Netanyahu to sign California high-tech cooperation agreement this week
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Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is scheduled to meet the heads of major high-tech firms in Silicon Valley this week. The prime minister’s schedule includes meetings with senior officials at Apple, as well as with Jan Koum, the Ukrainian-Jewish founder of the WhatsApp messaging service that was just sold to Facebook. Netanyahu and California Gov. Jerry Brown will sign an Israel-California agreement designed to enhance economic, academic, cultural and technological cooperation, with an emphasis on water, alternative energy, cyber security, biotechnology, health and agriculture. Israeli companies are also to be given access to the state’s iHub innovation program. Netanyahu is also to meet with officials from the Sequoia Capital venture capital firm, the Paltronics gaming firm, as well as LinkedIn and eBay, in an effort to broaden collaboration with Israel’s high-tech sector.
Titanium Core wins JVP’s $1 million startup competition
Titanium Core is the winning startup in Jerusalem Venture Capital’s competition for firms in the cyber security field, it was announced last week, earning the company a $1 million investment from JVP and a spot at the venture capital firm’s cyber incubator in Be’er Sheva. Titanium, which uses a multilayered approach to information security, was founded by Yuval Elovici, the head of the Cyber Security Lab at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev; Dudu Mimran, the former chief technology officer at Deutsche Telekom Labs in Israel; and Mordechai Guri. The winning entrant was announced at the RSA information security conference, which was held last week in San Francisco. Titanium Core beat out 34 other entries.
GetTaxi may face competition here from U.S. start-up
GetTaxi, the cab-dispatching mobile phone app, may soon be facing competition here from a San Francisco startup called Uber, which has begun efforts to recruit staff, but the company says it won’t be launching their service in Israel in the near future. In response to an inquiry from TheMarker, Uber said it is currently exploring the possibility of expanding into the Israeli market. Unlike GetTaxi, which is now formally called Gett and brings together passengers with available cab drivers, Uber puts riders in contact with private car owners, whom the company says are licensed and insured. Gett and Uber go head-to-head in certain cities in the United States. In January, Uber admitted disrupting GetTaxi’s operations when, reportedly in an effort to recruit drivers to Uber, employees of the firm deliberately placed cab orders in New York with GetTaxi and then cancelled them. Among investors in Uber are Google Ventures, First Round Capital, Menlo Ventures and Goldman Sachs.