fbpx
Thursday, September 24, 2020

Israeli Tech Hits Silicon Beach with Fusion L.A.

Photo by Moshe Levis Photography

Given their growing tech ecosystems, it seems only natural that Israeli startups and Los Angeles’ Silicon Beach should come together — and that’s exactly what Fusion LA is doing.

Over the past 12 months, the accelerator program that helps Israeli companies gain traction, raise capital and work with industry leaders in the U.S. has brought 20 Israeli companies to Silicon Beach, the coastal strip between LAX and Santa Monica that is home to more than 500 tech startups. The most recent eight startups were highlighted in an exclusive reception last month at SPACES in Santa Monica, hosted by Fusion LA Israeli co-founders Yair Vardi and Guy Katsovich. More than 80 investors and technology executives from Silicon Beach attended the event, which featured food, drinks and a showcase of brief pitches from the founders of a slew of Israeli-based startups. 

Katsovich said two of the startups, Farm Dog, a digital agriculture solution to help farmers use fewer pesticides; and Zero Energy Solutions, which helps commercial real estate companies save money on energy through their Climate Intelligence platform; are ready for investors.

“The grand vision is to be the launchpad for early-stage tech companies out of Israel,” Katsovich said. “We want to utilize the talent of Israeli founders and have them do business here in the United States, specifically Los Angeles.”

Katsovich visits Israel every few months to seek out tech companies. He brings their people to L.A. on tourist visas, where they then take part in a three-month program led by Vardi. During the program, Fusion LA helps participants meet investors, entrepreneurs and executives who help them adapt their companies’ branding, marketing and sales strategies to the U.S. market. 

“Coming to the U.S. is all about building relationships and long-term commitment,” Katsovich said. “Half of our companies we’ve invested in have already set up shop here. They have a founder that’s moved [to Los Angeles] or some business development representative. This is something we put an emphasis on.”

“There are companies that have been around for four or five months. It’s really about how we succeed in L.A. together, helping each other out. That aspect I love.” — Liron Brish

Iftach Cohen, co-founder and CEO of Zero Energy Solutions, which is headquartered in Tel Aviv, said he is about to open a U.S. subsidiary. “The reason I joined this specific program is for their networking,” Cohen said. “For me, [this event] is an opportunity to say what [we’re looking] for and what we are delivering.”  

Katsovich and Vardi invest $20,000 in each of the companies in exchange for 5 percent equity in each of them. Moving a business to another country can pose significant challenges, so they look for smart, talented and assertive people to work with, among other things. 

Liron Brish, CEO of Farm Dog, was born in Israel and grew up in Texas and New York before heading back to Tel Aviv for six years. He moved to Los Angeles a month and a half ago, something he had planned to do before connecting with Fusion LA.

“Moving to California was difficult for me internally, but being able have a soft landing and folks that I can call great friends right off the bat was very helpful,” he said.

“There’s been great camaraderie between all the different startups,” Brish added. “My company’s been around for about three years. There are companies that have been around for four or five months. It’s really about how we succeed in L.A. together, helping each other out. That aspect I love.”

Vardi said, “We’re proud to see many familiar faces and new professionals who recently joined our community as mentors and friends of the program, investing their time and money to help Israeli founders scaling their companies in the U.S. market. The L.A. tech ecosystem is booming with over $10 billion in venture capital investments in the past two years. It’s exciting to be part of boosting Israeli innovation in SoCal.” 

Did you enjoy this article?

You'll love our roundtable.


By submitting this form, you are consenting to receive marketing emails from: Jewish Journal, 3250 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA, 90010, http://www.jewishjournal.com. You can revoke your consent to receive emails at any time by using the SafeUnsubscribe® link, found at the bottom of every email. Emails are serviced by Constant Contact

Enjoyed this article?

You'll love our roundtable.


By submitting this form, you are consenting to receive marketing emails from: Jewish Journal, 3250 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA, 90010, http://www.jewishjournal.com. You can revoke your consent to receive emails at any time by using the SafeUnsubscribe® link, found at the bottom of every email. Emails are serviced by Constant Contact

Latest Articles

N.Y. Town Votes to Keep ‘Swastika’ Name

The town argued that the history of the town's namesake isn't rooted in hate.

