Trip Blogs - Days One and Two

September 22nd, 2016

Editor’s Note: Brian Siegel, Director of of AJC’s Miami and Broward County Regional Office,C, is in Israel with Project Interchange’s delegation of influential Miami entrepreneurs and leaders in the tech start-up community is in Israel with AJC Project Interchange, 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 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 - Global TAU and The Idea Center, an entrepreneurship hub, which launched in 2014 with Knight Foundation support.

Day One:

After a brisk jog through London Heathrow Airport, to make our plane, we flew and arrived in Israel! Our group, tired from the trip was instantly revitalized the minute we got off the plane.

Our fascinating opening dinner and discussion with Prof. Alexander Yakobson, Political Activist, Commentator, and Professor of Ancient History at Hebrew University of Jerusalem, at the restaurant was a perfect introduction to Israeli politics and society.

We then went to sleep, tired after a long trip and great first day, but also looking forward to what’s next on this exciting journey we have begun.

Day Two:

We woke up early to engage right away with an exciting discussion about Israel’s Economy, Success and Challenges, with Jonathan Medved, Founder and CEO, OurCrowd. Jon’s excellent presentation was inspiring and mind blowing. His crowd sourcing platform gave our group some amazing new ideas. Our group couldn’t stop talking about his observations and insight.

We then visited an incredibly innovative Israeli Accelerator Program called MassChallenge (MC), where we met with Jordan Aibel, and representatives of several incredible start-ups that are working with MC. We were also very fortunate to visit with Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat while we were at MC!

After an amazing lunch at Imma Restaurant, we took a short break to go through Mea Shaarim to better understand the ultra Orthodox community in Jerusalem.

We finished our official tour at Israel’s Innovation on the Road by visiting the Mobileye project. Learning about semi-autonomous vehicles and the technology of keeping people safe on the road was extremely impressive and exciting.

The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Project Interchange.