Israel’s exports of goods and services exceeded $100 billion in 2017; this past year saw a 46% increase on 2016 in kibbutz investments into startup ventures; during the first half of 2017, Israeli on-farm companies raised 7% of global investment in such technologies, and much more.


2017 exports top $100 billion

Israel’s Export and International Cooperation Institute (IEICI) has calculated that Israel’s exports of goods and services exceeded $100 billion in 2017 – 5% more than in 2016. Goods exports to the European Union (EU) grew 20% to $16 billion, accounting for 35% of Israel’s 2017 total.


Kibbutzim invest in hi-tech

2017 saw a 46% increase on 2016 in kibbutz investments into startup ventures, totaling some NIS 76 million. 24 kibbutzim invested in 19 startup companies. Kibbutzim are also renting space for local entrepreneurs to set-up new businesses.  https://www.timesofisrael.com/claiming-to-be-israels-first-startup-ventures-kibbutzim-jump-on-tech-bandwagon/

Israeli smart farming gets preferential funding

A report by Start-Up Nation Central shows that during the first half of 2017 Israeli on-farm technology companies raised 7% of global investment in such technologies – out of all proportion to Israel’s tiny size. https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/israeli-smart-farming-winning-outsized-share-of-global-funding—report-by-start-up-nation-central-653001423.html

NASDAQ to help grow Israeli startups

I reported previously (Jan 2016) on the NASDAQ joint venture with the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange to setup a new private exchange for Israeli startups. Now, NASDAQ and Israel’s LeumiTech have launched a joint program “Gateway to Global Growth” to help expand these companies.


A cyber incubator with Japan’s NEC

Tel Aviv University (TAU) and Japanese electronics giant NEC are founding AlphaC – a new incubator for early stage cyber startups. Ten early stage ventures will join an intensive three-month program, receiving access to TAU resources, workspace, business contacts and mentors.


A $240 million bio-tech fund

Israel-based venture capital firm Pontifax raised another fund of $240 million – its fifth such fund. Excess demand for the fund saw it closed within two months, and Pontifax is expected to invest most of the money raised in the life-sciences industry.


More direct flights

At December’s International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) conference in Sri Lanka, Israel signed new air transport agreements with the U.K., Switzerland, Chile, South Africa, Vietnam, Canada, Dominican Republic, Tanzania, Uganda and Jordan. These will increase direct flights to Israel.


El Al to fly direct to San Francisco

I reported previously (Jun 2016) that United Airlines increased their direct service between Tel Aviv and San Francisco to a daily schedule.  Now El Al have announced they are to launch a 3-times-a-week direct service between the two leading technology hubs later this year.


Co-working reaches new heights

Israel’s tallest building – the 238m Azrieli Sarona tower in Tel Aviv – is near completion, but already on two of its top 61 floors Israel’s Teddy Sagi Group has launched Labs – its shared office venture. Labs will have offices, meeting rooms, shared workspaces, a convention hall, studio, projection room, lounge and a gym. http://labs.com/location/azrieli-sarona-tower-tel-aviv/


Wireless charging in co-working offices

Israel’s Powermat (see here) has partnered with Regus Israel, supplying wireless charging services to Israeli co-working offices. Regus is the world’s largest provider of flexible workspace solutions. Regus has 15 co-working locations in Israel, mostly in Tel Aviv and Herzliya.


Get your purchase money back

Israel-based Boom25 offers a unique opportunity for UK shoppers who purchase from any of the 600 retailers affiliated to Boom25’s website. Every 25th purchaser gets their purchase money back.  Its an alternative to accumulating points.


Meatless meat in 3 years

I wrote previously (July 2016) about Israel’s SuperMeat which is developing lab-produced meat from animal cells. SuperMeat has just raised $3 million and plans to bring its “clean chicken” products to market within three years, at a price similar to current conventional chicken products.


Toyota invests in Israeli robotics

I reported previously (Jan 2017) on Israel’s Intuition Robotics, and its ElliQ empathic desk lamp. Intuition has since raised tens of millions of dollars, including from Toyota and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking. https://www.intuitionrobotics.com/copy-of-press-release-funding-14m


Billion-dollar prediction coming true. I reported previously in 2014 (see here) that Forbes predicted that Israel’s Kaltura was most likely to be “one of the next billion-dollar exits” thanks to its wide-ranging video solutions platform. Well guess what – Kaltura is planning a 2018 launch on NASDAQ, at a value of $1 billion.