Univ. of Illinois Student Gov’t Passes BDS Resolution

The university denounced the resolution.

Arab Nations’ PA Funding Declined 85% in 2020, Report Says

Foreign aid to the PA as a whole has fallen 50%.

Letters: The Court Without Ginsburg; Israel, the UAE and Bahrain

The Court Without Ginsburg With the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, America has lost a pioneer and icon of the movement for equal rights...

Sing it to us Mo! — A Poem for Torah portion Ha’azinu

Remember the days of old; reflect upon 
the years of generations I’m as nostalgic as they come. I remember walking around my high school during the first...

Boston’s 118-Year-Old Jewish Advocate Ceases Publication

"It is with tears in our eyes that we concluded that our decision to suspend publication is a sad but necessary response to this crisis.”

RBG and the Lone Dissent

Ginsburg’s legacy is that brilliance, tenacity and vision matter.

The Yom Kippur Sermon Stephen Wise Didn’t Give

Rabbi Stephen S. Wise, the most prominent American Jewish leader of the 1930s and 1940s, was a renowned orator who did not shy away...

More Restrictive Lockdown Set for Israel as Coronavirus Cases Remain at Record Levels

The restrictions are expected to last at least two weeks.

Living Life According to Justice Ginsburg

We should be obligated to take RBG’s legacy with us into our daily lives — which is in and of itself a very Jewish idea.

Culture

The Sweetness of Yom Kippurs Past

Sharon Gomperts: My family is visiting the apartment building in Israel where my uncles and their families live. I awake in the middle of...

IKAR’s Yizkor Memorial Garden: A Space for Memory and Community Connection

This year, as with everything relating to the High Holy Days in the era of COVID-19, the space that IKAR carves out for grief had to be rethought.

Watching the Wall Between Church and State Crumble

A review of the book “The Religion Clauses: The Case for Separating Church and State.”

Albert Dabah Tackles Delicate Family Material in ‘Extra Innings’

He said it was his way of honoring their lives.

Latest Articles
Latest

N.Y. Town Votes to Keep ‘Swastika’ Name

The town argued that the history of the town's namesake isn't rooted in hate.

Univ. of Illinois Student Gov’t Passes BDS Resolution

The university denounced the resolution.

Arab Nations’ PA Funding Declined 85% in 2020, Report Says

Foreign aid to the PA as a whole has fallen 50%.

Letters: The Court Without Ginsburg; Israel, the UAE and Bahrain

The Court Without Ginsburg With the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, America has lost a pioneer and icon of the movement for equal rights...

Sing it to us Mo! — A Poem for Torah portion Ha’azinu

Remember the days of old; reflect upon 
the years of generations I’m as nostalgic as they come. I remember walking around my high school during the first...

Hollywood

‘Dirty Dancing’ Sequel Starring Jennifer Grey Announced

It’s official: A “Dirty Dancing” sequel is coming, and it’s starring Jewish actress Jennifer Grey, who played Frances “Baby” Houseman in the 1987 original.

Roy Moore’s Lawsuit Against Sacha Baron Cohen Over Being Pranked Can Proceed, Judge Rules

By the time the episode aired, it was widely known that Cohen was punking public figures.

Podcasts

Pandemic Times Episode 89: Honoring Ruth Bader Ginsburg

New David Suissa Podcast Every Tuesday and Friday. Reflections on the life and legacy of a Jewish and American hero. How do we manage our lives...

A Rosh HaSchitt’s Creek Sameach to You!

How long has this pandemic been? This week we're giving a big Shofar Wave to 5780 as it exits the building, reviewing some Jewy...

More news and opinions than at a Shabbat dinner, right in your inbox.


By submitting this form, you are consenting to receive marketing emails from: Jewish Journal, 3250 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA, 90010, http://www.jewishjournal.com. You can revoke your consent to receive emails at any time by using the SafeUnsubscribe® link, found at the bottom of every email. Emails are serviced by Constant Contact

x