Israeli incubator teams with Chinese university

Shimon Eckhouse

The Alon MedTech Ventures incubator is signing a cooperation agreement with Tsinghua University.

The Alon MedTech Ventures incubator, established by chairman Dr. Shimon Eckhouse and CEO and CTO Dr. Judith Zilberstein, is signing a cooperation agreement with Tsinghua University, considered one of China's leading universities. This is the first cooperation agreement of its kind between an Israeli technology incubator and a Chinese entity. The agreement is Tsinghua University's second in Israel, after it signed an agreement with Tel Aviv University in 2013 to establish a joint center in China for Israeli and Chinese researchers, called the XIN Research Center.

Under the agreement, the Alon MedTech incubator will scan projects from the XIN Research Center, and select several of them for further development in the incubator. The products to be developed by these companies will probably be adapted to the Chinese market and be prepared for marketing in China at the accelerator jointly owned by Alon MedTech and the XIN Center, and will opened nearby the latter. The final model has not yet been settled, and any format signed will require prior approval from the Ministry of Economy and Industry Chief Scientist for sending technologies developed with his support overseas. At the same time, parties at Tsinghua University will help companies in the Alon MedTech incubator find both investors and marketing channels for their medical device products.

Zilberstein said, "Many Tsinghua University graduates serve in key positions in the Chinese government and economy. The University and the XIN Center have done good work in assembling this network of connections for their benefit, and we expect it to also work for companies founded in cooperation with Alon MedTech."

"The Chinese group heard about me and my background, and things got off to a very pleasant start," Eckhouse explained. "The Chinese have a high regard for the Jews. I have learned that what Europeans think of the bad characteristics of the Jews are regarded by the Chinese as good characteristics 'Jews always go with money' and things like that. Like us, the Chinese are restless and energetic. The connection with China is really strategic for Israel."

"Globes": Will cooperation lead to the development of medical devices specially tailored to the Chinese market?

Eckhouse: "Yes, in esthetic medicine, it's important, because Chinese have skin that is slightly different from Westerners' skin. I'm well acquainted with these differences from Syneron Medical Ltd. (Nasdaq: ELOS), which has a very strong base in Asia."

The crisis in China is raising old assertions that Chinese companies do not transfer money, and copy intellectual property.

"The Chinese are no better or worse than anyone else. There are good Chinese and bad Chinese. Many Chinese study in the US now, and I think they are one of the engines in the Chinese economy. There are several million graduates of US universities in China, and they are very influential. You can find them wherever there is significant international financial activity by a Chinese entity."

The signing of the agreement is slated to take place in the framework of an event today in Jerusalem with the participation of a large delegation from China. The delegation will include Tsinghua University personnel and representatives of 10 other universities, who will be accompanied by representatives of the Chinese administration, investment concerns, and industrial concerns.

The Alon MedTech incubator operates in the medical devices sector. Eckhouse is the founder of Syneron, which has a current market cap of $251 million. He was the first investor in Ventor, sold to Medtronic for $325 million, and other medical devices companies.

The incubator model is based on establishing groups of companies in focused areas. A group of companies in the minimally invasive and esthetic surgery fields is currently operating in the incubator. Another group in the cardiac and cardiovascular field is being promoted.

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - - on March 30, 2016

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2016

Shimon Eckhouse
Shimon Eckhouse
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