by: Ed Frank
Why 25 of the worlds top multinationals came to the Axis Corporate Edition
Last week Axis Innovation hosted our second corporate venture capital conference at the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange and it was a standing room only crowd with 25 of the world’s largest multinationals pitching to engage with Israeli startups.
Startups have become critical for innovation sources for multinationals as they seek to develop new products and services quickly and efficiently. Since Axis began tracking Corporate Venture Capital (CVC) activity in Israel in 2014, close to 100 of the worlds largest companies are actively pursuing Israeli startups. The top 10 most active CVCs in Israel engaged with more than 50 startups in 2015 alone, a significant increase over 2014 (see infographic below).
I had the opportunity to speak with Abe Philip, Manager of the Connected Vehicle at Ford, who has engaged with startup ecosystems around the world and keeps coming back to Israel. “The talent of the people, and the drive- its so exciting! We’ve seen some very exciting startups here- happy to return anytime!”
Where are they from?
Large companies from Singapore (Singtel) Russia (Mail.ru) Germany (ProSieben) UK (Regus), and of course the largest contingent from the US (Ford, General Motors, General Electric, Yahoo!, Salesforce) - ranging from $10 billion up to over $300 billion in sales- all looking for innovation in Israel.
When we started speaking to multinationals they were looking at startups that were in the Series C stage- with sales, a strong market and profitability. Now, we have these companies looking much earlier- even at the seed level- to bring them to the attention of business units around the world and create synergies at the outset.
The event itself
The startups – ranging from big data to cyber security to IoT- also had the stage to present their technology to the corporations. In just 3 hours over 40 presenters took the stage in a fast paced event, giving participants invaluable insight and connections. One US/Israeli investor who has been to many events had this to say “[Axis Corporate Edition] was a very worthwhile event. Anyone looking to do business or partner with multinational corporate partners should attend the Axis Innovation Corporate Edition to first understand what these companies are looking for and second to understand how to best form strategic partnerships.”
We had some great meetings and continue to work with both sides – startups and coporations – to be a catalyst for making deals happen. As with Axis Corporate Edition 2014, we expect to see a number of investment and partnership deals and a growing interest from even more corporations to see what Israeli innovation can offer them.
By Ceo Ed Frank