MIBA at the International Defense Expo in Abu Dhabi
MIBA at the International Defense Expo in Abu Dhabi. (MIBA/LinkedIn)

The MIBA’s mission is to connect Michigan and Israel businesses to generate bidirectional business, cultural and economic value.

The Michigan Israel Business Accelerator held a virtual “Re-Connect” on April 5 for members and potential members. The MIBA’s mission is to connect Michigan and Israel businesses to generate bidirectional business, cultural and economic value.

The MIBA, which prides itself on bringing Israeli innovation to Michigan (and vice versa) started out the virtual event with a presentation by Israeli spirits expert Avi Azizoff, who shared a recipe for “Innovation Punch,” for members who had been provided with ingredients prior to the event.

Then, CEO Scott Hiipakka led a recap of all that MIBA accomplished in 2020, despite the global COVID-19 pandemic, including two trade missions to Israel and the introduction of 13 Michigan business leaders to Israeli innovation in the cybersecurity and Industry 4.0 sectors.

Other 2020 highlights include seven successful collaborations, resulting in the creation of four jobs in Michigan; five Israeli companies joining the Michigan ecosystem; and a 300% increase of foreign direct investment into Michigan.

In 2020, MIBA also launched its membership program with improved levels and benefits to members, as well as a corporate partnership model that enables the organization to engage in strategic collaborations and build partnerships.

“The support from our funders, donors and members is instrumental in building bilateral economic partnerships and advancing innovation opportunities between Michigan and Israel,” Hiipakka said.

The MIBA was named as the Michigan Economic Development Council’s lead for export opportunities to Israel and as Michigan’s representative at the International Defense Expo in Abu Dhabi in early 2021, leading to multiple opportunities for exports in the defense sector.

Hiipakka also talked about MIBA’s “Innovation Centers of Excellence” in the fields of cybersecurity/artificial intelligence, mobility, farming and agriculture, medicine and health, and a pending center of excellence on defense innovation.

The MIBA’s membership drive continues. Membership benefits include exclusive invitations to all MIBA member networking events and introductions to MIBA’s Israeli and Michigan connections. For more information, contact Veronica Hanna-Senger at veronica@michiganisrael.com.

Additional reading: How to Make MIBA Innovation Punch

Ingredients
  • Michigan cherries
  • Israeli Whiskey
  • Jaffa oranges
  • Sugar syrup
  • Ice
Directions

Place 3-4 cherries and 2-3 tsps. of cherry juice into a cocktail shaker, add 30 ml (2 Tbs.) Jaffa orange juice, 60 ml (4 Tbs.) whiskey, 30 ml sugar syrup and fill with ice. Close shaker and shake for 10-15 seconds. Pour into an iced glass through a strainer and garnish with a cherry on top. (For a non-alcoholic version of the drink, substitute the whiskey with 30 ml of lemon juice and 30 ml of cranberry juice).