Atlanta is especially suited to helping Israeli firms with cutting- edge technologies market their products in the U.S., but the state could better help the high-tech sector reach its potential, said Jeff Levy, CEO of eHatchery, an Atlanta-based high-tech business incubator.
Mr. Levy and other members of Atlanta’s venture fund sector who accompanied Gov. Roy Barnes on a June trade mission to Israel participated in a conference organized by the American-Israel Chamber of Commerce Southeast Region (AICCSE) on venture capital investment in that country, held on Aug. 24.
The Israeli firms that develop these technologies “need help understanding the U.S. market, turning the technologies into products and building businesses around them,” Mr. Levy told a group of more than 100 businesspeople who attended the event.
Atlanta has a strong base of professionals experienced in marketing as well as a strong technology base and available work force, he said, a combination unmatched in Boston, New York or Silicon Valley. However, he added, the city lacks enough venture funding to meet its potential in helping to bring more Israeli high-tech firms here.
Mr. Levy, who was recently named to the board of the Georgia Department of Trade and Tourism (GDITT), noted that the department could help Atlanta reach its potential by developing a strategy where the public sector “complements and encourages” new high-tech businesses.
“I would like to see GDITT act as an effective marketing vehicle, marketing Georgia to the rest of the country and opening it up to the rest of the world,” he told GlobalFax in an interview following the conference.
eHatchery is currently in discussions with three Israeli technology firms that the company met with on this summer’s trade mission and may bring them into its incubator program, he said.
For information on Israel’s technology industry, call the chamber at (404) 874-6970.