Startup nations | Deal-making rules at Silicon Valley summit

Business leaders the world over have realized that to stay competitive in today’s global economy, innovation must be a key component of their DNA. That is why many global dealmakers are tapping into Israel’s leadership in the innovation ecosystem.

To help catalyze this, Israel’s Economic Mission to the West Coast, strategic and financial advisory firm Landmark Ventures and the Israeli Ministry of Economy and Industry again joined forces to hold the eighth annual Israel Dealmakers Summit.

The two-day event, held for the first time in Silicon Valley, gathered global corporations, investors, dealmakers and entrepreneurs. The event in late March provided deal-making opportunities across key industries such as artificial intelligence and virtual reality. Featured speakers included Bruce Aust, the vice chairman of NASDAQ; David Eun, president of the Global Innovation Center at Samsung, and Sue Siegel, chief executive of GE Ventures. Among the topics discussed:

• Trends in Internet of Things (IoT) & Smart Cities

Connected technology is more than just wearable devices — it is being adopted across sectors and industries to increase the efficiency of all aspects of our life and work. This session focused on the major role IoT plays in advancing Smart Cities.

The panel featured corporate executives and venture capitalists at the forefront of the IoT revolution from organizations such as ABB Technologies, Shell Technology Ventures, Robert Bosch Venture Capital, Matrix Partners and Silver Spring Networks. The Economic Mission organized an event showcasing the Israeli IoT delegation, spotlighting startups, followed by one-on-one meetings with prospective investors and corporate partners.

• Beyond R&D

The ministry is launching an initiative that encourages multinational corporations to explore additional activities in Israel beyond R&D, such as advanced manufacturing. Executives from Intel, Johnson & Johnson and GE joined to discuss ongoing and future activities in Israel.

“Israel features a pro-business environment with attractive government programs and services designed to address every phase of the investment process,” said panel moderator Ziva Eger, the ministry’s chief executive of foreign investments and industrial cooperation.

• Investing for Social Impact: Leaders, Actions, Social Capital

Jeff Swartz, the businessman, philanthropist and former chief executive of Timberland, led this session addressing technology investments with the general theme of repairing the world. Impact investing, which promotes the notion of investing in efforts, ideas and technologies that not only provide a return on investment but also address specific social needs, is a growing phenomenon advancing the concept of “doing well by doing good.”


Startup of the month

Comprendi, based in San Francisco and Tel Aviv, helps advertisers harness the power of textual big data to build more effective, hyper-targeted advertising campaigns on new media (Twitter, Facebook and messaging platforms). Their innovation, Text2Insight, generates actionable insights from extremely high volumes of textual data and is capable of analyzing text from a variety of media such as social media, web content, customer support logs and more.


Exit of the month

Intel has acquired Replay Technologies, a Bay Area- and Israel-based company that developed freeD, a 3D video technology that allows the viewer to experience never-before-seen perspectives of live sporting events.

Intel and Replay Technologies recently teamed up at the NBA All-Star Game to give fans a 360-degree view of the slam dunk contest, using 28 ultra high-definition cameras positioned around the arena and connected to Intel-based servers. “Intel has been collaborating with Replay since 2013 to optimize their interactive, immersive video content on Intel platforms,” according to an Intel blog. “Technology now plays an unprecedented role in sports — and we’re just getting started.” Intel didn’t disclose the purchase price, but Israeli media reported it was about $175 million.

Founded in 2011, Replay raised $13.5 million in February in a funding round led by Deutsche Telekom Capital Partners, bringing total fundraising to $27 million.