Invest in Israel Newsletter December 2010 Edition

As every month, VC Cafe is re-posting the “Invest in Israel” Newsletter, published by the investment promotion center of Israel’s Ministry of Industry, Trade and Labor, which offers many helpful tools for prospecting investors.  See the October 2010 edition after the jump. For previous editions, click here.

NETWORK EQUIPMENT MAKER JUNIPER BUYS ISRAELI VIRTUALIZATION SECURITY FIRM ALTOR FOR $95 MLN

“Juniper is excited to acquire one of the industry’s leading virtualization security vendors and the extremely talented team that built it,” – Mark Bauhaus, executive vice president and general manager, Juniper Networks.

Juniper Networks Inc acquired Altor Networks, a company specializing in security for virtualization technology. Altor Networks was founded in 2007 by security and networking experts from Israel’s Internet security giant Check Point.

Virtualization and cloud computing products allow multiple users to run on a single physical host, with each virtual machine sharing the resources of that hardware across multiple environments. Virtualization technology is increasingly in demand as large corporations try to cut back on hardware in their data centers.

ISRAELI CROP PROTECTION GIANT MAKHTESHIM AGAN EXPANDS TO MEXICO AND KOREA

Makhteshim Agan, the world’s seventh largest agrochemicals maker, recently bought a 51% stake in South Korea’s JK Inc., and is also buying 100% of Mexico’s Ingeniera Industrial S.A. de C.V. (Bravo AG).

Bravo AG, established in 1951, is a manufacturer and distributor of copper-based pesticides, a green crop protection method used in organic agriculture. JK Inc. has sales offices throughout Korea and over 1,000 retailers carrying its product line, in addition to a local formulation facility.

MONOCLE MAGAZINE NAMES HAIFA INVESTMENT HOTSPOT

Prestigious London-based Monocle magazine, a global briefing journal covering international affairs, business, culture and design, has chosen Haifa as the city with the most promising business potential for 2011.

According to the magazine, Israel’s third largest city Haifa was chosen due to a massive head-to-toe regeneration and a recent swing to positive net immigration into the city in 2009.

Recently, the municipality spent more than $350 million on infrastructure and roads, while the number of building permits over the last two years rose 83%.

The city also finished the 6 km Carmel Tunnel, a $400 million project that connects the southwestern part of the city with its northeastern part, and dramatically cuts the amount of time needed to travel cross town. A light “railway” using high density busses in dedicated traffic lanes is also due to start operating in 2011, and a cable-car connecting the bay area with the academic institutions in the upper part of the city is planned for 2013.

Many multinationals have chosen Haifa, which is also home to Israel’s celebrated Technion Israel Institute of Technology, as the location of choice to establish an international branch focusing on R&D, including: Google, IBM, Intel, Microsoft, and GE Healthcare. Haifa is also home to.

Other places listed by the magazine included Berlin and Istanbul.

FIVE ISRAELI STARTUPS SHINE IN INNOVATION TOP 100

Guidewire Group listed five Israeli firms among its rankings of the world’s 100 most outstanding and fast-moving start-up companies. The companies in order of ranking are: Waze, Conceptic, Sparkeo, The Gifts Project, and IDU Biometrics.

Placement on the list was determined by a combination of the company’s G/SCORE assessment, stage and pace of growth, and business potential. The G/SCORE measures the key milestones a company has achieved in business building along seven factors: overall concept, market opportunity, competitive risk, product development, business development, team, and business model.

Guidewire Group is a global market intelligence and advisory firm focused on technology entrepreneurship in early-stage companies and emerging technology markets.

TWO ISRAELI COMPANIES WIN GE CLEANTECH CHALLENGE

Two Israeli start-ups, WinFlex, a wind-energy company, and GridON, which outfits electric grids, were among the five winners of the GE Ecomagination Challenge.

Selected out of more than 4,000 entries from around the globe, each winner received $100,000 to further develop their ideas, which had to fall into three broad categories: Renewables, Grid and Eco Homes/Eco Buildings.

GridON, based in Givatayim, was rewarded for its current-limiter device, which protects the electric grid from disruptions and power outages, increasing the grid’s reliability and enabling it to handle the intermittent nature of renewable energy sources better. The technology was developed in collaboration with Bar-Ilan University.

WinFlex, a Kiryat Yam-based company, won based on its inflatable wind turbine made from inexpensive cloth sheets. The lightweight wind turbine is said to reduce installation costs by at least 50 percent.

