Cleveland Clinic, along with Maccabi Healthcare Services, one of Israel’s largest health-care providers, have been awarded an incubator franchise from the Israel Innovation Authority.
Tom Sudow, director of business development at Cleveland Clinic Innovations, said the two parties and eHealth Ventures – an accelerator set up last year to promote Israeli digital health companies – now have about $40 million in funding to invest in Israeli startups over eight years.
Cleveland Clinic and Maccabi Healthcare Services are expected to announce their first investments in Israeli startups in the e-health field by October, Sudow said.
“The Israeli government is putting up about $25 million over eight years to support about 40 companies that we will admit into the incubators,” Sudow said. “Another $12 million to $15 million has been raised from investors, including money from local venture capital firms and from Chinese investors and other investors from the United States and Israel.”
Cleveland Clinic Innovations, the commercialization branch of Cleveland Clinic, announced last year it would offer its services to Israeli health-care startups looking to do business in the U.S.
The clinic has formed a partnership with eHealth Ventures – a consortium conceived to provide incubation services to promising early-stage health-care technology companies in Israel – and Maccabi Healthcare Services to provide funding and leadership to these companies in association with the Israel Innovation Authority, formerly the Israeli Office of the Chief Scientist.
Sudow, of Shaker Heights, and Dr. Mark Stovsky, science and technology innovations officer at Cleveland Clinic Innovations and unit and staff urologist in the Glickman Urological and Kidney Institute at Cleveland Clinic, are coordinating the eHealth Ventures project for the clinic.
Sudow and Stovsky, of Beachwood, were in Israel in early July for an innovations summit conducted by the Glickman Urological and Kidney Institute, which was followed by the Friends of Israel Urology Symposium, a biennial international urology meeting in Tel Aviv that Stovsky and four other urologists from the clinic attended.
“EHealth Ventures is exciting for us because it is a very unique partnership,” Stovsky said. “We have brought these groups together for the purpose of investing in these digital health companies in Israel and then bringing their biomedical advances to the world.”
Stovsky said he and Sudow decided to get involved in Israeli biotechnology “because much of the real innovation that is going on in the biomedical world is happening in Israel, especially in digital health.”
“We saw an opportunity for the Cleveland Clinic to lend our expertise and to commercialize health-related technologies to help Israeli startup companies get to the market,” Stovsky said. “Cleveland Clinic Innovations has vast experience in developing medical technologies and creating successful new companies around those technologies.
“So the goal is to lend our expertise through this venture to support startup companies in Israel and to bring them to the United States for product development and clinical validation trials and ultimately commercialization of their products in markets outside of Israel.”
Cleveland Clinic will give startups accepted into the incubator, based in the Israeli city of Modiin Illit, the opportunity to understand and work with the U.S. market and access to potential partners in China and Europe, with which the clinic has ties, Sudow said.
“The location was very important to us, as it’s geographically centered between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, and it’s easily accessible from both the north and south of Israel,” Sudow said.
“The goal is to improve patient care and patient outcomes, and to do that, we want to make sure we have the latest and greatest technology available.”
Sudow and Stovsky are both members of Park Synagogue in Cleveland Heights and Pepper Pike.