Philadelphia, November 12, 2013 – Mayor Michael A. Nutter returned to Philadelphia this morning after a 10-day trade mission to the United Kingdom and Israel, which he described as a “great success.” Mayor Nutter reflected on the visit at City Hall after arriving at Philadelphia International Airport early this morning on the direct US Airways flight from Tel Aviv.
“The world is getting to know Philadelphia, and we need to be much more aggressive in promoting this city and telling Philadelphia’s story,” said Mayor Nutter. “Based on the feedback we received from the Philadelphia businesses that joined the delegation, as well as what we heard from UK and Israeli companies that we met with, the trade mission was a great success. There is tremendous interest in our city, and we must get used to the fact that Philadelphia is a global city and a player on the international stage.”
During the 10-day trade mission, Mayor Nutter participated in about 50 different meetings and engagements, ranging from meetings with political leadership of both countries, to participating in the World Travel Market in London, to meeting with many businesses considering locating their US headquarters in Philadelphia. Mayor Nutter and members of his team met with Israeli President Shimon Peres; Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu; US Ambassadors to both the United Kingdom and Israel; Mayors of Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, and Bethlehem; HRH Prince Edward the Earl of Wessex; former British Prime Minister Tony Blair; as well as other government and business officials.
“We were honored to host Mayor Nutter and his trade delegation in the UK and I am pleased that the trip was a resounding success,” said Danny Lopez, British Consul General to New York and Pennsylvania. “From exploring the cultural connections between London’s Big Ben and Philadelphia’s Liberty Bell to touring Tech City, Europe’s fastest-growing technology hub, Mayor Nutter and his delegation established valuable connections to UK industry during their visit. It will undoubtedly lead to increased trade and continued momentum.”
During the trade mission, the British energy efficiency company Mark Group announced that it was increasing its presence in Philadelphia by around 25% as well as opening new branches across the region; the British technology company GuardianMPS announced that it would locate its US headquarters in Philadelphia; the Philadelphia Orchestra announced that it would tour Europe in 2015 culminating in two shows in London; and Drexel University with the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia signed a new research partnership with Hebrew University in Jerusalem. During a meeting with leading Israeli venture capital fund Pitango, founder Chemi Peres offered to help coordinate a return delegation of Israeli startups and investors to Philadelphia to learn more about what Philadelphia has to offer as a potential US base of operations for these fast-growing, innovative companies.
“We have just concluded a remarkably successful visit to Israel,” said Yaron Sideman, Consul General of Israel to the Mid-Atlantic Region. “It was successful because it cemented ties between Israel and Philadelphia on many levels. Countless business and investment meetings were conducted; an exciting three way Academic partnership between Hebrew University, Drexel University and the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia was signed; the sister city partnership between Philadelphia and Tel Aviv was invigorated; the Mayor participated in the General Assembly of American Jewish communities which took place in Jerusalem; and top level and highly productive meetings transpired with Israel’s President, Prime Minister, Mayors of Tel Aviv and Jerusalem and many others. Our work, though, is only beginning, for now it rests on our shoulders to follow up and seize the many opportunities for the partnerships between Israel and Philadelphia that this visit created. The Consulate General of Israel is fully committed to that task.”
Mayor Nutter and his team were joined by about 25 businesses and organizations pursuing their own trade and partnership opportunities in the United Kingdom and Israel. These members of the Philadelphia delegation had a schedule of individual meetings with potential clients in addition to the group activities, and many of the companies established new partnerships and business opportunities as a result of the delegation.
“The trip was a big success from my perspective,” said Bob Moul, CEO of Artisan Mobile and President of Philly Startup Leaders. “I was able to be an advocate for attracting business to Philadelphia, promote our local startup community in the UK, and hold half a dozen business meetings to explore expansion of our company operations in London. The trade mission definitely acted as a catalyst in getting these meetings scheduled and I’m already planning a follow up trip in early December.”
Marcus Iannozzi, founder of The Message Agency and graduate of the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses initiative, said, “As an open source developer, we are proud to help represent Philly’s vibrant tech sector and learn more about opportunities for extending our presence and markets internationally. We hope to bring back new projects and jobs to Philadelphia, and this trip has made a world of difference in helping us get there, especially as we refine our thinking about a product we are developing. Our horizon is definitely much broader and more reachable than before.”
Renold Capocasale, Chairman and CEO of FlowMetric, said, “For FlowMetric this trip served as a catalyst for very real and immediate developments with both new and existing clients. The opportunity to be on this trip with Mayor Nutter gives nascent and vibrant companies like FlowMetric a much greater critical mass than we would have if we were creating these meetings on our own. We’ve grown exponentially over the last year serving a clinical research market in the Philadelphia Region that is among the top two in the world, and being invited by Mayor Nutter on this trip has greatly enhanced both our ability to extol the value of the Philadelphia Region as the premiere bio-sciences corridor and continue our expansion globally.”
Paul Grossinger, Managing Partner at INE Ventures, said, “INE Ventures was excited to join the Philadelphia Delegation’s trip to Israel and, during the mission, was thrilled to learn about new opportunities to engage Israeli startups with the Philadelphia region.”
To view the Mayor’s remarks from this morning’s media availability about the trade mission, please visit http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WNbcGocpMCo&feature=c4-overview&list=UUDcbH-w5Jybe8QgLo0HTXvQ.
For more information about the trade mission visit the blog at http://phlinukandisrael.tumblr.com and in the coming days, photographs will be published on the City’s Flickr account at http://www.flickr.com/photos/phillycityrep.