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YBI’s Israeli connection is a great technological match


Published: Fri, October 13, 2017 @ 12:00 a.m.

Mazel Tof to the Youngs- town Business Incubator for launching an exciting project that stands to strengthen its mission, expand its vision and solidify its worldwide footprint.

Specifically, we join other community leaders in congratulating the internationally acclaimed business incubator in downtown Youngstown for its promising new partnership called The Israel-Youngstown Business Incubator Collaborative.

In announcing the collaboration with The Junction, Israel’s leading business startup accelerator, YBI Chief Executive Officer Barb Ewing said, “I hope it creates another level of economic activity in the region. ... We expect great things to come.”

Based on the records of achievement from both incubators, the partnership bodes as a marriage made in techno heaven. Both share mutually beneficial strengths as successful economic engines for cutting-edge technology-based companies and additive-manufacturing ventures.

Their missions are virtual mirror images of each other. The YBI facilitates creation of high-value businesses through collaborative partnerships that promote innovative technologies and long-term, sustainable employment.

Across the ocean, the Tel-Aviv-based business accelerator states on its website that its mission is working with “early stage startups to accelerate and advance their ventures into better products and companies.”

From our somewhat parochial perspective, the new collaboration also bodes well for expanding the vision of YBI and its growing impact on the Mahoning Valley.

Its vision aims at leveraging its entrepreneurial expertise and vast resource network “to meaningfully impact technology-based economic development and community wealth” in Greater Youngstown..

That impact has been meaningful indeed. Over the past five years, the YBI has been responsible for 1,842 employees at its portfolio companies, $39.06 million in revenue generated from those companies and $39.2 million in capital raised to support them.

In recent years as well, the YBI has made a name for itself among the most honored business incubators in the world. Two years ago, UBI Global in Stockholm, Sweden, selected YBI as the top University Associated Incubator in North America. The Valley enterprise also came in second in the world rankings, behind the Dublin Enterprise & Technology Centre, also known as the Guinness Enterprise Centre, in Dublin, Ireland.

The new Israeli collaboration and the ongoing expansion of YBI into the former Vindicator office building downtown promise more kudos for the facility from near and far.

INAUGURAL COMPANIES

The new venture promises to build significantly on those already impressive figures. Already, two forward-thinking Israeli companies affiliated with The Junction are looking to launch in the United States. They are PrintCB, which has a copper-based ink product that can be used in additive manufacturing, and Nanofabrica, which aims to mass produce micro and nano parts using 3-D printing, a specialty at YBI.

Also helping to seal success for the new venture is Barak Rabinowitz, managing partner of The Junction. As good fortune would have it, Rabinowitz just happens to hail from Youngstown, proving once again the value of Valley connections throughout the nation and the world.

But don’t think for a minute the perks from this deal will not flow both ways. Opening new and attractive markets in the United States for the products and services of The Junction’s member companies also will fortify their bottom lines.

They will have new opportunities to expand into North American markets with YBI expertise and resources easing their entry. The collaborative also broadens the geopolitical horizons of the Israeli startups because of the limited trade opportunities available with enemy neighbors that surround the Jewish state.

In short, the partnership stands as a win-win. “It’s rare to find a partnership that provides such great benefits for both parties,” Rabinowitz said.

We concur and hope the collaboration serves as a springboard for an even stronger global presence for the Valley’s business incubator par excellence.


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