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Simon McKeon May, 2015 Innovation Trade Mission

The Australia-Israel Chamber of Commerce has once again hosted an impressive group of 34 Australian executives on an Innovation Trade Mission to Israel.

The mission was led by Simon McKeon AO, Chairman of AMP and CSIRO. Simon is also a former Australian of the Year.  The delegation also included, Ian Silk, CEO of Australian Super, Christine Holgate, CEO of Blackmores, EY’s Young Entrepreneur of the Year, Sebastien Eckersley-Maslin, and Phil McCabe, CBA GM Corporate Finance and Entrepreneurial Growth Markets.

The week-long visit centered on Technology, Innovation and Israel’s entrepreneurial culture and ecosystem and introducing Australian businesses to the best that Israel has to offer.

The purpose of the visit was to both explore business and investment opportunities as well as understand Israel’s geo-politics and culture.

Delegates were able to gain exclusive access to some of Israel’s most important business and community leaders, including Serial Entrepreneur, Dov Moran (founder of the USB Flash Drive), Jon Medved, Founder of Our Crowd, Dr Avi Hasson, Israel’s Chief Scientist, Ministry of Economy, and Dr Orna Berry, VP Growth and Innovation at EMC and Chairwomen of the Israel-Australia Chamber of Commerce. The group also met with several entrepreneurs, academics, venture capitalists and other contributors to the start-up landscape.

The Mission included a lunch with an Arab family in Jaffa, and a visit to Israel’s Technoda, which provides activities in science and technology for disadvantaged children. The visit included a reception hosted by Australia’s Ambassador to Israel, his Excellency Dave Sharma and a performance by Bat Sheva Dance Company – one of the world’s leading contemporary dance groups.

The group also took in many of Israel’s most iconic tourist destinations, including the Old City of Jerusalem, the Dead Sea/Masada, Yad Vashem, Holocaust Museum, Jaffa, Caesarea, and the Bahai Temple in Haifa.

In addition to the group program, delegates were also offered private meetings to ensure personal objectives were met.


Simon McKeon, Chairman of CSIRO and AMP: "What an absolutely first class mission... enormous diversity of experience and brilliant behind the scenes organisation. For anyone who wants to get a 'feel' for what this amazing place offers as well as, I believe, a broad view of Israel's ongoing challenges, an AICC visit is a 'must'!!"

Abby Bloom, Non-Executive Director, Sydney Water: "Only the highest praise for the AICC team in designing and leading an extremely high quality trade mission that provided valuable insight into Israel's tech economy - and unique business contacts. An AICC trade mission is a must-do for any executive or director concerned with the future of Australia's corporations and economy".

Valentina Thiering, Account Director, Message Stick: "Participating in the AICC Trade Mission led by Simon McKeon was a truly extraordinary experience. The mission included thought provoking presentations, fascinating speakers, a full immersion into the Israeli ecosystem and fantastic opportunities to connect with not only other delegates but a wide pool of talent from vast backgrounds in Israel. The chamber went above and beyond to meet individuals’ needs, by organising highly specialised private meetings with relevant organisations as well as ensuring that everyone gained full value from the group programme. The logistics behind the trip were seamless and the team made it their priority to be available at all times and ensure that every delegate felt inspired, included and safe. The mission provided an amazing opportunity to learn more about Israel’s culture, history, its people and all of us came away with a newly found love for this incredible country. I couldn’t recommend it more!"

Anthony Musumeci, Innovation Investment Manager, Black Sheep Capital: " The 2015 AICC trade mission was a real eye opener for me to understand why and how the Israel innovation and start-up ecosystem has grown to be a real global powerhouse. The trade mission offered excellent networking opportunities and opened doors which simply would not be possible without the networks and reputation of the AICC".

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