Joseph J. Sherman
Business Development Representative - B2B SaaS

MIBA Special Working Groups

Detroit’s skyline at night (Vito Palmisano)

The Michigan Israel Business Accelerator is launching special working groups to leverage Israeli innovation and create new opportunities for the state of Michigan. The accelerator’s CEO Scott Hiipakka discusses the new endeavor.

For many people the term “Working Group” conjures thoughts of academia and government bureaucracy. What do you mean by a working group?

The working groups will be comprised of private and public sector stakeholders that are interested in addressing the following:

• The Need: how do Michigan companies address not only COVID today and tomorrow, but also 4-6 months into the future while adopting the new normal in today’s ecosystem?

• The Opportunity: create a stronger Michigan by empowering companies to emerge from this crisis better positioned than ever to compete and succeed in tomorrow’s global marketplace.

• The Solution: bring together Michigan’s business leaders (by sector) to identify gaps/needs for today, tomorrow, and beyond and connect businesses in Michigan and Israel to leverage innovation!

Scott Hiipakka (Courtesy)

What are the goals of the working groups?

Each working group will work to convene a series of discussions along with performing a needs assessment/gap analysis– outreach to working group stakeholders to determine their sector\ specific challenges (think a survey).

The working groups will then quantify and prioritize the identified challenges and gaps identified from the survey. We’ll then work with partners both in Michigan and Israel to identify potential solution providers to address the gaps.

These solution providers will be comprised of startups, small, medium, and possibly large companies that we’ll be able to connect across the ecosystem. We’ll work with the partners to determine potential efficacy options along with vetting of providers and solutions offered and take it to the next step of creating business to business matchmaking opportunities.

Who will participate? 

Participation is open to any and all stakeholders in Michigan and Israel that are interested in developing partnerships that will jointly benefit both ecosystems!

How will the groups meet?

The groups will meet leveraging online calls and standard conference calls.

What kinds of commitments are required of people participating in the working groups?

Participation is voluntary, of course! This is a completely new endeavor to connect participants at this scale, we are extremely excited about the opportunity that this represents.

What benefits should participants look forward to seeing?

As the working groups are established and move forward, we are hopeful that participants will ultimately develop meaningful connections that build partnerships in order to support the economic resurgence of Michigan’s economy in the “new normal” of COVID and beyond!

Scott Hiipakka (Courtesy)

Is there anything that you would like to add? 

Economies around the world have experienced a setback as a result of COVID, Michigan and Israel are no different.

However, through unique collaborations and by “thinking big” we have an opportunity to build partnership by bringing together business leaders from across Michigan in a way that’s never been done before.

We are excited for the possibilities as we undertake this endeavor and the Michigan Israel Business Accelerator is proud to partner with Startup Nation Central in Tel Aviv, the Israel Export Institute, the Israel Innovation Authority, Eco Motion, and the Ministry of Defense-SIBAT to build partnerships.

About the Author
Joseph has extensive experience in business development, sales, and marketing with tech start-ups and scale-ups. Joseph holds a Masters of Business Administration (MBA) from the KEDGE Business School in France, and a bachelor’s degree from the University of California, San Diego. In addition, he has studied at the Tecnológico de Monterrey (ITESM) in Mexico and received a fellowship from the University of California, Berkeley.
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