The Virginia state government believes in Israeli capabilities and has launched a program to support and encourage Israeli cleantech companies. Via Virginia Israel Advisory Board (VIAB) and with the collaboration of the Zysman, Aharoni, Gayer, & Co. (ZAG) law firm, a Dominion Resources commercialization team is now in Israel to interview 25 cleantech companies, of which five will receive aid packages.
The program is directed at companies close to commercialization of their products and which are targeting the US market. The chosen companies will receive financial, technological, and management assistance and will open offices in Virginia. Candidates include CQM Ltd., Emefcy Ltd., and Pythagoras Solar Ltd.
The Virginia government and ZAG are cooperating with Dominion Resources Inc. (NYSE: D), which has a market cap of $25 billion. Dominion Resources is one of the largest US energy products and transportation companies, operating in 12 states.
This is not the first time that Virginia is investing in Israeli companies. A year ago, VIAB launched the Virginia Israel Biosciences Commercialization Center to support biotechnology companies. 12 Israeli companies currently participate in the program, and $18 million has been invested in them.
VIAB executive director Ralph Robbins told "Globes", "This is a special support program that works only with Israel. The objective is to help Israeli companies expand in the US. The problem of young companies is access to markets, which is why we created a program to encourage and assist them to reach their markets."
"Globes": What companies are suitable for the program?
Robbins: "Companies that have already raised $1 million, and plan to enter the US market."
What assistance will the program offer them?
"Mainly in infrastructure, research, market access, regulation, and commercialization."
ZAG partner Yair Estline, who manages the firm's US office, said that the companies chosen would be announced in March. "We're looking at a great many companies. They won't have to move their headquarters to Virginia, but only establish a presence that will enable the expansion of the company's activity in the US."
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on January 10, 2011
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