as Baltimore-Ashkelon Partnership Economic Development Committee Co-Chair. Special thanks to the Hebrew Free Loan Association, individual community members, the Associated and JAFI who have all contributed to the success of the Baltimore Ashkelon Loan Fund.
“The Baltimore Ashkelon Loan Fund, operated by the Jewish Agency with the assistance and funding of The Associated and MIDC, has had a great impact on Ashkelon’s businesses in a very short time”, said Amir Sznajderman, Director, JAFI’s Economic Development and Loan Funds Division. The fund was initiated with two main targets, to help with the establishment and growth of existing businesses, as well as to help businesses that were affected by Operation Protective Edge in the summer of 2014. These loans were designed for working capital to bridge financing gaps created by the slow activity due to the security situation. Zager added, “we are particularly pleased by the very low loan default rate which is important for all involved and provides impetus for future loans”.
To date, a total of 29 loan applications totaling $1,320,000 were approved by the Loan Fund Committee, chaired by Eliezer Priel with Baltimore’s Partnership Director Sigal Ariely, JAFI and bank representatives. The one to seven financial match JAFI arranged with the banks enabled the Loan Fund to leverage the $200,000 initial funding to make a substantially larger impact, creating new job opportunities for the people of Ashkelon and supporting businesses that were impacted by the security situation.
Below are three examples of how the Baltimore Ashkelon Fund Program is working to promote business and economic development to existingnand new businesses.
About Balaban Nursery
The Balaban farm is a family business established in 1985 and sells bushes, climbers, fruit trees, decorative trees, leafy plants and cereal vegetation of different sizes and in a range of containers. The nursery also produces Australian and Mediterranean plants which suit both European and Mediterranean climates. The family applied to the loan fund for assistance to help them manage the difficulties with running the farm, and overcome the losses in the wake of the Protective Edge military campaign in Gaza, and the security tension both before and after the war.
About Bar Code Productions
Bar Code Productions, created in 2014, offers its customers a range of services relating to event production from the conceptual stage to implementation, photography, DJ and music services, hall design and any other element connected to event production. The Baltimore Ashkelon Loan fund was able to help this start-up business with a needed loan for working capital.
About Yemini Farm
Yemini Farm engages in the cultivation of pest-free leafy vegetables, for the ultra-orthodox community. The crops include lettuce and various green vegetables, such as parsley, coriander, dill, celery, chard and various kinds of cabbage. One of Yemini Farms is in the Ashdod regions and it is targeted at the local ultra-orthodox community. The new loan from the Baltimore Ashkelon Loan Fund helped build the new hothouses.