Israeli cleantech start-ups head to the US to seek investment

"Massachusetts and Israel share an entrepreneurial spirit," says Massachusetts Governor's spokesperson.

By STEPHANIE RUBENSTEIN, JERUSALEM POST CORRESPONDENT, BOSTON
October 27, 2008 00:05
2 minute read.
Israeli cleantech start-ups head to the US to seek investment

golan turbines 224. 88. (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski [file])

 
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An Israeli delegation of start-up companies is in the US this week to meet on furthering clean technology innovation and investment. Expanding on past successes in telecommunications and life sciences, Israel hopes to draw attention to its renewable-energy sector with a two-day investor conference on Monday and Tuesday, to be held respectively in New York and Boston. "We are at the point where a little push can go a long way," Daniel Farb, chief executive officer of Leviathan Energy, Inc., told The Jerusalem Post. "I want to see our technologies benefit the world as quickly as possible." The Israeli company, which develops renewable energy production processes using wind, water and waves, is in an expansion phase and is looking for potential investors, Farb said. The United States is a major market for obtaining the finances to promote the company's vision for renewable energy. "Israel has proved itself as an important center for the development of new technology that responds to the needs of modern society," said Yair Shiran, Israel's economic minister to North America. Since the country's inception, Israel has had to cope with water scarcity and desert conditions, he said, adding that such early development of sources of renewable energy and clean technology, puts the state in a good position to deal with the issues facing the world today. "With everything that is happening now [in the financial market], this is a great opportunity to make ties between economic activity," said Tami Durst, executive director of the New England-Israel Business Council. "Since the Israelis have the expertise and the US has the need as well as the huge market, this could be a great partnership." The conference is the first official delegation by the business council. Durst said that she hopes for future delegations and is in the process of establishing a clean technology committee to create a long-term partnership with Israel. In a city surrounded by academic institutions and a movement toward "green" technologies, Boston holds a potentially large market for the Israeli companies. "Massachusetts and Israel are both technologically advanced economies, and we share an entrepreneurial spirit," said Rebecca Deusser, spokesperson for Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick, who will be speaking at the conference in Boston. "There are a host of opportunities for Massachusetts researchers, investors, and clean energy firms to do business with their counterparts in Israel, developing solutions to our energy and climate change problems," she said. Patrick had planned to visit Israel in November with a trade mission. But, due to the national economic and fiscal challenges, he has postponed his trip, a spokesperson from the governor's office confirmed. Massachusetts, like Israel, is a hub for clean technology, said Jonathan Shapira, the founder of Boston Israel Cleantech Alliance. The state has a growing market for renewable energy, he added, which is being developed by many of the Israeli companies in the delegation. "Israel is a leading center for the research and development of clean technologies," Shapira said. "With the emergence of [renewable energy] companies, Israel has an opportunity to become the world's cleantech laboratory."

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