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Israeli Companies Show Off Talent

August 9, 2007 By:
Frank Rosci, JE Feature
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Big "Idea:" An IMBA student explains a product at Fox expo.
In a forum that has become as highly anticipated for the potential of its promise as for its proven results, IMBA (International MBA) students, full-time MBA students, domestic and foreign companies, nonprofit organizations and investors were brought together under the same roof for the ninth consecutive year by Temple University's Fox School of Business and Management through its Global Innovation & Entrepreneurship Expo.

Presented by the Fox School's Enterprise Management Consulting Practice and the school's Innovation and Entrepreneurship Institute, and by the Fox MBA, the expo -- held on the Temple campus -- attracted several hundred people.

It was preceded by a kick-off evening reception, hosted for the Fox School by the America-Israel Chamber of Commerce at the Science Center in University City.

"These events are a catalyst for investment in Israeli companies and strategic partnerships with Israeli companies that commercialize through the Greater Philadelphia region," said Debbie Buchwald, executive director of the regional AICC.

As always, the expo itself featured presentations by skilled teams of Temple IMBA and MBA students, and other postgraduate-level university students from universities overseas on behalf of 19 companies this year, the most ever, including three from Israel -- Idea Bio-Medical and EZ2CAD from the realm of high technology, and AppliCure Technology from the high-tech and biomedical technology sphere.

"The uniqueness of the program for students is that it integrates finance, marketing, human resources and other areas of learning and proficiency into one project," explained M. Moshe Porat, dean of the Fox School.

"Also, this year the Israeli business projects tended to be more mature, reaching beyond seed-money stage," he noted.

Adding his thoughts about the expo's success to the dean's assessment, Professor T.L. Hill, faculty manager, EMC, Fox School, acknowledged that it had produced the desired results. "It pushed the students and clients as well to polish their presentations to a high shine -- something that rarely happens when there is a hard deadline [to meet] and event" to produce.

Professor Dov Dvir, chair, department of management at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, in Beersheva, commented on the relationship between his university and Temple: "Because of the real-world experience and contacts it affords, this program is one of the most important programs being run currently at Ben-Gurion."

A participating graduate student, Amit Rozenblat from Ben-Gurion and employed by Discount Bank, where he has worked for the past three years, called the program "a great experience that will give me the tools for whatever my next management position may be."

A brief look at the expo's three Israeli companies shows that Idea, based in Rehovot, was seeking $7 million to market a highly advanced electron microscope, its latest product; while EZ2CAD, Kiryat Sapir and Netanya, was looking for $3.5 million to help launch its QuickSurveyor Real Time Local Positioning System.

AppliCure, located in Herzliya, had gone public on the Tel Aviv stock exchange the week before the expo. Yaacov Sherban, its vice president of marketing and business development, said that the firm used the expo mainly to introduce dotDefender, a software-based application designed to protect Web sites.

As an executive in residence at the Fox School, where he also is a clinical professor, Sidney Amster, founder/co-partner of Phase II International, a venture-capital and management-consulting firm for early-stage companies in Cherry Hill, N.J. -- and a member of the high-tech advisory board of AICC -- served as a project manager, advising students who worked on the AppliCure project plan.

"The Fox program is about working internationally with a number of companies, while AICC is the regional conduit for U.S. investment specifically in Israeli companies, and in assisting those companies to enter U.S. markets in and through the Philadelphia region," he explained. "It's very important for people to have knowledge of the potential to work with Israeli companies -- and that's what AICC does." 

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