Fairfax County EDA visits Israel to foster business expansion opportunities to the U.S.
After a more than two-year hiatus because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority (FCEDA) returned to Israel for a market research trip in June 2022. Led by Asher Kotz, FCEDA’s Business Investment Manager for Cybersecurity and Israel, the purpose of the trip was to promote Fairfax County as a favorable point of entry for Israeli companies to expand to the United States.
“In 2022, the U.S. market represents an important destination for many Israeli companies and for their growth strategy. With direct flight service between Tel Aviv and Washington Dulles International Airport, Fairfax County and the Northern Virginia region is an ideal location of Israeli companies to expand their operations,” said Asher Kotz. “And with the continued strength of the U.S.-Israel economic alliance, and a wide-range of sectors for collaboration among the two countries, Northern Virginia is the major U.S. hub for companies in industry sectors such as cybersecurity, smart city, AI, cloud and data centers, homeland security and defense, and sustainability technologies.”
FCEDA has maintained an office in Israel since 2004. It serves as a go-to resource for Israeli companies interested in expanding into the U.S. market. More than 35 Israeli companies currently have offices in Fairfax County, including Amdocs, Armis Security, Cellebrite, Checkmarx, Cyren, Elbit Systems of America, Forescout, Israel Aerospace Industry, Mellanox-NVidia, Priority Software, and VERINT.
During the Israeli visit, Mr. Kotz and team, which included staff from Value Base, the representative of the Fairfax County EDA in Israel, including Yair Ephrati, CEO, and Alex Malkis, Manager, FCEDA Israel Office, visited several cities throughout Israel, including Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Be’er Shevah, and Afula, in the north part of Israel.
On June 8, the FCEDA hosted an in-person event in Tel Aviv focused on The Future of Smart Cities and Secure Infrastructure, in partnership with Israel Advanced Technology Industries, the Israel-United States Binational Industrial Research and Development Foundation (BIRD) Foundation, and Israel Virginia Advisory Board. The in-person business networking event highlighted U.S. market entry opportunities for Israeli companies. At this event about 50 c-level executives and other company representatives had the opportunity to meet the teams from FCEDA and Virginia Israel Advisory Board to discuss market expansion support services to utilize business opportunities and go-to-market models to expand into Virginia. The keynote speaker, Itay Engel, a leading Israeli journalist for international affairs, discussed the impact of the Ukraine-Russia conflict and the impact of cyber risks to critical infrastructure.
In Jerusalem on July 13, Mr. Kotz and team met with an incubator Labs O2; as well as startups in the agro-tech, smart city and cybersecurity industry sectors.
In Be’er Shevah, the largest city in the Negev desert of southern Israel, on June 15, Mr. Kotz and Mr. Malkis met with Be’er Shevah EDA, Gev Yam high-tech park development company, and the Ben Gurion University Innovation Campus team.
“When SDF (a subsidiary of Septier Communications Ltd.) was searching for a location to establish a company headquarters several locations and centers were considered, but based on the support received from the Fairfax County EDA team, the geographical proximity to federal Agencies, availability of office space, and abundance of housing, Fairfax County was the easy choice,” said Oren Pelleg, VP of sales – Americas, Septier Communications. “We would highly recommend locating to Fairfax County for the reasons listed, and for many more. We truly believe that the Fairfax County will enable the growth strategy for SDF in the future.”
In all, throughout the trip, the team met with 15 Israel companies, including: Septier Communications, cynomi, CoBe, Aviram F. Group, and Green Vision Systems; venture capital/accelerator firms to include: Team8, Labs O2,and i-HLS; as well as the following organizations: Israel Export Institute, Be’er Shevah EDA, Ben Gurion University, U.S. Commercial Service at U.S. Embassy, and the U.S.-Israel Chamber of Commerce.
About Fairfax County Economic Development Authority
FCEDA promotes Fairfax County as one of the world’s best locations for business and talent. FCEDA offers site location and business development assistance, and connections with county and state government agencies, to help companies locate and expand in Fairfax County. FCEDA created the Work in Northern Virginia talent initiative to build the workforce that businesses need to thrive here. In addition to its headquarters in Tysons, Fairfax County’s largest business district, FCEDA maintains business investment offices in six important global business centers: Bangalore/Mumbai, Berlin, London, Los Angeles, Seoul, and Tel Aviv.
FCEDA is a member of the Northern Virginia Economic Development Alliance, which promotes and markets Northern Virginia outside the region and conducts activities and events to build the regional business community. Other members of NOVA EDA are Alexandria Economic Development Partnership, Arlington County, City of Fairfax, City of Falls Church, Fauquier County, Loudoun County, City of Manassas, City of Manassas Park, and Prince William County Department of Economic Development.