Michigan-Israeli Business Innovations Conference Encourages New Opportunities Between Michigan and Israel

LANSING, Mich. – In a day filled with inspiration, innovation and passion, the Lansing Economic Area Partnership (LEAP) and the Michigan Israel Business Accelerator (MIBA), with financial support and participation from the Michigan State University Broad College of Business and Michigan Chamber of Commerce, hosted the Accelerating Michigan-Israeli Business Innovations Conference Nov. 13, 2019, at the Broad College of Business Minskoff Pavilion on the campus of Michigan State University (MSU).

The conference brought together entrepreneurs, business, government and education leaders from Israel and from across the state of Michigan to build innovation and economic development opportunities between Michigan and Israel. Attendees learned firsthand about the talent, markets, and opportunities that make Michigan and Israel a natural fit for economic development.

“We see immense potential for collaboration between Lansing industry and Israel’s impressive innovation ecosystem and technology companies, particularly in the realms of MedTech, FoodTech and InsurTech where our region has truly unique economic assets,” said Keith Lambert, vice president of business attraction at LEAP. “This event was a great opportunity to connect stakeholders and build a path forward together, and we thank MIBA and MSU for their foundational roles in making it happen.”
LEAP is the economic development organization representing the Lansing tri-county region of Clinton, Eaton and Ingham counties in partnership with the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC). LEAP works to grow, retain and attract business to Lansing, Michigan.

The event featured Andy Schor, Mayor of Lansing and a panel of Michigan-Israeli industry experts who brought talks about innovation development opportunities through Michigan-Israeli business partnerships. “The City of Lansing is excited to work with officials from Israel to create economic and business partnerships that will be beneficial to both parties. Israel has significant innovation and ideas, and Lansing has the workforce, talent and infrastructure to make these ideas become a reality. We look forward to future partnerships with Israel, and the benefit for our city,” said Mayor Schor.

Speakers included Broad Business School Dean Sanjay Gupta, visiting Israeli scholar Dr. Harry Yuklea with the MSU’s Serling Institute, Scott Hiipakka CEO of MIBA, Keith Lambert vice president of business attraction for LEAP, Natalie Chimoko vice president of Pure Michigan Business Connect and international trade from MEDC, and Daniela Kandel director of country relations for Start-up Nation Central.

“Israel’s startup community is exciting and when you consider the potential impact to Michigan’s innovation ecosystem and economy, the opportunities are significant,” said Scott Hiipakka, CEO of the Michigan Israel Business Accelerator. “Developing meaningful connections between the mutually innovative ecosystems is key. Websites such as StartupMichigan.com can help play a pivotal role in that space.”

MIBA works to attract high-growth Israeli technology companies from Israel to pursue business expansion opportunities in Michigan and educate and attract Michigan high-growth technology companies to pursue business in Israel. Companies interested in learning more about Michigan-Israeli innovation development opportunities through Michigan-Israeli business partnerships should reach out to MIBA by visiting www.michiganisrael.com.

“MSU is committed to significantly enhancing the entrepreneurial ecosystem on campus, especially for our nearly 700 students in the Entrepreneurship & Innovation minor in the Broad College of Business that is available to all undergraduate students on campus,” said Sanjay Gupta, Dean of the Broad College of Business at MSU. “We believe that the most impactful educational opportunities for our students are fostered through first-hand experiences in the locations where entrepreneurship activities are sprouting constantly. Israel has entrepreneurship built into its DNA and we are excited that MSU’s partnerships with MIBA and other Israel-focused organizations will accelerate our efforts to meet our students’ objectives.”

The Michael and Elaine Serling Institute for Jewish Studies and Modern Israel at MSU offers a 20-credit undergraduate minor in Jewish Studies that allows students to explore, in interdisciplinary and flexible ways, Jewish history, culture and identity, to learn Hebrew and to study Judaism and Jewish thought.


About LEAP

The Lansing Economic Area Partnership (LEAP) is a coalition of area leaders partnering to build a stronger community for all—working every day to grow, retain and attract business.