The UK Prime Minister David Cameron has announced the appointment of Saul Klein to UK Tech Envoy to Israel. According to the official announcement:
Mr Klein will promote the growing UK-Israel tech partnership between the two countries, working with the recently established UK Israel Tech Hub and UK Israel Tech Council. He will lead UK tech missions to Israel, bring Israeli start-ups to Britain, and host tech events in both countries; helping UK tech business to compete and thrive in the global race.
Saul has been an entrepreneur and is one of the leading early stage investors in London as a partner of Index Ventures and founder of Seedcamp. He spent over a year living in Israel with his family last year, and has been an advisor to the UK Israel Tech Hub since its inception. With one of the highest levels of entrepreneurship per capita in the world (leading in women entrepreneurship and entrepreneurs over the age of 50), Israel has a lot to offer to the growing UK tech sector and vice versa. The UK is one of the leading financial powerhouses, is home to the worlds largest advertising agencies as well as large publishers.
Saul’s appointment will be unpaid, with the goal of promoting the following agenda:
- Defining key sectors for UK/Israel collaboration;
- Identifying and bringing innovative Israeli technology and R&D to British companies;
- Positioning the UK in Israel as a centre for technological and services innovation and as a partner of choice for Israeli technology companies; and,
- Tying Israeli technology players into UK capital markets.
There’s already been a stream of activities between the Israeli startup industry and that of the UK, and I’ve been privileged to take part in many of them. To name a few: Innovate Israel, a conference that brought 28 Israeli startups to London, the ICE trip to Israel (shout to Alex Hoye and the ICE crew!) which saw a group of 50 UK entrepreneurs visiting Israel and meeting with the local community, and most recently the TexChange, a group of 15 Israeli startups that were selected to visit the UK for 3 days. I hope that this is the continuation of an even more fruitful collaboration.