Israeli Medical Startups in Baltimore to Tap U.S. Market

Eleven of Israel’s medical device and digital health technology startups arrived in Baltimore this May in a highly-selective pilot program to help them gain access to the U.S. market.

Brought here by the Maryland/Development Israel Center (MIDC) through its new MarketReach America accelerator program, these 11 companies – selected from 22 applications – will participate in two weeks of intensive customer discovery meetings to understand how to best position their technology in the market.

“Israel, known as the “startup nation” is a powerhouse of technological innovation. But it’s far from its primary markets, so its entrepreneurs operate in unfamiliar territory. MarketReach America is designed to help the entrepreneurs understand how to position their technology in the U.S. market,” explains Barry Bogage, executive director of MIDC, which is funded by The Associated.

Calling it a win-win for Maryland and Israel, Bogage says that these health-tech entrepreneurs will gain access to Maryland’s industry leaders and experts. At the conclusion of the program, the University of Maryland will offer three of the most promising startups free office space in its BioPark for one year.

“We hope that not only will these companies realize the value of having an office in this area but the other startups, when they are ready to open a U.S. office, the contacts they make will anchor them to Maryland,” says Bogage.

In addition to the face-to-face interviews with local medical companies, physicians, research institutions and government organizations, entrepreneurs will attend evening workshops on topics ranging from how hospitals make purchasing decisions on new technologies to the FDA approval process to government and insurance reimbursements. They will also enjoy a welcoming reception at The Associated, a home hospitality Shabbat and an Oriole game in the corporate box of the University of Maryland, Baltimore.

Participating companies include EndoGI, which is developing a stent placement system for gastro-intestinal stenosis, and BioEye, which developed technology that tracks cognitive decline by looking at the condition of the eye. Another company, DermaDetect, is developing an artificial intelligence (AI) based application for the diagnosis and treatment of skin disorders on digital images to enable remote detection and treatment. They are working to apply these technologies to healthcare.

MarketReach America is an international public-private partnership of the MIDC, Israel Innovation Authority, University of Maryland, Baltimore, the Maryland Department of Commerce and The Abell Foundation.

The accelerator is modeled on the Lean Startup program and the National Science Foundation’s and National Institutes of Health’s I-Corps entrepreneurial training program for American scientists and entrepreneurs.

In February 2019, American trainers traveled to Israel for a first round of training. Prior to arriving in May, the companies will engage in online webinars and trainings to educate and prepare them for the two-week in-resident program. Upon completion of the Baltimore component, they will return to Israel for an eight-week program to help them develop their company, product and market penetration strategies.

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