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‘Start-Up Nation’ Dumps Israel for Big Apple

Joey Low, an American-Jewish businessman, does not hide the fact that he is nuts about Israel. He took part in funding the reality-TV program “Hashagrir” ‏(“The Ambassador”‏), and has participated in the Herzliya Interdisciplinary Center’s Elevator project, which aspires to promote young entrepreneurs. Now he is taking things to the next level. He has rented office space in the center of Manhattan and is looking for Israeli startups that are taking their first steps at marketing their products in the United States. The deal is simple: free work space in return for shares in the company.

So far, Low has invested in 15 Israeli startups since last month − some $200,000 in each − and he’s on the lookout for additional prospects. He explains that his incubator, Star Farm Ventures, is not a charity. “I believe that these companies have a [good] chance to go forward and succeed,” he says. “I am convinced this will contribute to improving Israel’s image and good name. We focus exclusively on Israeli companies, because we believe in Israeli high-tech. There are those who say that Israeli companies coming to work in America should work in an American environment, around other American firms, but I think Israeli companies can benefit from being in a work environment surrounded by other Israeli companies. We will give the Israeli companies access to the American network, and we will expose them to a variety of American businessmen who can help them.”

Lior Aharoni represents the first Israeli company to use Low’s incubator for their New York business operations. He is the cofounder and CEO of EQuala, which developed a social radio app for music-sharing. He met Low by way of the IDC Elevator program ‏(Low is on its board of directors‏).

For more, go to Haaretz

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