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The Current State and Future of Israeli/American Business Alliances

In light of its geopolitical under-dog status, Israel’s global reputation for her cutting-edge high-tech industry continues to ripen.

Israeli StartupsJewish Ideas Daily recently released a report exploring “The drivers behind Israel’s innovative impulse, drawing in part on a recent series of panel discussions sponsored by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.” We will also take a glance at the partnerships Israeli companies have forged with U.S. companies; and the causes of the painful adjustment period being faced today by the Israeli venture capital business.

Today, Israel has the second largest number of start-up firms in the world, and the largest number of Nasdaq-listed companies outside North America. Panelists at a conference which happened recently in Washington, D.C., called, “The United States and Israel: Building Business Through Innovation,” explored the issues contributing to innovation in Israel, while debating what has helped and hindered the Jewish Country’s move to be a hotbed of global entrepreneurship.

The fact is hundreds of U.S. and Israeli companies have formed alliances in recent years, while many more partnerships are in the works. The relationships are fueled by a nature of quid prop quo. The Israelis get funding, marketing expertise, job growth and better access to the North American market; while the Americans benefit on the job front and through increased market access. They also reap savings in development and production and have an opportunity to tap into Israel’s talent for innovation.

Once acclaimed in Israel for its ability to launch a rich stream of high-tech start-ups, the VC industry has been injured lately on two fronts: Firms in the sector are not able to raise money for new funds, and they cannot exit easily from existing investments via IPOs. Is this painful squeeze merely part of a healthy cycle or is it representative of something with more severe implications?

“The doomsday scenario, according to some industry experts, is that future high-tech start-ups will not need the VC industry as much as before.”

Wrote a researcher from the University of Pennsylvania who attended the conference.

Who’s Kicking Ass

One company to lookout for is Gazit Globe. Considered among the world’s top real estate investment multinationals, the firm is listed on the Tel Aviv stock exchange. They operate in some 20 countries and own or operate 6.3 million square meters of space spread over more than 650 properties.

In United States, Gazit’s investment vehicles include Equity one, a real estate investment trust which focuses on high quality retail properties. Gazit’s total asset value exceeds $15 billion. Gazit’s chairman and founder, Chaim Katzman, spoke recently with Wharton real estate professor, Peter Linneman, and Knowledge@Wharton about the firm’s origins, and a bit about his personal management philosophy.

Promote Yourself with Glooq

Promote yourself with glooqSending emails, instead of phone calls or other forms of communication (including faxes), has become so common that many people only use this method of self-expression in every day personal and business affairs. Emails are also being used to replace sending fliers and other forms of “hard copy” notices and advertising to both customers and personal acquaintances alike. Because this reliance on high tech messaging is becoming so popular, a company named Glooqâ„¢ is offering some innovative and eco-friendly solutions for “getting the word out” to customers and friends.

Founded back in 2007 by an English high tech maven, Elad Schneor and Oded Bali, the company offers it’s customers not only ingenious ways to promote themselves and their products and services electronically, but in ways which are much more ecologically friendly than printing and sending out advertising material that most often winds up thrown into trash cans and garbage bags, using large amounts of paper and plastic materials which are wasteful and pollute our environment. Besides the UK, Glooq is now offering its innovative solutions in a number of European countries and others as far away as Vietnam. Glooq offers its customers a number of promotion and display options, including “design your own” banner advertising, specialized logos, and even promotional photographs (including the customer’s own personal photo, if desired). To attract customers to become a Glooq partner, Schneor offers special presentation “packages” at very attractive prices for periods ranging from one to twelve months, and payable either by credit cards or electronic payment options.

Glooq offers customers a “massive reach” to send their messages to literally thousands of destinations on one single sending. Since the message and advertisement has the appearance of being sent directly from the sender, it is more likely to be opened and read, as not deleted as Spam. And since the message is more personalized it is more likely to be acted upon by the receiver.

Glooq’s advertising and promotion message tools are being using by hundreds of popular “brand name” product and service companies, including Hertz, TBWA (France), McCann Erickson, REMAX Realtors, DHL and many others. And in order to induce potential partners to join up, Glooq offers a free 14 day trial.

Glooq’s message systems work well with most email systems including Microsoft Outlook and Express, Mac Mail, Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo, and others; and is compatible with both Windows XP and Vista software packages.

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