Miami Technology Innovators Visiting Israel, the “Start Up Nation”

September 21st, 2016

For Immediate Release

AJC Project Interchange: Myra Clark-Siegel,
Knight Foundation: Anusha Alikhan,

Miami Technology Innovators Visiting Israel, the “Start Up Nation”
Group learning from Israel’s thriving tech and innovation sector; delegation follows success of inaugural Miami seminar last year, with funding from Knight Foundation

(Jerusalem, Israel) – A delegation of influential Miami entrepreneurs and leaders in the tech start-up community is in Israel with AJC Project Interchange (American Jewish Committee), to learn from the country’s thriving tech and innovation sector while sharing best practices and making connections.

Now in its second year, the knowledge exchange launched in 2015 with support from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. Last year’s inaugural delegation of Miami entrepreneurs resulted in a landmark Miami-Israel Startup Nation Conference and a knowledge-sharing agreement between Tel Aviv University and the Miami-Dade College Idea Center, an entrepreneurship hub, which launched in 2014 with Knight Foundation support.

The intensive trip and workshop in Israel’s globally-recognized tech and innovation sector, dubbed the “Start Up Nation,” is intended to provide participants the opportunity to broaden their networks and encourage collaboration. The delegation will gain exposure to Israel’s highly diverse tech sector, which has helped fuel and sustain rapid economic growth in Israel.

The delegation will participate in Tel Aviv’s DLD Innovation Conference, designed to connect international tech and entrepreneurial communities with high tech and business leaders in Israel. Workshops will highlight key drivers of innovation in these areas, introducing the delegation to leading entrepreneurs and investors, including policies that foster and encourage innovation and practices that can be replicated in Miami.

Robin Levenston, Project Interchange Executive Director, stated, “AJC Project Interchange is delighted to connect these Miami high tech leaders and entrepreneurs to Israel’s world-class research and innovation, its unique academia-to-technology transfer programs, and its emphasis on integrating immigrants into the country’s society; key areas for collaboration that can truly benefit the greater Miami community and beyond.”

The Project Interchange delegation includes entrepreneurs, venture capital investors, and experts in the nonprofit and academic sectors focused on bringing innovation, creativity and entrepreneurship to Miami. Brian Siegal, AJC Miami director, and Matt Haggman, Knight Foundation Program Director for Miami, are accompanying the participants on the trip.

Haggman stated: “Project Interchange is a great example of the power of positive collaboration. In its first year, it led to a new partnership between Miami Dade College’s Idea Center and Tel Aviv University aimed at developing the innovators of tomorrow through shared lessons and connected problem solving. With this second knowledge exchange, we hope to strengthen what has been started—introducing more Miami entrepreneurs to a global network of business and tech leaders.”

Support for Project Interchange forms part of Knight Foundation’s efforts to invest in Miami’s emerging innovators and entrepreneurs as a tool to build community, while fostering talent and expanding opportunity. Over the past two years, Knight Foundation has made more than 200 investments in entrepreneurship in South Florida.

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About AJC Project Interchange
For nearly 35 years, Project Interchange, a nonprofit educational institute of AJC (American Jewish Committee) has brought over 6,000 influential figures to Israel from 95 countries and all 50 U.S. states, offering them broad exposure and firsthand understanding of the complex issues facing Israel and the region. For more, visit

About the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation
Knight Foundation supports transformational ideas that promote quality journalism, advance media innovation, engage communities and foster the arts. We believe that democracy thrives when people and communities are informed and engaged. For more, visit