Innovation, VCs and industry leaders @ The Israel Conference in LA


Israel conference

by Elran Tsabag

For the past five years, agents of influence in the techno-business sector have been descending on Los Angeles to partake in the annual ‘The Israel Conference’. This year’s two-day conference – held on May 30-31, 2013 at the Luxe hotel – brought together start-ups, multinational corporations, venture capitalists, and government officials to discuss current trends in Israeli technological innovation and what lies ahead.

The jam-packed schedule provided participants with a showcase of Israeli companies and panels on what seemed like a multitude of topics and issues within the Israeli tech scene. Within two days, participants were exposed to panels on clean energy, medical tech, cyber security, gaming, entertainment, market trends, investment funding, and mobile technology – not to mention the infinite small talk taking place on the side.

During breaks, side discussions and networking meetings brought the overall volume to a roar. You could feel the elevated energy in the crowd as soon as panels adjourned and gave participants the opportunity to discuss their respective companies, investments, tech trends, and build relationships that will undoubtedly impact the Israeli tech scene. It was the quintessential environment for business deals to take place, where investors and entrepreneurs came together in conversation to represent “amazing companies and incredible technology.”

Giddy participants reveled in prizes handed out at random between presentations and breaks. Some of the most impressive companies showcased there included Wibbitz and Oramed. Wibbitz (“Your News in Motion”) has developed the technology that converts online news articles into narrated videos. Oramed is a biomed company currently developing the technology for the oral delivery of drugs traditionally administered by injection; the company is currently in Phase 2 clinical trials of an insulin drug which can be taken orally.

The conference is co-chaired by Yossi Vardi (A.K.A., “Godfather of Israeli High Tech”) and Sharona Justman (Managing Director of STEP Strategy Advisors). Vardi came to fame as the pioneer of instant messaging platform ICQ (sold to AOL), and in consequently developing over 70 high-tech companies. Justman is a businesswoman who leads STEP Strategy Advisors, a strategic planning and acquisition advisory firm in the United States, Europe, and Israel. Together, the duo founded ‘The Israel Conference’ in Los Angeles to generate success in Israel-related companies and investors.

We can’t wait for next year’s conference, scheduled to take place on May 29-30, 2014.

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