MARYLAND, ISRAEL LAUNCH ENTREPRENEUR PROGRAM TO DRIVE TRADE, INVESTMENT

15-20 Israeli startups will travel to Maryland for training on U.S. market entry

BALTIMORE, MD (November 1, 2018) – Maryland and Israel are joining together to launch MarketReach America™, a binational program to train business executives from Israeli medical technology startups on U.S. market entry. As part of the program, run by the Maryland/Israel Development Center (MIDC), the participants will travel to Maryland to meet potential customers and leading medical institutions to receive training on how to interact with key federal research and regulatory agencies. The program is being jointly funded by the Maryland/Israel Development Center, Maryland Department of Commerce, University of Maryland, Baltimore, and the Israel Innovation Authority, with a grant from the Abell Foundation.

“Over the past four years, our administration has worked hard to further strengthen the robust cultural and economic ties between Maryland and Israel,” said Governor Larry Hogan. “This new binational business training program is a great example of the kind of collaboration and partnership we strive to achieve to boost trade, foster entrepreneurship, and build on our long and proud shared history.”

“The Maryland/Israel Development Center is excited to launch “MarketReach America™” as a binational accelerator for Israeli entrepreneurs in the U.S. market,” said MIDC Chairman Alvin Katz. “Our goal is to help Israeli entrepreneurs understand how to scale up in the U.S. market and ultimately establish a presence in Maryland. We’re grateful to the Maryland Department of Commerce, Israel Innovation Authority, University of Maryland, Baltimore, and the Abell Foundation for their partnership and support.”

“Maryland and Israel share many strengths, particularly when it comes to developing medical devices and digital health applications, so our state is the ideal partner for this program,” said Maryland Commerce Secretary Mike Gill. “Not only will this immerse Israeli entrepreneurs in what it takes to compete in the U.S. market, but we hope it will ultimately result in new Israeli companies opening in Maryland.”

Mr. Aharon Aharon, Israel Innovation Authority CEO, said, “The U.S. is the leading market in medical developments in the world and is Israel’s leading partner in innovation. We are proud to launch this new binational program with Maryland to train Israeli medical technology innovators on how to interact with key federal research and regulatory agencies allowing them the tools to surpass a significant milestone in the development of medical product. This accelerator program combines the benefit of both nations, providing Israeli medical entrepreneurs and startups with a clear understanding of market demands and requirements in preparation for a later stage entry and sales in the U.S. market.”

Between 15-20 Israeli startups from the medical device and digital health sectors will be recruited through a competitive application process whose selection committee will include the MIDC, Maryland Commerce, the Israel Innovation Authority, and program manager Robert Storey of Baltimore, a certified National Science Foundation “I-Corps” (Innovation Corps) instructor who will deliver the training.

Once selected, the delegation of Israeli entrepreneurs will travel to Maryland for a two-week “customer discover” program, which includes meeting potential customers, distributors, technology experts and key industry opinion leaders. They will receive training on working with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in White Oak, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) in Woodlawn for regulatory approval, as well as with the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda for research collaboration. The University of Maryland, Baltimore, will assist the companies with access to university expertise relevant to the companies’ technologies.

With the feedback from those meetings, the entrepreneurs will return to Israel to complete their product development and then reconnect with the potential customers for initial U.S. market entry and sales, with the goal of opening an office in Maryland. The top three participating companies will be awarded one-year free office space in the University of Maryland, Baltimore BioPark in Baltimore City.

About Maryland Commerce
The Maryland Department of Commerce stimulates private investment and creates jobs by attracting new businesses, encouraging the expansion and retention of existing companies, and providing financial assistance to Maryland companies. The Department promotes the State’s many economic advantages and markets local products and services at home and abroad to spur economic development and international investment, trade and tourism. Because they are major economic generators, the Department also supports the Arts, film production, sports and other special events. For more information, visit commerce.maryland.gov.

About Maryland/Israel Development Center
The Maryland/Israel Development Center is a non-profit “public-private partnership” of the Maryland Department of Commerce, Israel’s Ministry of Economy, and The Associated: Jewish Community Federation of Baltimore that promotes bi-lateral trade and economic development. For more information, visit www.MarylandIsrael.org.

About Israel Innovation Authority
The Israel Innovation Authority (previously known as the Office of the Chief Scientist of Israel’s Ministry of Economy) is responsible for the country’s innovation policy. It is an independent and impartial public entity that operates for the benefit of the Israeli innovation ecosystem and Israeli economy as a whole. Its role is to nurture and develop Israeli innovation resources, while creating and strengthening the infrastructure and framework needed to support the entire knowledge industry.  For more information, visithttps://innovationisrael.org.il.

About University of Maryland, Baltimore
Founded in 1807, the University of Maryland, Baltimore is Maryland’s only public health, law, and human services university, dedicated to excellence in education, research, clinical care, and public service. UMB enrolls 6,500 students in six nationally ranked professional schools — medicine, law, dentistry, pharmacy, nursing, and social work — and an interdisciplinary Graduate School. The university provides more than $40 million each year in uncompensated care to Maryland citizens, and receives more than $550 million in extramural research funding annually. For more information, visit www.umaryland.edu.

About Abell Foundation
The Abell Foundation is dedicated to the enhancement of the quality of life in Maryland, with a particular focus on Baltimore City. The Foundation places a strong emphasis on opening the doors of opportunity to the disenfranchised, believing that no community can thrive if those who live on the margins of it are not included. For more information, visit https://www.abell.org/.