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Maryland, Israel Launch Entrepreneur Program to Drive Trade, Investment

15-20 Israeli startups will travel to Maryland for training on U.S. market entry

BALTIMORE, MD (November 1, 2018) – Maryland and Israel are joining together to launch MarketReach America™, a binational program to train business executives from Israeli medical technology startups on U.S. market entry. As part of the program, run by the Maryland/Israel Development Center (MIDC), the participants will travel to Maryland to meet potential customers and leading medical institutions to receive training on how to interact with key federal research and regulatory agencies. The program is being jointly funded by the Maryland/Israel Development Center, Maryland Department of Commerce, University of Maryland, Baltimore, and the Israel Innovation Authority, with a grant from the Abell Foundation.

"Over the past four years, our administration has worked hard to further strengthen the robust cultural and economic ties between Maryland and Israel,” said Governor Larry Hogan. "This new binational business training program is a great example of the kind of collaboration and partnership we strive to achieve to boost trade, foster entrepreneurship, and build on our long and proud shared history."  

“The Maryland/Israel Development Center is excited to launch “MarketReach America™” as a binational accelerator for Israeli entrepreneurs in the U.S. market,” said MIDC Chairman Alvin Katz. “Our goal is to help Israeli entrepreneurs understand how to scale up in the U.S. market and ultimately establish a presence in Maryland. We’re grateful to the Maryland Department of Commerce, Israel Innovation Authority, University of Maryland, Baltimore, and the Abell Foundation for their partnership and support.”

“Maryland and Israel share many strengths, particularly when it comes to developing medical devices and digital health applications, so our state is the ideal partner for this program,” said Maryland Commerce Secretary Mike Gill. “Not only will this immerse Israeli entrepreneurs in what it takes to compete in the U.S. market, but we hope it will ultimately result in new Israeli companies opening in Maryland.”

Mr. Aharon Aharon, Israel Innovation Authority CEO, said, "The U.S. is the leading market in medical developments in the world and is Israel's leading partner in innovation. We are proud to launch this new binational program with Maryland to train Israeli medical technology innovators on how to interact with key federal research and regulatory agencies allowing them the tools to surpass a significant milestone in the development of medical product. This accelerator program combines the benefit of both nations, providing Israeli medical entrepreneurs and startups with a clear understanding of market demands and requirements in preparation for a later stage entry and sales in the U.S. market."

Between 15-20 Israeli startups from the medical device and digital health sectors will be recruited through a competitive application process whose selection committee will include the MIDC, Maryland Commerce, the Israel Innovation Authority, and program manager Robert Storey of Baltimore, a certified National Science Foundation “I-Corps” (Innovation Corps) instructor who will deliver the training.

Once selected, the delegation of Israeli entrepreneurs will travel to Maryland for a two-week “customer discover” program, which includes meeting potential customers, distributors, technology experts and key industry opinion leaders. They will receive training on working with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in White Oak, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) in Woodlawn for regulatory approval, as well as with the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda for research collaboration. The University of Maryland, Baltimore, will assist the companies with access to university expertise relevant to the companies’ technologies.

With the feedback from those meetings, the entrepreneurs will return to Israel to complete their product development and then reconnect with the potential customers for initial U.S. market entry and sales, with the goal of opening an office in Maryland. The top three participating companies will be awarded one-year free office space in the University of Maryland, Baltimore BioPark in Baltimore City.