June 9, 2023
Innovation Partner
Rachel Marks Feinman oversees the Florida-Israel accelerator.

Photo: Mark Wemple

Innovation Partner
CEO Warren Milstein demonstrates StemRad's radiation-protection technology.

Southwest Florida Roundup

Innovation Partner: Florida hopes to capitalize on Israeli business success.

Art Levy | 3/27/2019

According to the 2019 Bloomberg Innovation Index, Israel has the fifth-most innovative economy in the world, in large part because of its abundance of successful high-tech startups. When those companies look to grow, they typically open offices in Europe, Boston, New York or Silicon Valley, but the Tampa Jewish Community Centers & Federation is asking: Why not Florida?

The JCC launched the Florida-Israel Business Accelerator (FIBA) in 2016 to introduce Israeli high-tech startups to the Florida market. So far, the accelerator has worked with 16 companies and, earlier this year, it introduced 12 more companies, each looking to use the state as a platform to enter the U.S. market.

The Florida accelerator, which gets funding from the state Department of Economic Opportunity, Hillsborough County, the JCC and other sources, has a full-time staff of six, plus numerous part-time consultants and volunteers to help the Israelis do business in Florida. The assistance includes introducing the executives to potential customers and investors, as well as offering a cultural education. In Israel, for example, business meetings are often blunt, and decisions are made quickly, without the layers of bureaucracy that the executives often encounter here.

“Our focus is to give them the tools and the understanding that they need to be successful in going to market and selling in the U.S.,” says Rachel Marks Feinman, the accelerator’s executive director.

Some of the companies have had quick success, setting up locations in Tampa Bay and hiring workers. Among those are StemRad, which has a product that protects people from radiation exposure; UC-Care, which makes medical devices used by urologists; and ECOncrete, which makes an environmentally friendly concrete mix for marine construction.


Read more in our April issue.

Select from the following options:


Access Article Now!


Get a single DIGITAL copy of this issue



Get a single PRINT copy of this issue

plus $3 postage & handling


One year in PRINT

plus a FREE gift!


One year DIGITAL

plus a FREE gift!


One year Combo

plus a FREE gift!


If you are already a print subscriber,
to your existing subscription here!
(or call our office at 727-892-2643)

* offer valid for new subscribers only

Tags: Southwest, Feature

Florida Business News

Florida News Releases

Florida Trend Video Pick

United Launch Alliance tests new Vulcan rocket
United Launch Alliance tests new Vulcan rocket

United Launch Alliance tested its new Vulcan rocket at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida. The next-generation, methane-fueled rocket will replace the company's Atlas and Delta rockets, which are being retired.

Video Picks | Viewpoints@FloridaTrend

Ballot Box

Did you have to add flood insurance to your Florida homeowner's policy this year?

  • Yes
  • No
  • Undecided
  • Other (Write your answer below)

See Results

Florida Trend Media Company
490 1st Ave S
St Petersburg, FL 33701

© Copyright 2023 Trend Magazines Inc. All rights reserved.