Touro College Launches Partnership to Incubate Entrepreneurial Israeli Businesses

Date: May 22, 2008
Media Contact:

Barbara Franklin
Director of Communications
212-463-0400 x5530
Barbara.franklin@touro.edu

NEW YORK, N.Y. - Touro College has opened The Center for Israeli Innovation (CII), a joint partnership between the Entrepreneurial Institute of the Touro Graduate School of Business and Young Startup Ventures, an organization that identifies potentially successful Israeli businesses.

Under the arrangement, Touro business school faculty will work with fledgling Israeli entrepreneurs to help them develop strong, viable business and marketing plans that will attract investors, as well as provide office space at the school, located at 65 Broadway in the heart of the financial district. The Center will also offer Touro MBA students the opportunity to work “hands on” with developing companies.

“Israelis come out of the army brimming with ideas for businesses,” said Dr. Charles Snow, dean of business programs at Touro College. “CII is limited to Israeli companies because we see a great need, and because Touro has a long-standing relationship with Israel, operating a campus in Jerusalem. But we will accept only companies we believe have a strong potential for success.”

CII, which is believed to be the first incubator in the United States to focus solely on Israeli companies, will concentrate on two areas very popular in Israel – life sciences and technology. Already it has landed its first client: Craze Productions (www.crazedigital.com), a technology company that licenses music and music videos from producers and artists, converts the products into digital format, and then acts as distributor. Craze is seeking to raise $2 million for expansion and growth, Dr. Snow said, adding Touro is helping with business strategy and a business plan.

“Everything is going digital and they are at the forefront of the digital revolution,” he said.

Young Startup Ventures hosts events where entrepreneurs mingle and network. A recent event sponsored by Young Startup Ventures drew about 60 Israeli entrepreneurs eager to grow their businesses and have a presence in New York. The goal of CII is to have a roster of 12 to 15 companies within three years, Dr. Snow said. If the joint venture is very successful, Touro likely will expand its facilities in order to add more businesses.

CII is a division of the Touro Entrepreneurial Institute, which was created in Sept. 2006 and has successfully launched Smartfish Technologies (www.smartfishtechnologies.com), a producer of ergonomic computer keyboards. Smartfish is now negotiating with major keyboard manufacturers and stores for rights to the technology.

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