Georgia’s broadband relationship with Israel was on show May 29 when the American-Israel Chamber of Commerce Southeast Region honored two companies that have contributed to the state’s growing business ties to Israel.

Vyyo Inc., which specializes in broadband wireless technologies for cable and telecommunication companies, was given the chamber’s “Company of the Year Award,” during the 6th annual Eagle Star Gala that was held at Coca-Cola Co.’s headquarters on North Avenue.

The gala recognizes companies that have made significant achievements to strengthen the Israel-Southeast U.S. business relationship.

Within the past year, Vyyo relocated its corporate headquarters from Israel to Atlanta and consolidated its research and development facilities in Israel. Since opening a subsidiary here in 2004, it secured $60 million in financing from Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and set up deals with U.S. cable and telecommunications providers including Atlanta-based Cox Communications Inc.

Rehovot, Israel-based Integra 5, which develops integrated services for voice, video, data and mobile technologies, was also honored with the chamber’s “Deal of the Year” award.

After the chamber organized a broadband business exchange conference last fall, Integra 5 partnered with West Point-based cable company, Knology, which has operations throughout the Southeast.

Knology is owned by ITC Holding Company Inc., which founded Internet service provider Mindspring.

As a part of its partnership with Integra, Knology now offers its customers a service that displays incoming callers’ telephone numbers on the television.

The deal provided new revenue stream for Knology and gave Integra its first foothold in the American market.

“For a young Israeli company to get a deal with a signature company like Knology, it was a huge thing for them,” said Tom Glaser, president of the American-Israel chamber who organizes the broadband business conferences and the Eagle Star gala.

Mr. Glaser said that the broadband conferences have been such a success that the chamber is organizing a similar conference for companies working in the new media industry this summer.

The chamber’s work with Coca-Cola, the host of the Eagle Star Gala, has also been a success, according to Mr. Glaser.

In March, the American-Israel chamber led Coca-Cola executives on a trade mission to Israel, which was the first time the chamber had ever taken representatives from a single corporation to the country.

Coca-Cola’s Israel country manager and strategic planning director for the Eurasia Group, Richard Izsak, was the keynote speaker at the Eagle Star Gala. He mentioned Coca-Cola’s interest in collaborating with Israeli companies during his speech.

“Israel is clearly a place for innovation…and home to innovative companies in a variety of fields vital to the future strategic growth and competitive advantage of the Coca-Cola Company — nanotechnology, life sciences, agriculture, water treatment, flavors and fragrances, and more,” Mr. Izsak is quoted in a chamber press release.

If Coca-Cola ends up collaborating with Israeli companies, Mr. Glaser told GlobalAtlanta that he would consider taking other Southeast-based corporations on trade missions to the country.

There are currently 40 Israeli companies that have operations in Georgia.

According to the Georgia Department of Economic Development, the country is Georgia’s 18th largest trading partner. Exports to Israel were up 14 percent from 2005 at some $242 million in 2006. Transportation equipment manufacturing and computer and electronic products were the state’s top exports to Israel in 2006.

Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue led a trade mission to Israel in November 2005 that focused on trade and technology.

Story Contacts, Links and Related Stories
Georgia Department of Economic Development –
Alison Tyrer, senior communications manager (404) 962-4078

Mitch Leff, Israeli chamber press contact, (404) 861-4769