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November 14, 2016
City of Toronto technology mission to Israel visits innovative incubators
  
Mayor John Tory and members of the City of Toronto delegation has visited high profile innovation centres and incubators in Tel Aviv. The mission allows Toronto to explore how Israel has fostered international growth for their startups. Similar to Toronto, Tel Aviv has nearly 50 business accelerators and incubators that specialize in areas from fintech to biomedical science. This similarity provides the delegation with a leading example of how Toronto can better finance its own technology and innovation sectors.

"While Toronto has just as many incubators and accelerators to support entrepreneurs, Israel has far more investment from the government and private sector in their support system," said Mayor Tory. "I'm happy to be here to learn from a country that encourages innovation and collaboration, and I hope to bring this incubator ecosystem home to Toronto."

One of the incubators visited was The Floor (http://www.thefloorhub.com/), a space where international banks engage with Israel's fintech companies to support their development and engage in research and development opportunities. The delegation also visited Google's Tel Aviv Innovation Centre and MATIMOP (http://www.matimop.org.il/), a government agency of the Office of the Chief Scientist in Israel's Ministry of Economy. The agency supports Israel’s incubator and accelerator network, as well as develops and implements international cooperative industrial research and development programs between Israeli and foreign enterprises.

The delegation also engaged IBM's offices in Tel Aviv to learn more about their work with the digital health incubator MindUp (http://www.mindup.co.il/). IBM is currently interested in developing an agreement between Toronto and Israel to provide soft-landing space for medical imaging companies to set up in Toronto and Israel. The possible Toronto location would be at MaRS Discovery District, one of the world's premier innovation hubs.

"Tel Aviv has a great ecosystem of ventures focused on key sectors such as digital health and fintech," said Salim Teja, executive vice-president of ventures at MaRS. "We are actively looking to connect our two regions to explore the sharing of customer networks, capital networks and entrepreneur connections."
"Israel has successfully leveraged its strengths to become a world-recognized technology leader, particularly in financial technology and cybersecurity," said Janet Ecker, president and CEO of the Toronto Financial Services Alliance. "Toronto also has many similar strengths and today's meetings have been very useful in showing us how they did it and what more we can do."

Today, the delegation was in Be'er-Sheva visiting CyberSpark (http://www.cyberspark.org.il/), a joint venture of the Israel National Cyber Bureau, the municipality of Be'er-Sheva, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev and leading national and multinational companies in the cyber-security industry.

Mayor John Tory is leading a Toronto business technology mission to Israel from November 12 to 19. City Councillors James Pasternak (Ward 10 York Centre), Josh Colle (Ward 15 Eglinton-Lawrence) and Christin Carmichael Greb (Ward 16 Eglinton-Lawrence) are part of the mission alongside nearly 50 Toronto business and technology delegates.

The City of Toronto's Israel mission delegation will learn about Israel's technology and business innovations and will connect directly with their technology and investment communities to help generate business opportunities in their markets.

Toronto is Canada's largest city, the fourth largest in North America, and home to a diverse population of about 2.8 million people. It is a global centre for business, finance, arts and culture and is consistently ranked one of the world's most livable cities. For information on non-emergency City services and programs, Toronto residents, businesses and visitors can visit http://www.toronto.ca, call 311, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, or follow us @TorontoComms.

Media Contact
John Gosgnach
Strategic Communications
416-392-8386
jgosgna@toronto.ca

Keerthana Kamalavasan
Office of the Mayor
647-460-7507
Keerthana.Kamalavasan@toronto.ca

 

 

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