Schnader Sponsors Keiretsu Forum Mid-Atlantic 3rd Annual Angel Capital Expo

By Elliot Dater

Schnader Harrison Segal & Lewis is a sponsor of the Keiretsu Forum Mid-Atlantic 3rd Annual Angel Capital Expo. Keiretsu Forum is the world’s largest angel investor network. Keiretsu Forum Mid-Atlantic has chapters in Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, New York and Washington, D.C.  Schnader’s Pittsburgh office is the host sponsor of the Pittsburgh Chapter of Keiretsu Forum Mid-Atlantic.

The 3rd Annual Angel Capital Expo will feature 12 pre-screened and vetted presenting companies, six early-stage fast pitch presentations from technology transfer offices and college and university students, and an opportunity to network with up to 250 attendees including over 100 accredited investors. The presenting regular forum entry company that receives the highest level of votes from attendees will receive a prize of $100,000. The top early-stage company will receive $50,000 in investment and services.

What does this have to do with Pittsburgh and Israel? First, our Pittsburgh office is a sponsor of the Expo and a number of Keiretsu members will be attending the Expo. Second, Keiretsu Forum Mid-Atlantic has had a number of Israeli companies present at their regular monthly meetings over the last two years.

Last but not least, Keiretsu Forum Mid-Atlantic and Schnader Harrison are planning on having one meeting per year in Pittsburgh exclusively for presentations by Israeli companies looking to raise equity from angel investors. The companies will be carefully screened for their stage of development and potential investor interest and will present to an audience of interested accredited investors. We look forward to hosting this annual Israeli deal flow event in Pittsburgh and working to further business ties between Pittsburgh and Israel.

I will be back to report after the Expo and also to discuss some other exciting initiatives that are in there early stages to bring more Israeli technology companies to Pittsburgh.

New Opportunities for Business Collaboration Between Israel and Pittsburgh

By Elliot Dater

You might not know it, but there is a history of Israel-Pittsburgh collaborative technology investments and transactions. It started as a trickle, but that trickle will develop into a flow, given the right circumstances. Israeli companies such as medical device company Flexicath, portfolio company Pittsburgh Life Sciences Greenhouse and dbMotion (recently acquired by Allscripts for an undisclosed amount), set up their U.S. operations in the greater Pittsburgh area several years ago. In addition, Ness Technologies recently announced the opening of a new software development center in Pittsburgh.

More recently, a new attempt to introduce Israeli companies to Pittsburgh area investors was kicked off. The Keiretsu Forum, the world’s largest angel investor network, recently brought a number of Israeli startups to Pittsburgh to present their companies to local investors as part of the Keiretsu Forum Mid-Atlantic Regions’ Quarterly Israeli Deal Flow program. Five Israeli companies in the fields of internet technology, medical devices, transportation efficiency, human mobility products and drug development presented to a number of accredited investors. Although it is too early to tell whether any investments will be made, Israeli companies that have previously presented are currently under review to determine whether Keiretsu members will make an investment.

Earlier last month, the Israeli Deputy Consul General for the Mid-Atlantic Region visited Pittsburgh and met with a number of key players in the local technology ecosystem to explore ways to create and strengthen ties between the Israeli and Pittsburgh technology communities. This was just a first step, but hopefully the first of many to find ways to increase collaboration in the technology space between Israeli and Pittsburgh companies, academic institutions and sources of capital.

Academic institutions are also working to connect the dots between the Israeli and Pittsburgh technology ecosystems. Professor Paul Harper is creating a program in Global Innovation at the University of Pittsburgh Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business. The pilot country for kicking off this program in global innovation? Israel, of course. Professor Harper has been to Israel twice in the last 12 months and immediately noticed the potential for collaboration between the two technology ecosystems. The Israeli Pilot would include case studies of Israeli companies and a student trip to Israel to meet with entrepreneurs, investors and leading business figures in the Israeli economy. For more on this exciting new program, see “Israel Rising” in the Spring 2013 edition of the Katz School’s Pitt Business Magazine.

Although in its early stages, the University of Pittsburgh School of Law is looking to create a collaborative program with the Academic Center of Law and Business in Ramat Gan Israel. Potential parts of this program could include combined classes taught by faculty members of both schools, student internships in immigration law and student exchange programs. Dean William Carter has been leading this effort and it will be fascinating to see what the future holds.

A lot is already happening to link the Pittsburgh and Israeli technology economies. The two keys to creating additional growth is getting the word out on what already exists and working to create more connections where it makes business and/or academic sense.

Elliot Dater is a partner in Schnader’s Business Services Department,  and represents Israeli companies doing business in the United States and U.S. companies and investors doing business in Israel, as well as emerging growth companies in the technology and medical device industries

The materials posted on Schnader.com and SchnaderPittIsrael.com are prepared for informational purposes only and should not be considered as providing legal advice or creating an attorney-client relationship. Please see our disclaimer page for a full explanation.

Welcome to Schnader’s Israel – Pittsburgh Tech Report

Our goal is to raise awareness of the technology ecosystem in both communities and to create a space where entrepreneurs can “meet,” exchange ideas and even plant the seeds of future collaboration.

I lived and practiced law in Israel for more than seven years. I was part of the Start Up Nation before it ever received that name. Prior to living in Israel, I spent several years working on a number of sophisticated Israeli research and development projects.

I have been living in Pittsburgh for nearly 11 years. As a practitioner and teacher of law and entrepreneurship in this region, I am proud to be part of the continuing renaissance of the city’s technology ecosystem.

Every day I am amazed to see the ideas, science and products being created in Israel and Pittsburgh. As I work with Israeli companies doing business in the United States and with local entrepreneurs, I see the similarities between the technology ecosystems in both regions. While no one will ever confuse winter along the Mediterranean shore with winter in Southwestern Pennsylvania, the brainpower, creativity and entrepreneurial spirit coming out of Pittsburgh and Israel are striking, and I am constantly looking for ways to bring them together.

This is the intention of Schnader’s Pittsburgh-Israel Business Report. We want to generate interest and collaboration between the two communities. We want to make people in Pittsburgh aware of the cutting edge developments coming out of Israel in software, IT, medical devices and life sciences and connect them to institutions like the Weizmann Institute, The Technion, and companies that have been supported by the Office of the Chief Scientist. We want to make people in Israel aware of the technologies being developed by companies at the Pittsburgh Life Sciences Greenhouse, Innovation Works, Idea Foundry, Carnegie Mellon University, the University of Pittsburgh, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center and many other places.

Stay tuned, we will have more about recent events bringing Israelis and Israeli technology to Pittsburgh.

Elliot Dater
Editor-In-Chief
Schnader’s Pittsburgh-Israel Business Report

The materials posted on Schnader.com and SchnaderPittIsrael.com are prepared for informational purposes only and should not be considered as providing legal advice or creating an attorney-client relationship. Please see our disclaimer page for a full explanation.