Qld start-ups to visit Israel on trade mission

Friday, 19 May, 2017

AgTech start-ups will participate in a Queensland trade mission to Israel, where they can learn from some of the leading start-up companies in the agricultural sector.

Israel consistently ranks highly on innovation and entrepreneurship and is frequently referred to as the ‘start-up nation’.

“There’s no question that Queensland is laying the foundation to be one of the best locations globally for start-ups, but to rival major centres in Israel and the United States we need to ensure our local entrepreneurs rub shoulders with the best and gain exposure in well-developed innovation ecosystems,” said Innovation Minister Leeanne Enoch.

“We want to expose our businesses to their practices so they can learn as much as they can from them.”

The mission will provide unique networking opportunities as well as access to potential funding, customers and partners, including more than 300 multinational corporations with innovation operations in Israel.

Venture capital funds in Israel have raised $4.43 billion in over 700 deals in 2015.

“That’s more venture capital per capita than any other country and we’d like Queensland entrepreneurs to tap into that,” said Enoch.

The government is collaborating with Austrade and Startup Catalyst to deliver the mission to Austrade’s Tel Aviv Landing Pad — a Commonwealth initiative to provide market-ready Australian start-ups with access to some of the world’s most renowned innovation and start-up ecosystems.

There are landing pads in Tel Aviv, San Francisco, Berlin, Shanghai and Singapore which provide Australian start-ups with a 90-day residency at an established co-working space, and advice and connections to assist them to scale up in a global market.

Enoch said Queensland’s inaugural chief entrepreneur, Mark Sowerby, who has a strong industry background in agriculture, is highly supportive of the mission.

“Our mission partners believe AgTech should be the focus of this visit because of the strengths and synergies Israel and Queensland have in agribusiness,” she said.

“We have already attracted Israeli start-up CriskCo through our Advance Queensland Hot DesQ program, and they have been a fabulous mentor for local start-ups. We are very excited to continue to strengthen relationships with entrepreneurial powerhouse Israel.”

The delegation of up to 10 select Queensland start-ups will spend a week in early August in Israel, based at the Tel Aviv Landing Pad in SOSA.

The Queensland Government will partner with Startup Catalyst to deliver the mission and provide funding to successful start-ups to cover flights and accommodation.

Applications open on 22 May and close on 18 June. For more information and to apply, visit www.startupcatalyst.com.au.

Image credit: ©FreeImages.com/Amos Chris

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