ISRAELI EYALGPS SELECTED AS MOST INNOVATIVE START-UP BY INVEST IN MED

EyalGPS, an Israeli start-up whose technology makes smartphones accessible to the visually impaired and drivers, was chosen from among 100 innovative start-ups in the South-Mediterranean region.

In the Framework of the EC-Funded Invest in Med program, EyalGPS was one of three finalists to be awarded €90,000. EyalGPS’s Text To Speech (TTS) applications are suitable for a variety of platforms, including smartphones and the Internet.

EyalGPS’s flagship product, the worldwide patented “Personal Spokesman” application, is compatible with many languages including Hebrew, Hindi, Indonesian, Chinese, Arabic, and Japanese, and has personalized settings for various levels of visual impairment.

GE CHOOSES ISRAEL’S KINROT VENTURES TO JOINTLY DEVELOP NEW WATER TECHNOLOGIES

“Connecting to Israel is part of our way to be on top of technological creativity and innovation, and only in doing so will we be able to progress” – Heiner Markhoff, president & chief executive, GE Water & Process Technologies.

Kinrot Ventures, the world’s first fully-dedicated water technology incubator, and General Electric (GE) recently signed a strategic collaboration agreement to help develop and commercialize innovative water technologies.

Under the agreement, GE, through its Power & Water and Global Research businesses, will provide strategic assistance to Kinrot Ventures’ portfolio of water companies, including the screening of new technologies, and offer technical and market assistance.

GE, which entered the water industry in 1999 and is involved in a wide variety of water technologies, in the last five years doubled its investment in water technology related R&D to reach $1.5 billion in 2010. Kinrot Ventures is owned by the AquaAgro venture capital fund and is the only incubator in Israel to innovative water technologies with a portfolio of 12 water companies.

RUSNANO ESTABLISHES RUSSIAN-ISRAELI NANOTECH FUND

Rusnano, the Russian Nanotechnologies Corporation, in November selected Israeli managing company Myrtus Capital to establish a Russian-Israeli investment fund worth $100 million.

A delegation of some 100 Russian businesspeople led by Russian Deputy Prime Minister Viktor Alekseyevich Zubkov and Alrosa Vice President Sergey Ulin recently also visited Israel to explore bilateral economic opportunities. “The mission to Israel includes more than just businessmen, but also scientists, educators, politicians,” Ulin said.

The volume of trade (excluding diamonds) between Israel and Russia in the first nine months of 2010 totalled $711 million.

TEVA CEO RANKED 20TH ON FORTUNE LIST

Global business magazine placed Teva CEO Shlomo Yanai 20th on its list of the top 50 leading businesspeople in the world. The magazine recognized Yanai for his leadership of Teva, as it accounts for 22% of all generic-drug sales in the United States and makes generic pharmaceuticals faster and in larger quantities than its competitors.

From 1999 to 2009, Teva’s revenue grew to about $14 billion from $1.3 billion while its profits soared to $2 billion from $135.5 million. Teva produces about 60 billion tablets a year in 38 different locations in the world, and in 2009, the company’s medicines filled nearly 630 million prescriptions in the United States, making it a larger domestic supplier than all other pharmaceutical heavyweights combined.

FROM THE INNOVATION PIPELINE:

Technion scientists develop simple blood test that diagnoses cancer

The US-based Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences reported that researchers at the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology developed an innovative simple blood test that can diagnose a variety of diseases including cancer.

Israeli Researchers pursue brain-operated computing

In the laboratory of Professor Yael Hanein at the Department of Physical Electronics of Tel Aviv University’s School of Electrical Engineering, scientists are currently working on a miniature electronic component that can read what happens in nerve cells and transmit it to a computer

Eze Vidra
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Eze Vidra

Chief Innovation Officer at Antidote
Eze is the Chief Innovation Officer at Antidote, a startup helping patients search and match to clinical trial, to accelerate medical breakthroughs. Previously, Ezewas a General Partner at Google Ventures Europe. Before GV, Eze founded and led Campus London, Google's first physical hub for startups, and was the Head Google for Entrepreneurs in Europe. He's an experienced product manager and startup mentor. In 2012 Eze founded Techbikers, a non-for profit supporting children education in developing countries.
Eze Vidra
Follow me

Eze Vidra

Eze is the Chief Innovation Officer at Antidote, a startup helping patients search and match to clinical trial, to accelerate medical breakthroughs. Previously, Eze was a General Partner at Google Ventures Europe. Before GV, Eze founded and led Campus London, Google's first physical hub for startups, and was the Head Google for Entrepreneurs in Europe. He's an experienced product manager and startup mentor. In 2012 Eze founded Techbikers, a non-for profit supporting children education in developing countries.

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