Wow! Tel Aviv to New York return for $550

From June, Iceland’s low-cost airline WOW air intends to run four flights a week from Tel Aviv to Iceland's capital of Reykjavik. From there, travelers can connect with flights to nine cities in the USA and Canada.  Prices will be around $260 - $280 each way.

Integrating Haredim into the Startup Nation

At KamaTech’s second annual fair for Haredi startups, the eight best companies (chosen from 450 applicants) demonstrated their ideas. Each received a 20,000 Shekel grant. The latest group included Doctorpedia which enables patients to have online consultations with doctors.

Buy from the Shuk (market) without leaving home

Residents of Jerusalem and Gush Etzion can place orders with Israeli startup Shukrun to select, and have delivered, fresh fruit and vegetables from Jerusalem’s Machane Yehuda market (the Jerusalem “Shuk”).  Now with an English-language website.

Australian entrepreneurs are landing

This video accompanies previous articles on the Australian “landing pad” in Tel Aviv. Australian entrepreneurs come to Israel to access the passion, knowledge and innovative abilities that characterize Israel's startup ecosystem and help their ideas become a reality.

Israelis buy US firm for $102 million

In another example of a large takeover by an Israeli company of a US firm, Israel’s Sapiens International has bought Denver-based StoneRiver Inc for around $102 million. Both IT companies focus on the Insurance industry.

Currency reserves at new record level

Israel’s foreign exchange reserves at the end of March 2017 were just over $103 billion - an increase of $1,271 million from their level at the end of Feb. The reserves now represent 32.4 percent of GDP.

Intel buys Mobileye for $15 billion

Immediately after my last newsletter, Intel bought Israeli vehicle safety and automation systems company Mobileye for just over $15 billion, which makes it the biggest ever exit in the history of Israel's high-tech industry. The company’s HQ will remain in Israel.

Yet more flights

Ten airlines will begin operations at Ben Gurion Airport shortly, including Air India, Air Transat, WOW, Eurowings, Cobalt Air, Envelop, Yarmal and Pegas Fly. Wizz announced 3 more routes and Ryanair celebrated its first flight into Ben Gurion. 11 airlines will fly to France, Italy and Spain.

Israel’s annual economic report

High points of the Bank of Israel Annual Report include good growth, low unemployment, low inflation, rising wages, low budget deficit and good tech exports, despite a high Shekel.

Retail is booming in Israel

Deborah Weinswig, Managing Director of Fung Global Retail & Technology, took her team on a four-day innovation technology tour to Israel. She was impressed with the level of investment, tie-ups with multinationals and accelerators hosted by Adidas and GE.