Drought-stricken California is in dire need of water-saving solutions, but the California water market has proven a hard nut to crack for Israeli companies. A new initiative from Israel NewTech and the Milken Innovation Center will try to help Israeli water companies penetrate the Californian market.
Everyone knows that California is experiencing a major water scarcity crisis, and that the state needs effective long-term solutions. People in the industry in both the U.S. and Israel also recognize that Israeli companies hold the technological key that can help California vastly improve its water situation. But “its all in the execution,” which has proven to be quite a challenge.
Bridging the gap to implementation is the focus of a new program which will bring Israeli water technologies to Califronia. The initiative is being led by Israel NewTech and the Milken Innovation Center.
“This program is really a game-changer,” explains Shira Eting of the Milken Innovation Center, and Fellow at Israel NewTech of the Ministry of Economy, “Because we will not only bring Israeli companies to the conference in California in June, we will mentor and prepare them in the months leading up to the event, so that they will have the tools to connect to the water industry in California in a way that will be effective and implementable.”
Israeli water companies, from startups to established companies, can register by April 11th to participate in the program. Following the selection process, around 25 teams will receive mentoring until the event in California, which will take place on June 28-30, and at which they will be introduced to agriculture, municipal and industry leaders and decision makers in California’s water sector. Participation will be subsidized, to help companies take advantage of the opportunity.
Eting has been preparing the groundwork for over six months. “I’ve met with dozens of water experts from both California and Israel, and conducted an in-depth examination of the situation and the challenges that need to be overcome in order to succeed in that market,” she explains. “Israeli companies need to be able to ‘speak their language’ and address their pain points in order to make inroads.”
Even though California’s water shortages are worsening all the time, surprisingly the ‘way in’ to the sector may actually be through energy, according to Eting. “Water in California is still cheap, but energy is expensive. There are a lot of Israeli technologies which improve efficiency and bring energy savings into the water arena, and these benefits are very attractive to the sector in Califronia.”
California is the 8th largest economy in the world, so the business potential is tremendous. The initiative was recently presented at a seminar at the Israeli Export Institute. Companies are invited to submit their candidacy for the initiative at this link.