Israel's Tech Market Could Boost Cincinnati's Economy

Oct 12, 2015

Cincinnati fund managers and economic development leaders are looking to pump additional money into the regional economy by luring Israeli technology companies here.

Monday begins a four day summit sponsored by the Regional Economic Development Initiative (REDI). A dozen Israeli companies will discuss opportunities with executives from the largest corporations including Procter & Gamble, Macy's, Kroger and GE and hear the advantages of locating in Cincinnati.

REDI already has one success. CEMax, an Israeli software company, moved to Cincinnati with the help of the Jewish Foundation of Cincinnati and the Jewish Federation of Cincinnati.

On October 7, Cintrifuse partnered with Israeli company OurCrowd and looks to do more deals. Cintrifuse Fund Manager Tim Schigel has made two trips to Israel within a year and tells small companies there to come to Cincinnati for the low overhead and marketing expertise.

Schigel says, "The inevitable question is why Cincinnati? Why should I set up shop in Cincinnati? And it's a really good question and it's a hard one to answer because their typical choice is either Silicon Valley or New York."

He says Israel's story has been well documented in the book "Start-Up Nation." The country of seven million people is producing technology that is impacting the globe and is second only to Silicon Valley.

That technology includes self-driving cars and cyber security.

Schigel looks to the future. "If we had a pipeline of three to five companies every year that we helped lead and grow in Cincinnati, these companies do well and grow, our community will benefit from it."