State ramps up Israeli connections

| Print |  Email
Articles - March 2011
Wednesday, March 02, 2011

0311_Israeli_01

Jeff Katz and Noah Siegel have spent a lot of time in both Israel and Oregon, and they are of the opinion that the two places have more in common than one might imagine. Think renewable power, apparel design and specialty agriculture — not to mention Intel, which has been operating in Israel since 1974.

But in spite of those shared interests and others, “Most Israelis see Oregon as fly-over country — both business and personal,” says Katz. The 40-year-old software entrepreneur wants to change that by building the Oregon-Israeli Business Alliance into “the go-to organization for anything happening between the two places.” The newly formed nonprofit has about 50 active members, which may not seem like a lot until you consider some of the names on the roster, such as Intel Capital’s director of strategic investments Stephen Saltzman, Sinotech president Michael Bloom and Tripwire COO Dan Schoenbaum.

0311_Israeli_02Siegel, the 38-year-old director of international affairs for Portland Mayor Sam Adams, describes Israel as a “startup nation” with an entrepreneurial spirit that can prove infectious. Siegel served with the U.S. State Department in Tel Aviv before settling in Oregon, and he credits Israel with developing a can-do business culture where action trumps formality. “It’s inspiring stuff and we want to bring a piece of the action to Oregon,” he says.

Katz and Siegel had not yet formed a board of directors when then-Gov. Ted Kulongoski asked them for assistance in planning his visit to Israel in October 2010. They have since ramped up their networking in Israel as well as Oregon, hoping to spur investment, technology sharing and joint venture projects. A recent event in Portland introduced business and political leaders to a representative from the Israeli consulate in San Francisco.

They haven’t announced any deals yet, but they predict swift progress. “If word gets out that there’s a new hotspot, Israelis will flock here,” says Siegel.

BEN JACKLET
 

Comments   

 
Sid H
0 #1 Growing Oregon-Israel ties are a great ideaSid H 2011-03-18 14:58:26
Great to see Oregonians moving toward closer ties to Israel. Israel's innovations in health, science, technology and sustainability make it a good partner for any forward-thinkin g Oregon business. And Israel is a modern, free, democratic, modern state and a deeply loyal US ally, that has achieved remarkable success in just a few decades, all while staving off numerous threats to her very existence from her hostile neighbors.
Quote | Report to administrator
 

More Articles

The Road to Reinvention

April 2015
Friday, March 27, 2015
BY AMY MILSHTEIN

Damian Smith bets on changing himself — and Portland — through consulting.


Read more...

Much ado about data-driven organizations, for good reason

Contributed Blogs
Monday, April 13, 2015
bigdatathumbBY GRANT KIRBY | OP-ED CONTRIBUTOR

The mega-shift from technology-driven to data-driven organizations raises questions about Oregon’s workforce preparedness.


Read more...

Footloose

April 2015
Friday, March 27, 2015
BY LINDA BAKER

Founded 12 years ago, Keen Inc. likes to push the envelope, starting with the debut of the “Newport” closed toe sandal in 2003. Since then, the company has opened a factory on Swan Island and a sleek new headquarters in the Pearl District. The brand’s newest offering, UNEEK, is a sandal made from two woven cords and not much more.


Read more...

European Vacation

Guest Blog
Thursday, April 23, 2015
norristhumbBY JASON NORRIS | GUEST BLOGGER

There are winners and losers with a strengthening U.S. dollar.


Read more...

The Health Guru

May 2015
Monday, April 27, 2015
BY LINDA BAKER

Mohan Nair channels a visionary.


Read more...

Fighting Fire With Fire

May 2015
Friday, April 24, 2015
BY BEN DEJARNETTE | INVESTIGATEWEST

Timber companies and environmental groups take a stab at collaboration to boost logging and restoration in Oregon fires.


Read more...

Man for All Seasons

May 2015
Monday, April 27, 2015
BY LINDA BAKER

A longtime technologist and entrepreneur, Dwayne Johnson, 53, is managing partner of PDXO/GlobeThree Ventures, a strategy and business consultancy in Portland.


Read more...
Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02
SPONSORED LINKS