fbpx
Thursday, December 3, 2020

Israeli Tech Hits Silicon Beach with Fusion L.A.

Print This Article

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.

Enjoyed this article?

You'll love our roundtable.

Select list(s) to subscribe to


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

Giving Season

Two Phrases That May Explain Why Giving Comes Naturally

Two women pass a beggar on the street. They have the same income and expenses. The first weeps at the suffering of the beggar and gives him $5 out of the goodness of her heart. The second notices but rushes past. Later in the day, however, she feels compelled because of her religious beliefs and returns to give the beggar $100. Who is the better person? Why are Jews so generous?

New Plan for Giving That Will Secure Jewish Future

This article originally appeared in ejewishphilanthropy.com. Last year, at the urging of Mark Silberman, a longtime friend, Jewish Future Pledge Board Chair and former Board...

One Form of Giving: Spreading Kindness

“It started as a spreadsheet, a very basic spreadsheet,” Elana Sichel, a recent graduate of University of Maryland says. She and Hadassah Raskas, a U Penn rising senior, are the co-founders of Corona Connects, an initiative that pairs volunteers with organizations needing the extra hands during this chaotic time of living through the Coronavirus pandemic. The idea originated in a strong desire to be of service, stemming from their observant upbringing. Raskas explains, “I think it really was our Jewish values that really created this thing inside of us…it’s so deeply ingrained.”

Latest Articles

Emmanuel Navon: A Diplomatic History of Israel

Shmuel Rosner and guest Emmanuel Navon chat about Navon's latest book: "The Star and the Scepter: A Diplomatic History of Israel". Dr. Emmanuel Navon is...

Israel’s UN Ambassador Demands Recognition of Jewish Refugees

Israel passed its first laws recognizing some citizens of Arab descent as refugees in 2002

The Show Must Go On, Come Hell, High Water — Or Coronavirus

Two British theater companies have managed to bring their latest collaboration, “The Flying Lovers of Vitebsk,” to home audiences around the world.

Obituaries: December 2, 2020

Vilma Aarons died Oct. 27 at 83. Survived by husband Julius; daughters Ashley, Allison Stridh; sons Marc (Sam), Abba (Chubi); 4 grandchildren. Malinow and...

Julianna Margulies Joins ‘The Morning Show’

Julianna Margulies has joined Apple TV+’s Emmy Award winning newsroom series “The Morning Show” for its second season.

Naftali Bennett: Approving a Palestinian State Would Be ‘Biggest Mistake’

Israeli Knesset Member Naftali Bennett warned that Israel approving a Palestinian state would be the “biggest mistake” of the country’s history.

LA Jewish Film Festival Free Event: Ed Asner Narrates “The Tattooed Torah”

On Dec. 7, the Los Angeles Jewish Film Festival will present a free virtual screening of the film via Zoom and Facebook Live.

How One Midrasha Is Solving The COVID-19 Challenge

Rabbi Shlomo Brown of Midreshet Lindenbaum found a way to accommodate studying during a pandemic.

Israel’s Political Turmoil: Still Not Too Late for Compromise

Israel is about to have a fourth election in two years.

The Tallest Rabbi I’ve Ever Known

The older I get, the taller this man of character grows in my mind.

Culture

The Show Must Go On, Come Hell, High Water — Or Coronavirus

Two British theater companies have managed to bring their latest collaboration, “The Flying Lovers of Vitebsk,” to home audiences around the world.

Julianna Margulies Joins ‘The Morning Show’

Julianna Margulies has joined Apple TV+’s Emmy Award winning newsroom series “The Morning Show” for its second season.

LA Jewish Film Festival Free Event: Ed Asner Narrates “The Tattooed Torah”

On Dec. 7, the Los Angeles Jewish Film Festival will present a free virtual screening of the film via Zoom and Facebook Live.

Bright Winter Salads

Sharon’s Turn: I started reading Seventeen Magazine as a young girl in Sydney, Australia. I was fascinated by the glimpse into American culture, American...

Other Israel Film Festival Streams Israeli Films Online

The 14th annual Other Israel Film Festival goes virtual with a lineup of more than two dozen Israeli features, documentaries and shorts that will stream online from Dec. 3-10.

Latest Articles
Latest

Emmanuel Navon: A Diplomatic History of Israel

Shmuel Rosner and guest Emmanuel Navon chat about Navon's latest book: "The Star and the Scepter: A Diplomatic History of Israel". Dr. Emmanuel Navon is...

Israel’s UN Ambassador Demands Recognition of Jewish Refugees

Israel passed its first laws recognizing some citizens of Arab descent as refugees in 2002

The Show Must Go On, Come Hell, High Water — Or Coronavirus

Two British theater companies have managed to bring their latest collaboration, “The Flying Lovers of Vitebsk,” to home audiences around the world.

Obituaries: December 2, 2020

Vilma Aarons died Oct. 27 at 83. Survived by husband Julius; daughters Ashley, Allison Stridh; sons Marc (Sam), Abba (Chubi); 4 grandchildren. Malinow and...

Julianna Margulies Joins ‘The Morning Show’

Julianna Margulies has joined Apple TV+’s Emmy Award winning newsroom series “The Morning Show” for its second season.

Hollywood

‘Oslo’ Drama Underway from Steven Spielberg, Marc Platt

Steven Spielberg, Mark Platt and David Litvak are bringing the J.T. Rogers’ Tony Award-winning play “Oslo,” about the 1993 Israeli-Palestinian Peace Accords, to HBO....

‘Valley of Tears’ Tells Harrowing Stories of the 1973 Yom Kippur War

As Yom Kippur began in 1973, attacks by Syria and Egypt took Israel by surprise, launching a 19-day war in which more than 10,000...

Sophia Loren Plays a Holocaust Survivor in ‘The Life Ahead’

In her first feature film since “Nine” in 2009, screen legend Sophia Loren plays a Holocaust survivor who takes in motherless children in “The...

Podcasts

Emmanuel Navon: A Diplomatic History of Israel

Shmuel Rosner and guest Emmanuel Navon chat about Navon's latest book: "The Star and the Scepter: A Diplomatic History of Israel". Dr. Emmanuel Navon is...

Pandemic Times Episode 108: Conversation with Rabbi Steven Weil

New David Suissa Podcast Every Tuesday and Friday. The new CEO of FIDF weighs in on some of the hot issues of the day. How do...

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

x