Israeli start-ups that want to make their case to Chinese investors will have an opportunity to virtually meet hundreds of them in several weeks, from the comfort of Google’s Tel Aviv offices.
It’s part of the first-ever Virtual Pitch contest sponsored by China’s Zhongguancun Private Equity & Venture Capital Association (ZVCA), with Israeli start-ups broadcasting their pitches online to investors in Beijing – with some of the biggest and wealthiest Chinese investors on hand to check out the new technologies.
ZVCA is an industry umbrella group for Chinese investors to invest locally and abroad, mostly in high-tech, environmental, agritech, and medical innovations, and like everything else in China, it’s big; ZVCA has nearly 1,000 investor members, including angels, venture capital firms, and just plain rich people, with about $15 billion of assets under management.
As big as the organization is, ZVCA has a very warm place in its heart for Israel. The group started investing here several years ago, and has quickly turned into one of the most important engines of advancing relations between Israeli start-ups and Chinese companies and investors.
Since it began operations in 2012, ZVCA has sponsored 3 to 4 delegations of Chinese business people to Israel, and has hosted dozens of Israeli VC firms and angel groups that have brought start-ups to China for investment roadshows, or even to close deals. Currently, the group has investment arrangements with the Chief Scientist’s Office in the Economy Ministry, the Haifa Economic Corporation, and The Time and Misgav incubators, among others.
It’s to pitch this group that Israeli start-ups are being invited to Google’s Campus TLV in Tel Aviv on January 15, said Lee Greene, one of the program’s organizers. Any start-up with a good idea, no matter how early a stage it is, can apply; a committee of investors and professionals from ZVCA, Campus TLV, Tel Aviv University, and the Israel Export Institute will choose 10 winners to present a brief 5-minute pitch via video to ZVCA’s annual investment conference, which will be going on at the time in Beijing – and is the organization’s biggest event of the year.
Not all the investors speak English, so the organizers will be providing translation services, both for documentation and for the presentation. One “audience choice” winner will be declared, with the others named runners-up – but all will have the opportunity to get themselves heard in front of a wide variety of investors who are very excited by the possibilities that Israeli technology offers, said Greene.
Start-ups can apply through January 5th by writing to firstname.lastname@example.org.