Mayor John Tory will lead a Toronto business technology mission to Israel with Montreal Mayor Dennis Coderre from November 12 to 19. City Councillors James Pasternak (Ward 10 York Centre), Josh Colle (Ward 15 Eglinton-Lawrence) and Christin Carmichael Greb (Ward 16 Eglinton-Lawrence) will be part of the mission alongside nearly 50 Toronto business and technology delegates.

“Israel has emerged as a leading global hub for technology due in part to its successful incubator ecosystem,” said Mayor Tory. “Our mission is to learn how government interventions have facilitated the rapid growth of their technology sector, learn from their innovations and connect Toronto businesses with opportunities in their market.”

Mayor Tory announced the mission at Toronto fin-tech leader Wealthsimple, joined by delegate members representing local technology companies including SecureKey Technologies, Incubes, Plooto and Vuru.

The mission will visit Tel Aviv, Ramallah, Jerusalem, Haifa and Beersheva, with Mayor Tory planning to meet with the mayors of each of those five cities.

The delegation, which will include Jan De Silva, President and CEO of the Toronto Region Board of Trade, and Janet Ecker, President and CEO of the Toronto Financial Services Alliance, will focus on strengthening economic relations and increased bilateral trade and investment in sectors such as fintech (financial technology) and cybersecurity in addition to developing networks among some of Israel's many public and private sector incubators.

The delegation will visit companies including Aleph, Google, IBM and WeWork, and incubators and accelerators such as The Floor, Cyberspark, Technion, the Barclay's Accelerator, MassChallenge and the Library Tel Aviv. The full delegation and detailed itinerary will be provided upon request.

“Trade missions provide an important opportunity to demonstrate Toronto is open for business and knows how to work with international markets and partners,” said De Silva. “This mission to Israel also offers the chance to showcase Toronto as a global financial centre and identify transferable best practices from Israel’s fintech and cybersecurity ecosystem. We’re excited to have influential representatives from some of Toronto’s leading financial services firms join us on this mission to provide on-the-ground advice.”

“Both Toronto and Israel are world-renowned leaders in cybersecurity and fintech innovation. This is a tremendous opportunity to come together and learn from each other during a time when security and data threats abound, and the privacy, trust and confidence of consumers is paramount,” said Greg Wolfond, CEO, SecureKey Technologies. “Opportunities like this mission, which foster broader collaboration, shared expertise and improved working relationships, are essential to companies like SecureKey that are focused on bringing solutions to market for the greater good of consumers, businesses and governments alike.”

“We applaud Toronto Mayor John Tory for leading a delegation focused on technology and innovation to Israel, the ‘Start Up Nation’,” said Joel Reitman, Toronto Co-Chair, Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA). “By strengthening the relationship between the City of Toronto and Israel, this initiative will tremendously benefit both communities, particularly in the high-tech and entrepreneurial sectors. CIJA is delighted to be joining the Mayor’s team on this important mission.”