A delegation of 13 influential Miami entrepreneurs and leaders in the startup community is currently in Israel with AJC Project Interchange to learn from the country’s thriving tech and innovation sector, while sharing best practices and building business connections. The knowledge exchange is the fourth of its kind supported by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, and includes entrepreneurs, venture capital and angel investors, and experts in the academic sector focused on bringing innovation and entrepreneurship to Miami.

Raul Moas, Knight Foundation director in Miami, and Brian Siegal, AJC Miami and Broward County Director, are accompanying the delegation.

This intensive education program and workshop in Israel’s globally-recognized tech and innovation sector, dubbed “Startup Nation,” is providing participants the opportunity to broaden their networks and connections necessary for collaboration. The program is centered in and around Tel Aviv, the hub of Israel’s tech corridor, with participants also visiting technology and innovation centers in Jerusalem and Beersheba. Workshops and discussions are introducing the delegation to leading entrepreneurs and investors. Meetings also include discussions with Palestinian entrepreneurs in Ramallah, in the Palestinian Authority. In addition, the program is educating participants about Israeli policies that foster and encourage innovation and practices that could be replicated in Miami and elsewhere.

“Miami is building a strong innovation ecosystem, and by learning from Israel and developing connections and knowledge, that relationship can expand exponentially to the benefit of us all," noted Brian Siegal, AJC Miami and Broward County Director. Previous AJC Project Interchange/Knight Foundation delegations linked Miami and Israel through an MoU between Tel Aviv University and the Idea Center at Miami Dade College, leading to two groundbreaking Startup Nation Conferences in Miami.

“Getting Miami on the map as a global innovation hub means forging strong connections with the larger international community and learning from the experiences of innovators across the globe,” said Raul Moas, Knight Foundation program director for Miami. “Israel’s startup and tech sectors have gained increased attention and wide acclaim in recent decades. Its experiences can give our entrepreneurs a view into the drivers of a successful innovation ecosystem and help them make connections to expand Miami’s reputation as a global innovation hub.”

Support for Project Interchange forms part of Knight Foundation’s efforts to invest in Miami’s emerging innovators and entrepreneurs as a tool to build community, while fostering talent and expanding opportunity.

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About AJC Project Interchange: For over 35 years, Project Interchange, a nonprofit educational institute of AJC (American Jewish Committee), has brought nearly 6,000 influential figures to Israel from 110 countries and all 50 U.S. states, offering them broad exposure and firsthand understanding of the complex issues facing Israel and the region. Ajc.org/projectinterchange

About the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation: Knight Foundation is a national foundation with strong local roots. We invest in journalism, in the arts, and in the success of cities where brothers John S. and James L. Knight once published newspapers. Our goal is to foster informed and engaged communities, which we believe are essential for a healthy democracy. For more, visit kf.org.

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