Business

Miami Dade College, Tel Aviv University to host Startup Nation conference

Last August, From left, Matt Haggman of the Knight Foundation, Jaret Davis of Greenberg Traurig, Ben Wirz of Knight Foundation, Felecia Hatcher of Code Fever and Leandro Finol of Miami Dade College’s Idea Center discuss ecosystem building with the audience and Oren Simanian (seated), head of Tel Aviv University’s entrepreneurship center. Simanian gave a talk about Israel;s tech ecosystem, and the two entrepreneurship centers formed a knowledge-sharing partnership. Photo by Cristian Lazzari, MDC Wolfson
Last August, From left, Matt Haggman of the Knight Foundation, Jaret Davis of Greenberg Traurig, Ben Wirz of Knight Foundation, Felecia Hatcher of Code Fever and Leandro Finol of Miami Dade College’s Idea Center discuss ecosystem building with the audience and Oren Simanian (seated), head of Tel Aviv University’s entrepreneurship center. Simanian gave a talk about Israel;s tech ecosystem, and the two entrepreneurship centers formed a knowledge-sharing partnership. Photo by Cristian Lazzari, MDC Wolfson

How did a country the size of New Jersey end up with the second-highest concentration of startups in the world? What can Miami learn from Israel's global success?

The Idea Center at Miami Dade College and Tel Aviv University will host the inaugural Startup Nation Conference on Tuesday at MDC’s Wolfson Campus in downtown Miami as a way to explore the hows and whys of Israel’s global success and to connect Miami’s tech and innovation community with that of Tel Aviv’s — the world’s most successful innovation ecosystem after Silicon Valley. in the last decade, Israel produced six Nobel Prize winners and 800 exits — companies that were acquired or went public.

Each conference session will reflect the four steps in every startup’s life cycle: ideation, launch, growth and exit. In addition, the conference will feature more than 20 speakers, including Maurice Ferré, former CEO and chairman of Mako Surgical Corp., which sold for $1.65 billion in 2013, and Jonathan Medved, founder and CEO of OurCrowd, invested more than $16 million in 18 portfolio companies in just under six months.

The Startup Nation Conference was born out of a recent Knight Foundation collaboration with Project Interchange, an educational institute of the American Jewish Committee. A delegation of 12 Miami entrepreneurs and tech community leaders, including The Idea Center’s Executive Director Leandro Finol, traveled to Israel in March 2015 to learn from the country’s dynamic tech and innovation sector. After that, MDC and Tel Aviv University forged a knowledge-sharing partnership.

“During my visit to Israel, I had the opportunity to interact with some of the world’s best problem solvers. Miami will benefit from discovering their methods of coming up with creative solutions and succeeding at resolving the most unsolvable issues in our community,” Finol said.

Startup Nation will take place from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday at the Idea Center, MDC’s entrepreneurship hub in Building 8 on the Wolfson Campus. Tickets are $99. For more information, visit www.StartupNationConference.com. 

Read more: Israel’s tech and startup success – what can Miami learn?

Read more: A Q&A with the president of Israel’s Technion University 

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