Hi, this is Ravid, the new Executive Director of the Philadelphia Israel Chamber of Commerce. On behalf of the entire board, I wish you a happy 2023. Our plans for the year are extensive, but I promise to keep this new year letter brief. My goal is to leave you with a proud feeling for supporting the PICC directly and indirectly over many years and on-going. At the end of this letter I’ll make an ask, so please don’t overlook it.
Impact: Do you know that 35% of the investment in Israeli high tech companies is made by American investors? And that in return, most Israeli high growth companies will look for US customers first? I mention this to illustrate the symbiotic nature of this innovation economy. The PICC sits at the locus of this activity, focusing on our region’s share of contribution and benefit. We catalyze research collaborators and make strategic introductions that accelerate customer discovery and go-to-market activities. And we help regional firms form relationships with Israeli research or commercial organizations. Examples of this include connecting our mission delegates with curated Israeli partner meetings during each mission. Additionally, our representation of the BIRD Foundation in the region has resulted in $10 million of awards for regional companies working jointly with Israeli firms.
The PICC brings a record of success in drafting substantial bilateral agreements. The MOU between the Jefferson Israel Center and the Israeli Innovation Authority (IIA) committed $1 million to Israeli biotech start-ups for the primary purpose of expanding product development and validation within the Jefferson Health ecosystem. The MOU between Israel and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania means to support joint ventures.
These alone are important functions of the PICC. But It is our member community that moves the needle on growing the “innovation economy” for our region. The membership of the PICC is dense and fluid, and these are conditions that create “collisions” or positive outcomes for engaged members. The opportunity to network with other members will grow your regional network, and the introductions and connections facilitated by the PICC between members will accelerate your progress.
"I couldn't be more proud of how the PICC Board and our team have come out of the pandemic swinging. In an era where business associations have been forced to evolve, the PICC has shown strength and built momentum, preparing us for a banner 2023. Even more impressive has been the seamless transition from our long-time and beloved executive director, Vered Nohi, to the excitement and energy of bringing on Ravid Butz." - Mike Krupit, President of the Board
Innovation really matters: During our time in Israel last October, we published a mission blog to share thoughts and impressions on the conditions that make innovation work there and ways to adapt them to our region. This effort is validated in a recent Brookings Metro report that argues, and I paraphrase, that innovation is the prerequisite to high paying jobs in “Advanced Industries." The report clearly states that intermediaries, such as the PICC, are critical to growing the innovation economy.
Are you a current member of the PICC? Only a small portion of our funding comes from government support. The bulk of our budget comes from individual and company memberships like yours.
Community: The PICC community is a major connector and convener of thought leaders. During 2022 we held multiple socials and an open house, a mission to Israel with two highly attended events (FemTech and a networking event), a Food and Tech conference, and an award ceremony for Drs. Drew Weissman and Katalin Karikó, of the University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine, who pioneered the mRNA technology used to develop the COVID-19 vaccines.
Looking into 2023: Our community is growing after Covid, and the roster of planned events is packed with exciting ways to connect and engage. We have a super charged supportive board under the leadership of Mike Krupit and the Executive Committee, making this a great time to get involved. I am happy to share a copy of the tentative event calendar before it even goes live. We’re also actively planning the next Israel Mission and are eager for your feedback and interest in joining us. We look forward to using new communication channels to showcase and connect innovators in our Tri-state area and Israel, and there is plenty of work done by members that we are excited to share with the community.
My ask: Please renew your membership or join the PICC now. Do so because you see a clear path between membership access and growth opportunities. Between taking part in this community and capturing your share of the economy. Join because growing the regional innovation community can have clear ROI for your work. Please become a member now.
Thank you! Happy New Year. I can't wait to see all that we accomplish together.