â€œThe purpose was to meet with a whole group of security technology companies in Israel and see what kinds of opportunities there were to partner with them to invest,â€ explained Les Gold of Mitchell, Silberberg & Knupp, Los Angeles, who went on the mission and is SDMâ€™s contributing legal columnist (see page 42). â€œThere were companies who were either on the banking side or were security companies who attended the presentations.
â€œSome of those presenting were public companies or companies that were fairly sizable who were doing business in Israel, Europe or the U.S.,â€ Gold continued. â€œBy and large, from a technological standpoint, these were all companies who probably needed marketing more than anything, and they were looking at the U.S. market.â€
Also attending was Bill Bozeman, president and CEO of PSA Security Network, Denver, and former U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Tom Ridge. Sponsors of the mission included Global Capital Associates, New York, Rodman & Renshaw, New York, and Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp, Los Angeles.
Global Capital Associates spearheaded the mission. The company was launched in 2004 to help Israeli start-ups find U.S. investors and strategic partners and to develop investment banking relationships.
â€œAs an outgrowth of our profound commitment to improving the world, we recognize the essential role of business visionaries and have identified areas ripe for cooperation between U.S. and Israeli industries,â€ declared Irwin Katsof, founder, president and CEO of Global Capital Associates. â€œThis has led to a series of path-breaking missions with excellent results.â€
On the last day of the trip, participants flew via private plane and helicopter to the Galilee region in Northern Israel where they met General Effie Eitam, the former general of Lebanon and the former Minister of Infrastructure in the Knesset. The group visited the Golan Heights located along the border of Israel and Syria. Gen. Eitam gave the attendees a deeper understanding of Galilee and the Golanâ€™s essential role to Israelâ€™s security.
The group also visited Battalion 82 Armored Military Base and had lunch with the officers and soldiers, then continued to the city of Safat, located in northern Israel in the mountains of Upper Galilee. They met for dinners with members of Israelâ€™s political leadership including Deputy Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, Minister of Finance Benjamin Netanyahu, and Hero of the Gulag and Minister of U.S. Relations Natan Sharansky.