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. For the Invest in Israel archive, click here. The Israeli Venture Capital funds are struggling to raise follow-on funds, but nevertheless it seems like Israel is holding up as an attractive startup hub as evidenced by Wired ranking of Israel in #2 for attractiveness to startups. See the headlines below.
ISRAEL 2ND LARGEST CENTER FOR TECH STARTUPS
Wired Magazine has crowned Tel Aviv the world’s second largest center for technology start-ups after Silicon Valley. In its September issue, the science and technology magazine created a list of 10 European cities that constitute significant centers for high-tech activity. Alongside Tel Aviv, cities that made the cut were Berlin, Amsterdam, London, Paris, Barcelona, Moscow, Helsinki, Stockholm and Istanbul.
STMICROELECTRONICS ACQUIRES BTENDO
Belgium’s STMicroelectronics NV recently acquired Israel’s bTendo, a developer of projection solutions for devices that require multimedia large-scale storage and viewing capabilities, for $9m. bTendo’s operation in Israel will become the basis for STM’s development center in Israel.
THREE ISRAELI UNIVERSITIES MAKE TOP 100 LIST
Three Israeli universities have ranked in the top 100 universities by the Center for World-Class Universities at Shanghai Jiao Tong University. It is the first time that three Israeli universities are listed among the Top 100. The Hebrew University of Jerusalem was ranked 53rd, up four places from last year. Technion-Israel Institute of Technology entered the list at 78th place and Weizmann Institute of Science at 93rd. Shanghai Jiao Tong University surveys 1,000 universities and ranks the top 500.
RENEWABLE ENERGY ALLIANCE BETWEEN COMPANIES FROM ISRAEL AND EL SALVADOR
Israel’s SDE Wave Power Plants and El Salvador’s El Esplendor Development Corp recently announced an alliance to execute Wave Power Technology in El Salvador and California. The initial stage of the alliance includes design and construction of two Wave Power Plants in El Salvador (one of 1 MW and a second of 10 MW). Tel Aviv’s SDEi s a world leader in the planning, building and marketing of power stations that produce power from sea waves.
PHILIPS GLOBAL CEO: ISRAEL’S “EXCELLENT ENGINEERS”
Frans Van Houten, CEO of the Dutch giant Philips Global, remarked in early August that “Israel’s economic and organizational culture is consistent with Philips’ requirements…. Philips owes part of its enhanced performance to Israel’s excellent engineers in the imaging, data processing and data storage areas.” Philips has expanded its Israeli presence and acquisitions since 1999, when it acquired part of Israel’s Elscint, and is set to further expand its current 600- employee Israeli R&D center.
INDIA, ISRAEL SIGN $50 MILLION ACADEMIC RESEARCH PACT
India and Israel recently signed a $50 million, 5-year academic research agreement for collaboration in the sciences, humanities, technology and other fields. Approved projects will receive up to $200,000 a year for three years. About 50 joint projects are expected to be approved. Israel recently signed a similar scientific cooperation agreement with China, which will bring dozens of Chinese scientists to Israel every year for postdoctoral research and training at Israeli institutions, as well as bringing undergraduate and graduate students to the country.
RECORD FOREIGN TOURISM IN JULY
The number of foreign visitors coming to Israel is breaking records this summer. In July, 296,000 visitors arrived, which was 8% more than the corresponding month last year and 6% higher than July 2010, according to Israel’s Central Bureau of Statistics. Since the beginning of the year, 2 million tourists have come to the country, 7% more than the same period last year and 5% more than in 2010.
QUALCOMM PURCHASES DESIGNART NETWORKS
Chipmaker Qualcomm Inc. has announced that it is acquiring Israeli start-up DesignArt Networks for about $120-140 million including milestone payments that DesignArt will be required to meet. San Diego, California-based Qualcomm is the world’s largest supplier of chips for 3G mobile technologies. DesignArt focuses on data-centric mobile radio access network (RAN) with highly integrated system-on-chip (SoC) platforms and trial-ready embedded SW solutions for the mobile 3G, 4G and high-speed wireless backhaul infrastructure. In 2010, Qualcomm acquired Israeli mobile web company iSkoot for $50-100 million.
GEMOLOGICAL INSTITUTE OF AMERICA TO OPEN CENTER IN ISRAEL
The Gemological Institute of America will open a new laboratory facility in Israel’s diamond center in Ramat Gan in early September. The new facility will provide on-site lab services, including GIA Diamond Grading Reports, Diamond Dossiers and related services. GIA, the world’s foremost gemological institution, maintains a presence in 16 cities around the world.