By Barry Bogage
Maryland/Israel Development Center
The connections between Israel, “The StartUp Nation,” and Maryland, “The StartUp State,” just since the start of the Jewish New Year in September, have been impressive. Israel proudly wears the moniker “StartUp Nation,” bestowed by author Dan Senor, while earlier this year the U.S. Chamber of Commerce ranked Maryland the best state in the nation for entrepreneurship and innovation.
As home to the U.S. Cyber Command at Ft. Meade and some of the world’s largest databases at the Social Security Administration in Catonsville and the Census Bureau in Suitland, Maryland houses a lot of data that needs to be protected. As a result, Governor Martin O’Malley has called Maryland the “epicenter” of cyber security. Now, with modern warfare fought in cyber space, Israel has had to become an expert in this domain as well. Therefore, the Maryland/Israel Development Center (MIDC) has targeted the cyber security industry for Maryland-Israel collaboration.
As a follow up to the May delegation visit of 10 Israeli cyber security companies, we organized several additional visits of Israeli cyber security entrepreneurs to Maryland. On October 8, we hosted two Israeli entrepreneurs at the state’s annual CyberMaryland Conference.
Raviv Raz, CEO of Hybrid Security, spoke on the International Collaboration panel, moderated by Ira Hoffman of Offit Kurman, who is co-chairing the MIDC’s new Montgomery County advisory committee. Hybrid develops web fraud detection solutions. Radiflow’s CEO Ilan Barda and U.S. Vice President Ayal Vogel exhibited their critical infrastructure protection system at the CyberMaryland expo. On a previous Maryland visit, Radiflow sold a system to a major Maryland water utility. MIDC Director of Business Development Peter Telem will be participating in the Israel CyberTech Conference in Tel Aviv at the end of January. Interested Maryland business people and cyber professionals should contact Peter about participating at ptelem@MarylandIsrael.org.
On October 18, the MIDC hosted five Israeli companies in Maryland organized by Israel’s most active startup investors, Trendlines and OurCrowd. Trendlines, as you may recall, was the MIDC’s Israeli representative for many years. They are now solely an early stage investment firm and no longer do business development consulting. OurCrowd is an innovative new “crowd funding” platform for Israeli startup companies. The Israeli participants included:
- CoreBone developers of a natural bone graft material using bioactive minerals embedded into the skeleton of corals to provide enhanced strength and healing in orthopedic and dental procedures.
- Gordian Surgical developers of a device that opens and closes incisions during laparoscopic surgery, saving physician time and preventing complications
- ProArc creators of ClearRing, a unique prostatic reshaping device that treats Lower Urinary Tract symptoms due to prostate enlargement.
- SenseGo designers of a portable, easy-to-use system for walking pattern analysis to diagnose orthopedic, sports medicine, and geriatrics (elderly risk of falling) disorders.
- MST developers of a robotic manipulator that tracks and follows surgical tools, allowing surgeons to move independently and hold laparoscopes in a stable, synchronized and precise manner enabling seamless and fluid surgical procedures.
On November 19, 29 Israeli and Maryland trading partners showed their wares to over 200 Maryland business people at the MIDC’s annual “Partners in Innovation: Showcase of Maryland-Israel Business.” The variety of technologies on display was truly inspiring, from Medispec’s devices that use ultra sound to dissolve kidney stones, to Robo-team’s robots the Israeli and American military use to protect soldiers, to Milestones’ sensors inserted in running shoes to give joggers critical workout feedback. Chaired by MIDC board member Avner Parnes, and sponsored by board member Lynn Schapiro Snyder of EpsteinBeckerGreen, the keynote address was given by Thomas Feldhausen, vice president of Lockheed Martin International, who spoke about Lockheed’s recently announced major expansion in the Israeli market.
Upcoming programs include a partnering event over breakfast for a delegation of five Israeli mHealth (mobile healthcare apps) companies from 8:00 – 10:00 a.m. on December 10 at the Shady Grove Adventist Hospital in Rockville and the MIDC’s annual Hanan Sibel Business Leadership Awards ceremony on April 3, 2014. For more information on the mHealth program contact Jennifer Raskas at jraskas@MarylandIsrael.org.
Just Announced: 2014 members of the Maryland/Israel Development Center (MIDC) are eligible to win a free roundtrip El Al ticket to Israel. The drawing will be held at the MIDC’s annual Hanan Sibel Business Leadership Award ceremony on April 3, 2014. To join, go to MarylandIsrael.org/membership or contact Nancy Boguslaw at nboguslaw@MarylandIsrael.org.