’Tis the season for hi-tech shows in Israel. Last week there was the ILSI-BioMed
show, and this Wednesday and Thursday there’s the High Tech Industry Association
Annual Conference 2011 (not to mention the Israel Mobile Summit and Israel Game
It’s the second annual show for the HTIA, the “spiritual heir”
of the Israel Venture Association (which was established in 1996 and is now a
part of the HTIA), helping to promote the hi-tech industry in Israel and
And the conference is the place to do that promotion, says Oded
Hermoni, CEO of the HTIA.
“In the past year we’ve doubled the membership
of the HTIA, so there will be more companies and investors, as well as
opportunities for networking, at this year’s show,” he says. “We will be hosting
companies large and small, and start-ups will be well-represented at the show as
Speakers at the conference will include top hi-tech folk from
Israel and abroad, among them representatives of Google, IBM, NICE, Amdocs,
Given Imaging, Cisco and others, as well as top venture-capital representatives
from investment firms such as JVP, Pitango, Canaan Partners and others. And,
there will be all sorts of government officials there, including Prime Minister
Binyamin Netanyahu, Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat et al.
This year, there
will be more foreign delegations visiting than ever, including groups from
China, India, the United States, Finland, Canada and the European
The HTIA puts so much effort into welcoming the delegations,
Hermoni says, that one of the speakers at the conference will be India’s
communications and information technology minister, and the sessions will be
simultaneously translated into Chinese. “We have the number-two person in China
Mobile speaking, the CEO of Synopsys, one of the top executives of Japan’s
Softbank and many others,” he adds.
“We have a very large group coming
from Russia this year,” Hermoni says. “It makes a great deal of sense for Russia
and Israel to be working together on ventures and investments,” considering how
many Russian immigrants live here and work in hi-tech.”
“They come from
all around the world to see what Israel is doing in hi-tech,” he says. “This is
the largest conference of its kind in Israel, and it’s a great opportunity for
companies to network and meet potential investors. There will be hundreds of
one-on-one meetings, high profile keynote speakers and intense roundtable
And, of course, start-ups will be well-represented. This
year, all of Israel’s top incubators will be at the show, showing off their best
technologies and ideas. Among the start-ups that will be presenting at the show
will be innovative companies, including: • 2P2D, which is developing is
developing ClinicAid, a wireless telemedicine system that provides real-time
monitoring and documentation of participants’ drug compliance and adherence
during clinical trials.
• Juvenis, which is developing injectable
large-volume biofillers for shaping the breasts, buttocks and calves, without
permanent implants and the related risk and pain of surgery, scaring and
• MicroPointing, which is developing a tiny
1-square-millimeter mouse for mobile devices such as cellphones, tablet PCs,
Internet TVs, medical devices and more.
• SolChip, which is developing a
photo-voltaic (PV)-powered semiconductor device that harvests sunlight energy to
power billions of individual appliances.
All in all, the conference will
be a great opportunity for folks from all corners of the hi-tech world –
developers, investors, academicians, corporate executives – to get together and
celebrate Israeli hitech.
“That’s our objective at the HTIA,” Hermoni
says. “We want to provide a forum to discuss all the issues surrounding Israel
as a hitech nation and create business opportunities for them.”
uses that expression specifically, instead of the one that became much more
popular and well-known in the past couple of years: “Start-up Nation,” which was
also the title of the seminal book by Dan Senor and Saul Singer.
start-up years were great,” he says, “but if Israel is going to survive in the
hi-tech world, it has to move beyond the start-up model.”
Hermoni says, can be duplicated by others, such as China and India, who are
willing to work for less.
“I am asked at conferences all the time by
representatives of dozens of nations how they can duplicate the start-up
environment we have in Israel,” he says. “It’s a great compliment to the
country, of course, but a bit worrisome, because others will eventually compete
with us for our dominant position as the startup nation.”
Looking to the
future, Hermoni says the current model, whereby Israeli companies develop the
technology and sell out to multinationals, needs to change.
“We at the
HTIA are building a new platform for hi-tech development,” he says. “We need to
get everyone involved so we can develop a policy for the future – corporate
executives, tech people, academics, and investors.”
Each of those groups
has a healthy representation on the HTIA board of directors, Hermoni says,
because “only if we work together will be able to overcome the challenges facing
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