Finishing up 2017
As we reflect on the inaugural year of FIBA that is behind us, there are some significant milestones we have reached and successes of our first cohort of companies
that should be mentioned.
In this first year, we brought eight
Israeli companies to our first cohort. Five of the companies participated in the FIBA launch program
and three in the FIBA PowerConnect program
. We hosted five of the founders in Tampa in May for workshops, networking, and business meetings with prospects. In June, seven of the companies came back to Tampa for more workshops, meetings and networking. In addition to these events, the companies had three pitch opportunities to
Florida Funders, SOCOM, and an audience of over 300 people at FIBA’s inaugural annual event; Innovation Fusion.
We continued to work with the companies through the Summer and the Fall and the hard work culminated in some preliminary success stories:
- StemRad received a $6 million investment from Tampa investors led by Jeff Vinik, and as a result opened its US subsidiary in Tampa.
- StemRad expedited the development of its medical product thanks to a collaboration with interventional radiologist, Dr. Bruce Zweibel of Tampa.
- eProc Solutions launched a successful pilot project with a global company based in Tampa that turned into a long-term contract. The company has become eProc’s first US customer.
- BlazePod has started production of its pods in Taiwan and is expected to deliver the product during the first quarter of 2018 to 1500 people who have pre-ordered on Kickstarter, Indiegogo, and the company’s website.
- Tevatronic is about to launch a pilot project with a large strawberry farm.
All the companies continue to expand their network in Tampa and pursue current and new leads. These relationships and sales processes take time to develop and nurture and FIBA continues to support and guide.
FIBA launched our Meeting of the Minds discussion series for young professionals, as we continue to expand our efforts to engage the community with FIBA and with Israeli innovation. The group meets on a bi-monthly basis.
In October, we welcomed Rachel Marks Feinman
to the team, as our new Executive Director, following the departure of Jack Ross to a new position with StemRad. In December, Rachel and Rakefet joined Governor Rick Scott on a trade mission to Israel. The Governor recognized the FIBA companies and awarded StemRad for bringing high-tech jobs to Florida
As you can see, FIBA has had an exciting and busy year and next year is going to be even more exciting. Read about our plans for 2018 in next week’s Wednesday blog