Montreal, Toronto joint tech mission to Israel next week

The mayors of Montreal and Toronto will travel on a long-awaited trade mission to Israel next week to convince more tech companies to work and play in Canada.

The technology mission from November 12 to 19 was first announced in June, when Coderre called it “a historic first.” Canada wants to target Israeli talent in information technology and digital arts, two areas in which the country is considered a world leader.

“Both mayors [Coderre and Tel Aviv mayor Ron Huldai] share the same values,” Meggie Navon, a VP within the international fundraising arm of Tel Aviv-Yafo, told B’nai Brith Canada. “It really seemed Mayor Coderre wants to create the same type of environment in Montreal that has made Tel Aviv and Israel so successful.”

Toronto’s mayor Tory added that “Israel has emerged as a leading global hub for technology due in part to its successful incubator ecosystem. Our mission is to learn how government interventions have facilitated the rapid growth of their technology sector, learn from their innovations and connect Toronto businesses with opportunities in their market.”

Coderre and Tory will visit Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Be’er Sheva and Ramallah.

Tory announced the mission at Toronto fin-tech leader Wealthsimple, joined by delegate members representing local technology companies including SecureKey Technologies, Incubes, Plooto and Vuru. His group will include Toronto City Councillors James Pasternak (Ward 10 York Centre), Josh Colle (Ward 15 Eglinton-Lawrence) and Christin Carmichael Greb (Ward 16 Eglinton-Lawrence) and nearly 50 Toronto business and technology delegates.

Toronto’s delegation will focus on strengthening economic relations and increased bilateral trade and investment in sectors like fintech (financial technology) and cybersecurity. It will also serve to develop relationships with public and private sector incubators.

The delegation will visit companies including Aleph, Google, IBM and WeWork, and incubators and accelerators such as The Floor, Cyberspark, Technion, the Barclay’s Accelerator, MassChallenge and the Library Tel Aviv.

“This is a tremendous opportunity to come together and learn from each other during a time when security and data threats abound, and the privacy, trust and confidence of consumers is paramount,” said Greg Wolfond, CEO of SecureKey Technologies.

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