Yuan to fi­nance shekel star­tups

China Daily (USA) - - BUSINESS - By MASI in Tel Aviv masi@chi­nadaily.com.cn

Ten aspir­ing Is­raeli tech and med­i­cal star­tups made an ex­tra­or­di­nary pitch in Tel Aviv re­cently. Ex­tra­or­di­nary be­cause their au­di­ence was 3,000 km away: 50 prospec­tive Chi­nese in­vestors in Shang­hai, Bei­jing and Nan­jing­who­hooked up on­line to as­sess the star­tups’ vir­tual pitches in English.

A trans­la­tor helped both sides make sense of the video con­fer­ence, part of the TechCode Is­rael China In­no­va­tion Cen­ter’s broad plan to con­nect star­tups in the Mid­dle East­ern coun­try with cash-rich Chi­nese in­vest­ment firms on the prowl for cut­ting-edge tech­nolo­gies.

“We plan to hold such events twice a month. Even­tu­ally, we hope it’ll be once a week,” saidHolo Zheng, gen­eral man­ager of TechCode Is­rael.

It is one of the first Chi­nese in­cu­ba­tors in Is­rael. It opened in March to serve firms at dif­fer­ent stages of growth. As part of its ser­vices, it of­fers star­tups of­fice space, busi­ness men­tors, fi­nan­cial sup­port and guid­ance on brand pro­mo­tion.

“Chi­nese and Is­raeli economies are highly com­ple­men­tary. The bi­lat­eral ties are also get­ting in­creas­ingly closer, which of­fers a per­fect tim­ing to set up a pres­ence here,” Zheng said.

TechCode Is­rael hosts dozens of star­tups en­gaged in the fields of ro­bot­ics, big data, cy­ber se­cu­rity and med­i­cal care. By the yearend, the aerospace in­dus­try will be also cov­ered.

Ac­cord­ing to her, Is­raeli en­trepreneurs are open to Chi­nese in­vest­ments and ea­ger to broaden their ken about China, even mas­ter­ing nu­ances like the apt way to ex­change busi­ness cards and pick­ing a suitable Chi­nese name for the com­pany.

But it is not easy for TechCode to stand out, given the big num­ber of Is­raeli in­cu­ba­tors The key lies in how to help star­tups en­ter into China mar­ket, she said.

“Is­raeli en­trepreneurs tend to sell their star­tups be­fore their tech­nolo­gies are fully com­mer­cial­ized,partly­be­cause the do­mes­tic mar­ket is too small. We are work­ing hard to solve this prob­lem,” Zheng said.

TechCode has es­tab­lished an in­cu­ba­tor for early-stage star­tups and two ac­cel­er­a­tors for growth-stage firms. It guides startup founders on howto pitch toChi­nese in­vestors. Ma­ture firms re­ceive ad­vi­sory ser­vices on top­ics like go­ing pub­lic in China.

TechCode’s part­ners in­clude China For­tune Land De­vel­op­ment Co and other in­vest­ment firms backed by provin­cial and mu­nic­i­pal gov­ern­ments of China. In Is­rael, it part­ners with le­gal firms, uni­ver­si­ties’ tech­nol­ogy trans­fer firms and IBI, a ma­jor in­vest­ment firm.

TechCode Is­rael, part of a global net­work of in­no­va­tion cen­ters in the United States, Europe, and Asia, helps bud­ding busi­nesses to take ad­van­tage of each coun­try’s unique char­ac­ter­is­tics and en­joy the flows of tal­ent and cap­i­tal.

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