Invest in Israel newsletter VC CafeAs 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.  With the news on the 33% in Q3 decline of Israeli venture capital, we hear about the announcement of Sequoia dedicating $200 million and ICQ Ventures allocating $150 million for investments in Israel. Will the startup nation weather its funding “Sandy” storm? See the headlines below.

S&P RETAINS ISRAEL’S A+ SOVEREIGN DEBT RATING
The international credit-rating agency Standard & Poor’s announced in October that it had decided to leave Israel’s sovereign debt rating in place at A + with a stable outlook for the future. In a statement, Standard & Poor’s said: “The affirmation reflects our view of Israel’s economic policy flexibility as a result of consistent growth and careful macroeconomic management.”

WALL STREET JOURNAL NOMINATES TEL AVIV AS MOST INNOVATIVE CITY
Tel Aviv is one of three cities nominated for the title of “Most Innovative City” in a competition run by the Wall Street Journal and sponsored by Citibank. The other cities nominated, selected in an online vote, are New York City and Medellin, Colombia. The competition tests a city’s capacity to adapt and re-imagine itself and the municipality’s ability of forward thinking. Vote for Tel Aviv here: http://online.wsj.com/ad/cityoftheyear

TEVA 5TH LARGEST BIOTECH COMPANY WORLDWIDE
Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News recently released their analysis of the top 25 biotech companies worldwide based on market capitalization at the end of the 2nd quarter of this year. TEVA, with a market cap of $34.23 billion, was named 5th largest. The first four companies noted are novo Nordisk, Amgen, Gilead Sciences and Biogen Idec.

ISRAEL 2ND IN WORLD IN ADULTS WITH ACADEMIC DEGREES
According to a new report by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development’s 2012 Education at a Glance, 46% of Israelis have higher education degrees. The report analyzed the education systems of the 34 OECD member countries. Canada is in first place at 51%.

CONDUIT, WIX MAKE GLOBAL LIST OF 100 MOST VALUABLE START-UPS
Two Israeli start-ups, Conduit and Wix, made Business Insider’s Digital 100 list of the world’s most valuable private technology companies. Conduit, whose cloud-based tools are used by web and mobile publishers, was ranked 25th and Wix, a maker of website development technology, was placed 65th in a ranking that takes into account the companies’ valuation based on fundraising rounds, financial performance, market size and shares and growth rate.

SEQUOIA CAPITAL GENERATING $200M FOR DEDICATED ISRAEL FUND
Menlo Park, California-based Sequoia Capital, a leading global high tech venture capital fund, is raising $200m for its 5th Israeli-dedicated fund. The 1st fund of $30m was established in 1998, followed by three additional funds, one of $150m and two of $200m.

RECORD NUMBER OF ISRAELI COMPANIES ON GLOBAL CLEANTECH 100 LIST
Israel has been ranked second in the world for innovation in the field of cleantech by the 2012 Global Cleantech 100 list. Six Israeli companies are listed this year, two more than last year. The companies are: Cellera, Emefcy, Kaiima, Panoramic Power, TaKaDu, and TIGI. BrightSource and SolarEdge, which are listed as U.S. companies but have their technological roots in Israel, can also be added to the list.

EVOGENE AND MAKHTESHIM AGAN NOMINATED FOR 2012 AGROW AWARDS
Evogene Ltd., a leading Israeli developer of improved plant traits for the food, feed and biofuel industries and Makhteshim Agan have each been nominated for the 2012 Agrow Award for Best Industry Collaboration worldwide. Evogene’s collaboration with Bayer Crop Science and the Monsanto Company made them eligible for consideration. Makhteshim Agan’s collaboration with ChemChina made them worthy of consideration as well. The 2012 Agrow Awards features 15 categories that reward innovation and excellence in diverse areas.

ISRAEL HOMELAND SECURITY CONFERENCE 2012 COMING UP IN NOVEMBER

Israel HLS 2012, to take place November 11-14 in Tel Aviv, will focus on four principal areas: cyber security, securing the smart city, critical infrastructure protection and emergency management. The conference will examine the challenges these areas represent, and will discuss the deployment of appropriate technologies and systems. Israeli HLS companies will also display their innovative technologies. About 800 representatives and delegations from some 50 countries are expected to attend. Visit the conference site for more information and to register.

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Eze Vidra

Head of Google for Entrepreneurs Europe and Campus London at Google
Eze is the Head of Google for Entrepreneurs Europe and Campus London. In 2005, he started VC Cafe to shine a spotlight on startups and Venture Capital in Israel, and in 2012, Eze founded Techbikers, a non-for-profit that supports education through cycling challenges for techies.
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