FIBA spring 2017 cohort companies from left to right: Bob Reish (WeissBeerger), Oren Milstein (StemRad), Oleg Korol (Tevatronic), Derek Schwartz (Safe-T), David Sachs (Tomobox), Yaniv Shneiderman (BlazePod), and Gonen Vardi (eProc Solutions).
The Florida-Israel Business Accelerator (FIBA – pronounced Fee- Bah) is a Florida-based business development and community engagement project designed to establish and grow successful Israeli tech ventures in the Tampa Bay area.
FIBA identifies Israeli technologies that can solve business problems and
fill challenge-gaps for Florida corporations and provides a soft landing for
companies that are ready to enter the US market. FIBA offers entrepreneurs strategic alignment with corporate partners, consults on product localization and expansion, provides guidance on developing Go-to-Market strategies, facilitates introductions to prospective customers, investors and service providers, assists with sales and lead generation activities and encourages the companies to establish a U.S. subsidiary in Tampa Bay.
FIBA offers a variety of unique programs for the Israeli companies. All
programs are designed with the entrepreneurs in mind and strive to help
them obtain market domain knowledge, resources and industry connections necessary to build a successful enterprise in the United States.
Gonen Vardi (eProc Solutions) presents to mentors, partners and service providers.
Oren Milstein (StemRad) demos his product at a networking event.
Mayor Bob Buckhorn welcoming Israeli startups to Tampa at a FIBA networking dinner event.
Bryan Glazer Family Jewish Community Center, home to FIBA offices.
The FIBA Launch program is a 12-18 week program, during which the FIBA team works with the entrepreneurs on a weekly basis, both remotely and in-person in Tampa. The program goals are to identify a niche use for the technology, define the target market, explore broader application and expansion to other industries, plan how to localize the product, develop pricing and distribution strategies, coach on sales activities, prepare for customers meetings and demo opportunities, and consult on contract negotiation.
The FIBA PowerConnect program endeavors to make strategic connections between established companies in Israel and Florida. This program is intended for more mature startup companies with an existing operation in the U.S., who are trying to grow their business. FIBA uses its network to open doors and facilitate strategic introductions to the companies based on their business needs. FIBA seeks out and aligns the right partner for manufacturing, distribution, customer support, marketing, sales, or recruitment and/or identifies new customers. For improved results, a subject-matter-expert analyzes the company’s current operation and product and suggests technological or operational changes to better position the product in the U.S. market.
Launched in 2016 by the Tampa Jewish Community Centers & Federation, the Florida-Israel Business Accelerator’s mission is two-fold: First, to foster
economic growth and stimulate innovation within the expanding ecosystem in Tampa Bay. Second, to engage the entire spectrum of the Tampa Jewish andnon-Jewish communities, including local business owners, corporate leaders, state and local government officials, and the area’s leading universities, with the Israeli entrepreneurs and with Israeli culture.
FIBA is headquartered within the Bryan Glazer Family Jewish Community Center, an approximately 100,000 square foot state-of-the-art facility providing a wide range of community programs and services. This historic venue, formerly known as the Fort Homer W. Hesterly Armory, hosted such luminaries as Elvis Presley, Martin Luther King, Jr. and President John F. Kennedy. The center was repurposed and inaugurated on December 8, 2016 and houses a state-of-the-art fitness and aquatics center, visual arts center operated by the City of Tampa, a premier event venue, community meeting space, Tampa Jewish Family Services (food bank and counseling offices) and, of course, the Florida-Israel Business Accelerator.