With 1400 new startups a year, Israel is only second to the Silicon Valley in number of startups and first per capita. There are many factors that contribute to Israel’s entrepreneurial DNA such as the amount that the government spends on R&D and the society’s tolerance for failure. Israel’s necessity for water combined with this entrepreneurial DNA is what turned Israel into a powerhouse and world leader in water innovation. However, Israeli entrepreneurs face challenges while trying to penetrate the US market. These challenges are the result of geographic distance, business cultural gap and others. Colorado as one of the more arid states in the country has a great need for water innovation. The ICI Fund’s goal is to bridge between the Israeli innovation and the US market through Colorado. The fund identifies leading Israeli technologies, bring them to Colorado, open offices for them in Colorado and help them scale up locally through the Innosphere program. Some examples of exciting Israeli innovation will be shared.
Gili is the General Partner of the Israel – Colorado Innovation Fund, investing in Israeli startups in water/energy/transportation and connecting them with the US market through Innosphere. Previously Gili was the Managing Director, Strategic Growth of SynTech Bioenergy, a waste-to-energy company located in Colorado. She is active in promoting the collaboration between Israel and Colorado in the water and energy and transportation fields by facilitating the conversation between two governments. Gili serves on the Board of Directors of the B’nai B’rith of the Rockies. Gili is an Israeli lawyer, worked at Naschitz Brandes, consulted at Ernst & Young to global venture capital firms investing in Israeli companies and was the founder and CEO of wordprom.com. She has served in the Israeli Defense Forces in a classified unit. Gili earned her LLB and BA (in Law and Business) from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and her MBA from the Graduate School of Business, Stanford University.