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The Israel Innovation Authority Along With The Israel – Colorado Innovation Fund Announce Six Selected Startups Of The First Round Of Grants – Total Of $4 Million

The Israel Innovation Authority Along with the Israel – Colorado Innovation Fund Announce Six Selected Startups of the First Round of Grants – Total of $4 Million

The Israel Innovation Authority (IIA) and the Israel – Colorado Innovation Fund (ICI Fund) have announced the selected startups for the first round of approved projects for grants. Some of the companies will move into the due diligence process of the ICI Fund. Both organizations have committed together up to $4 million USD per year to support projects in the energy/water/transportation (WET) sectors. Out of the six selected startups, startups that will be selected by the ICI Fund following its due diligence process will receive an investment as a match to the IIA grant.

The mission of the program is to create an economic impact both in Israel and Colorado in the WET sectors by identifying innovative Israeli technologies and connecting them with the US market through Colorado. The ICI Fund is a seed-stage venture capital fund, located in Colorado, focused on investing in innovative Israeli startups in the WET and IoT sectors, and connecting them with the US market through the Innosphere program operating in Colorado.

Innosphere, the General Partner in the ICI Fund, is a 19-year old accelerator, with a strong mission to accelerate startups and grow jobs in Colorado. The success rate of Innosphere’s companies is over 85% hitting one of three targets: (a) revenues generation, (b) capital raise, or (c) acquisition. In between 2011-2016, Innosphere’s client companies have raised over $230M USD, have generated over $70M USD and created over 1600 jobs.

This program will attract the most innovative technologies from Israel to Colorado and strengthen the innovative ecosystem in Colorado. The Israeli startups will participate in the 2-year Innopshere program, which will help them scale up rapidly in the US while growing jobs locally and attracting global corporations to Colorado to look at the Israeli innovation”, according to Mike Freeman, CEO of Innosphere and the General Partner of ICI Fund.

The program, implemented by the Israel Innovation Authority and The Israel – Colorado Innovation Fund, focuses on the WET industries and was created as a result of the ongoing relationship between Colorado and Israel.

This collaboration is the result of Innopshere’s understanding and appreciation of the strong innovative ecosystem in Israel on one hand, and of IIA’s understanding of the value of connecting the Israeli startups with the US market through the Innosphere program, on the other hand. IIA has proved a creative and innovative approach entering into this program with ICI Fund” according to Gili Elkin, General Partner of the ICI Fund.

The call was initiated within the framework of the ICI-IIA Partnership program with the purpose of supporting greater collaboration and synergies between the Colorado innovation ecosystem and Israeli innovative companies in the WET industries.

The Israel Innovation Authority congratulates the selected Israeli companies on the recent call for proposals. I am certain that the Israel – Colorado collaboration will create further partnerships and innovative solutions and looking forward to strengthening the economic ties between both states” stated Aharon Aharon, Chief Executive Officer, Israel Innovation Authority. ”

According to Kathleen Staks, CEO of Colorado Energy Office: “The launch of the Israel-Colorado Innovation Fund is a momentous achievement that pairs Colorado’s innovative energy and water sectors with Israel’s cutting-edge technologies and startups. The fund, which aims to deepen business and investment ties between the two economies, will create jobs, support startups, build partnerships, and address critical energy and water needs. Further, the partnership will tap into some of Colorado’s most valuable business resources, including Innosphere, a long-standing, renowned technology incubator, and our stellar lineup of research institutions, including leading universities and one of our national laboratories, NREL. The Israel-Colorado Innovation Fund’s emphasis on advances in water technologies aligns seamlessly with the state’s strategic priorities. As Colorado’s population continues to grow, effective means of managing and treating water will become increasingly vital. On the energy side, the Governor recently issued an executive order committing the state to climate action.  With the launch of this fund, we are thrilled to welcome Israeli startups that will help Colorado meet its climate goals while simultaneously creating important business relationships and generating economic activity.  We look forward to future successes from the Israel-Colorado Innovation Fund and we hope that this is one step of many in furthering our business and economic ties with the “Start-up Nation”, Israel.

The next call for applications is expected to be released in a couple of months. For more details please contact Jonathan.cohen@innovationisrael.org.il. Successful applicant companies will receive funding from the Israel Innovation Authority and from the Israel – Colorado Innovation Fund according to each of the parties’ regulations and procedures. A budget of up to $4,000,000.00 USD per year has been jointly allocated by the State of Israel and ICI Fund to fund projects approved within the framework of this RFP.

About ICI:

The  Israel – Colorado Innovation Fund’s vision is to strengthen the business ties between Israel and Colorado and create an economic impact in both states in the Water, Energy and Transportation sectors. The goal of the ICI Fund is to generate exceptional returns for investors, by identifying the most innovative Israeli startups in Water, Energy,  Transportation and IoT, investing in them, bringing them to Colorado and connecting them with the US market through the Innosphere 2-year program. The ICI Fund is supported by Governor Hickenlooper and has entered into an agreement with the Israeli Innovation Authority for matching funds. The ICI Fund is looking for Israeli startups with a proven innovative product that are ready to scale up in the US market. The ICI Fund invests in between $500K – $1M USD in each qualifying startup.

The Advisory Committee Members of the ICI Fund are Heath Cardie, Bob Lembke, Dr. Ben Guiot, Brad Hawkins, Dr. Marilyn Carol & Robert Weaver, Eric Shafran & David Fishman, all bring valuable experience to the ICI Fund. Gili Elkin and Mike Freeman, CEO of Innosphere, are the General Partners of the ICI Fund. Eran Wagner, is the ICI Fund’s advisor and the Managing Partner of i3 Equity Partners, focused on investments in the IoT sector.

For further information regarding ICI Fund, please contact:

Gili Elkin, ICI Fund General Partner: +1 (303) 396 – 4962 gili@ici.fund or

Mike Freeman, ICI Fund General Partner: +1 (970) 818 – 7736 mike@ici.fund

About Innosphere, the General Partner in ICI Fund:

 Innosphere is a non-profit technology incubator accelerating the success of high-impact science and technology startups. Innosphere has physical locations in Fort Collins, Denver, and Boulder, Colorado to support entrepreneurs building potential high-growth companies in the industries of water, energy, and advanced materials, life sciences, digital health, hardware, and enterprise software. Innosphere’s incubation program focuses on ensuring companies are investor ready, connecting them with experienced advisors, and making introductions to corporate partners. Once accepted into the program, companies receive customized development plans and ongoing support to ensure they’re getting the know-how to raise the right kind of capital, and all the resources to grow.

About Israel Innovation Authority:

The Israel Innovation Authority is Israel’s central agency to manage the country’s governmental support of the resource of innovation. As the governments’ operational arm in the arena of technological innovation and R&D, the goal of the Authority is to provide professional support and infrastructure to government efforts to encourage innovation in all industry sectors, complementing the major role that Israel already plays in the global high-tech sector.

The Israel Innovation Authority has three main roles: creating infrastructure to support diverse industries, developing tools and programs that suit the needs of the industry, and budgeting and financing high-risk projects and products. In addition to these roles, the Authority serves as a central hub for knowledge and consists of six customer-oriented “Innovation Divisions,” each providing a variety of tools for each market segment and stage in the life cycle of a product: Technological Infrastructure, Advanced Manufacturing, International Collaborations, Societal Challenges, Growth and Early Stage.

For further information regarding the Israel Innovation Authority, please contact Jonathan Cohen, Program Manager North America Desk. +972-3-511-8155 jonathan.cohen@innovationisrael.org.il