Detroit Regional Chamber > Racial Justice & Economic Equity > New ‘Landing Zone’ Offers Space for Israeli Entrepreneurs to Get a Foothold in Michigan

New ‘Landing Zone’ Offers Space for Israeli Entrepreneurs to Get a Foothold in Michigan

June 12, 2023

Crain’s Detroit Business
Nick Manes

June 9, 2023

The metro Detroit nonprofit group aiming to strengthen business ties between Israel and Michigan has a new mechanism to further that mission.

The Michigan Israel Business Accelerator this week announced what it calls the first “landing zone” in the U.S. aimed at connecting Israeli startups and companies in the U.S. to various resources.

Called “The Elevator” and located in downtown Detroit, the new initiative has pulled in three companies to start.

“The strategic partnership between Michigan and Israel has created a dynamic environment that fosters innovation, entrepreneurship, and mutual prosperity,” Scott Hiipakka, CEO of MIBA, said in a statement. “The launch of The Elevator truly takes this relationship to the next level, and we look forward to the transformative opportunities it will generate for Israeli startups and Michigan businesses alike.”

The Elevator, housed in the Globe Building on East Fort Street in downtown Detroit’s Greektown area, aims to offer a co-working model of sorts, providing participating Israeli companies with office space and a U.S. mailing address.

The group also touts the central location as helping companies coming to do business in the state establish physical connections with many of metro Detroit’s larger corporate players.

Membership at The Elevator is free of charge.

“I take great pride in being part of Michigan’s vibrant business landscape that serves as a global magnet for innovation,” stated Matt Elliott, MIBA board chair and president of Bank of America in Michigan.

“With this announcement, MIBA is taking a huge leap toward our vision to position Michigan as the premier partner for Israeli innovation in the U.S.,” Elliott continued. “It is an exciting time to be involved in Michigan’s business community, as we actively contribute to its thriving entrepreneurial spirit and ongoing success.”

Joining The Elevator as the initial charter members are:

  • Guardknow, an Israeli automotive and defense technology and engineering company that has been growing its presence in Southeast Michigan since early 2020.
  • FullPath, a customer data and experience platform for the automotive sector.
  • SkillReal, which “offers augmented reality measurement capabilities on-screen.” The company has been named to the Centrepolis 4.0 Accelerator in Southfield.