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    September 25, 2012

    Third mission to Israel builds relationships, connections

    Cincinnati USA Regional Partnership representatives embarked on a third mission to Israel in September, building the framework for an international strategy that included developing relationships, business connections and understanding - while driving more local innovation and jobs.

    Arie Zief, VP of Federation of Israeli Chambers of Commerce with Diane Ferguson, senior vice president and executive director of the Cincinnati USA Partnership signing the Memorandum of Understanding between the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber and the Federation of Israeli Chambers of Commerce.

    Why Israel? Consider the following:

    • Israel boasts the largest density of start-ups anywhere in the world and the second-highest number of companies on the NASDAQ.
    • Israel has attracted more than twice as much venture capital per person as the United States, and more than 30 times than that of Europe.
    • The country has an amazing track record of entrepreneurialism, ingenuity and technological advancement that bests more stable countries, including China, Japan, Canada, India and the United Kingdom.

    While Israel's innovation is best-in-class, the country's track record in commercialization, branding and go-to-market strategies are not as strong - an area in which Cincinnati excels. "Cincinnati's vibrant and diverse design and branding community is a perfect fit for Israel's numerous start-up firms," said Denyse Ferguson, senior vice president and executive director of the Cincinnati USA Partnership. "Our job is to differentiate Cincinnati's assets as a great landing spot for expanding Israeli companies looking to enter the U.S. market."

    As part of the pre-trip mission in June, Partnership representatives secured a speaking engagement for Brandery representative, Mike Bott, at Israel's 2012 HTIA conference. This annual conference is an initiative of the Israeli Advanced Technology Industries, a broad-based membership organization working to strengthen the Israeli high tech and life sciences industries.

    "This speaking engagement was an opportunity for us to present our region's strategic branding and consumer marketing capabilities to a global audience," said Ferguson. "HTIA is attended by more than 4,000 leading entrepreneurs, start-up companies, venture capital firms, mature technology companies and key players of the high-tech community."

    In addition to attending HTIA, the group will met with officials from Tel Aviv University to initiate an innovation program with our region's universities. "In advancing the regional economy, we will continue to go where the return on our investment is the greatest," said Ferguson. "Israel is ripe with opportunity, and we're enthusiastic about leveraging these relationships for economic growth in our region."

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