|Keynote speaker Todd Dollinger, CEO of The Trendlines Group||Panelists for the Centerity presentation
(left to right: Murray Bookman, Cisco Systems; Tal Cohen, My Seed Tech Fund; Gilly Segal, Alston & Bird)
As the ‘Start Up Nation’ has matured, the nature of US-Israel business is growing and changing. This was the theme of the 13th annual Professional Seminar on August 25th that attracted almost 80 participants from the legal, accounting, real estate and financial professions as well as others who were hungry to gain insights into various aspects of US-Israel business.
Organized by AICC’s Professional Committee, the seminar featured a variety of presentations, panels, case studies and the luncheon keynote by Todd Dollinger, CEO of The Trendlines Group, who is one of Israel’s most successful and visionary entrepreneurs since moving to Israel in 1990. As owner and operator of two Israeli government licensed business incubators that focus on medical devices and cleantech, Dollinger shared his company’s mission to “create and develop businesses to improve the human condition.” Dollinger expressed his admiration of AICC and offered his belief that there is great potential for his portfolio companies, now totaling over 50, in the Southeastern US. Plans are being made to include Atlanta in a “road show” next spring of several of these portfolio companies who will be visiting five US cities to raise investment.
The Seminar also featured a presentation by Israel-based IT network management company Centerity Systems with a panel of experts giving advice and insights; the case study of Arab-Israeli owned medical device company Alpha Omega which has its US headquarters in Atlanta; the case study of the acquisition of Atlanta-based security technology company Vumii by Israel-based Opgal; perspectives on funding early stage Israeli companies by Tel Aviv-based Fruition; and insights from Proctor & Gamble on how major corporations are scouting Israeli innovation, the rationale for the Chamber’s new Corporations initiative as introduced by The Coca-Cola Company’s Joel Neuman.
“This year’s seminar was certainly one of the best programs we’ve offered in this long series. It demonstrated once again the vitality of Israel business to our region and the many interesting ways it expresses itself to the benefit of our community and Israel,” said Ben Fink (Berman Fink Van Horn), chairman of the Professional Committee.
Corporate sponsors included The Coca-Cola Company, Ackerman & Co., Applied Economics, Atlanta Jewish Times, Ballard Spahr, BDO, Berman Fink Van Horn, Dale Schwartz & Associates, Fifth Third Bank, Fish & Richardson, Friedman Dever & Merlin, Porter Keadle Moore, Swerdlin & Co., Williams Benator & Libby, and Woodcock Washburn. Organizational co-sponsors included the American Israel Education Institute, Association for Corporate Growth, Atlanta Bar Association – International Transactions Section, Atlanta Venture Forum, Christians United for Israel, Consulate General of Israel for the Southeast, Georgia Department of Economic Development, Israel Economic Mission to the South, Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta, Metro Atlanta Chamber – Global Commerce Council, and the World Chamber of Commerce.