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New UK org makes connection for investors in Israel

Israel Investment, a new organization just launched in the United Kingdom, aims to connect experienced and aspiring investors in the U.K. with companies and startups across Israel’s diverse economic community.

Jon Simmons, founder and director of Israel Investment – israelinvestment.org – started this new venture for two reasons: firstly to bless Israel and secondly to create a mutually beneficial relationship between U.K. and Israeli entrepeneurs and investors.

Simmons saw that investors and businesspeople in his circles were aware of Israel’s high-caliber economy, but were unsure how to tap into it.

“It puzzled me that it only seemed to be American Jews and Christians that were taking advantage of the opportunities to invest early in such startups,” he recalled.

Simmons, based in London, created Israel Investment to make that connection in his own country.

“Israel Investment came about because I felt there was a growing interest among non-Jews in London, businessmen in particular, who have heard about Israel’s prosperity and are well aware of the blessings that Israel provides in terms of technological solutions in medicine, technology and cyber security and the high caliber of job applicants coming out of Israel,” Simmons said.

The website and LinkedIn community will be a sounding board of reliable articles and content for professionals in the U.K. who want to know more about economic opportunities in the Holy Land.

“Israel Investment is a community where businesspeople can come on board and learn, share and bring about ideas on how to invest in Israel,” Simmons said. “The website will be comprised of high-valued, actionable content that empowers the community to go about making an informed decision to invest in Israel, whether Israeli startups, the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange or real estate.”

The community will be primarily digital through the website and a LinkedIn group (Israel Investment Forum), but will also include gatherings in London for business and social events with each other and Israeli businesspeople.

“Israel Investment is a unique opportunity because it brings the startup nation, the innovation in Israel, the entrepreneurial culture, to the European and U.K. investor regardless of their background,” Simmons explained. “We are targeting Christians, but it really does open up an opportunity for all people to get a slice of Israel’s economic prosperity and to support Israel in an ethical and practical way.”

Indeed, while foreign investments were down around the world, investments in Israel by foreign companies were up 7 percent in 2016 from the previous year, according to a report in Globes, Israel’s financial newspaper. Interest is coming not just from the West, but in recent years, Asian markets have expressed keen interest in Israel’s economy leading to cooperation on both private and government levels.

The idea to create Israel Investment was born after Simmons attended the Israel Business Forum in 2016 and got a firsthand look at Israeli innovation.

“The Israel Business Forum in Jerusalem cemented for me what Israel can give in terms of technical solutions to the worlds problems,” Simmons said. “People in business understand Israel as a place that produces engineers and other highly qualified individuals. The standard of education is high and mathematical geniuses come out of this country.”

The blessing is two-way for entrepreneurs and foreign investors, he said.

“From my understanding of Gen. 12:3, those nations and individuals who support God’s land will be blessed themselves,” Simmons said.

Simultaneously, Israeli entrepreneurs will have access to investors and mentors that will project them into foreign markets.

“Israel Investment offers Israeli entrepreneurs and businessmen an opportunity to expand their operation into new markets or develop their existing operations in the U.K.,” Simmons explained.

Simmons points out that the site does not include investment advice, but provides “reliable and accurate content regarding the macroeconomic situation in Israel.” The site features a portfolio of organizations that provide investment products and services.

“One of our core beliefs is that Israel’s economic success is due to the tenacity of the people, and blessings on the people promised in Genesis 12,” Simmons wrote announcing the organization’s launch. “It is our belief that regardless of your religion, denomination or background, that actively supporting the State of Israel, and all of its diverse ethnic communities, that you will be blessed.”

To get involved, U.K. businesspeople who are interested can join the community via the Israelinvestment.org or the Israel Investment Forum on LinkedIn and plan on attending the events. Simmons aims to open the forum to European and American investors as well after the initial roll out.

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N.J. Schiavi is news editor of KNI.

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