TechTown\'s Charlton to discuss collaborative opportunities in research and entrepreneurship between Michigan and Israel

November 23, 2009

DETROIT, November 23, 2009 - The Michigan Israel Business Bridge (MIBB) is hosting a presentation and networking opportunity featuring TechTown Executive Director Randal Charlton speaking about business opportunities with Michigan and Israel.

Charlton recently returned from a trip to Israel along with a Wayne State University delegation lead by President Jay Noren. During the visit, Charlton met with scientists, entrepreneurs and companies to explore collaborative opportunities in the areas of stem cell therapies, biobanking, and business incubation. He was accompanied on the trip by Ron Perry, MIBB's Executive Director, who, together with the MIBB network, organized Charlton's business agenda.

"Michigan is desperately seeking new sources of innovation and entrepreneurship to transform its economy" Perry said. "The state's economic development entities have targeted advanced manufacturing, automotive, life sciences, alternative energy and homeland security as new target sectors. Israel is an R & D powerhouse with scientific and technological strength in all these areas. At the same time, Israel is a tiny market seeking entry on a global scale, and its companies are thirsting for capital and corporate partnerships that can be obtained here in Michigan."

The meeting is Tuesday, December 8, 2009 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at TechTown, 440 Burroughs Street, Detroit, MI 48202. Admission is $15 for members of the MIBB and $30 for non-members. Seats are limited. Register online at The entry fee is credited toward membership for those who join at the event.

Nancy Cappola, director of TechTown's Soft Landings program, will speak at the presentation about how TechTown can assist Israeli companies. "TechTown would serve as the initial anchor for Israeli companies entering the U.S. market," Cappola said. "Through the Soft Landings program, we will help them quickly create business infrastructure in the U.S. as they figure out where in the state they need to land permanently."

TechTown has been helping minds and means connect since 2004. Wayne State University, General Motors Corporation and the Henry Ford Health System collaborated to create a business incubator that would provide startups with the resources they need to be successful. Today, the incubator boasts more than 150 tenants, centers of excellence in biobanking, alternative energy, Great Lakes environment, and public health, and soon, one of the world's only dedicated stem cell commercialization centers.

"TechTown represents a vehicle for transformative economic change in Southeast Michigan," Perry said. "The Michigan Israel Business Bridge recently had the opportunity to organize a business mission to Israel for Executive Director Randal Charlton to expose him to the breadth and depth of technological opportunities and partnerships in Israel, particularly in the areas of biobanking, stem cell therapy and incubator collaboration. At this event, attendees can listen to Randal's observations on the country and his thoughts on how TechTown and the surrounding community can partner with Israeli companies, entrepreneurs and scientists."

Charlton was a serial entrepreneur before taking on the role of Executive Director of TechTown. Most recently, he was the founder and former chairman of Asterand, a supplier of human tissue samples for medical research. Charlton visited Michigan in 1999 with $500,000 in venture capital in hand and decided to establish Asterand in Detroit, leveraging resources of the State, Wayne County, and Wayne State University to build up a company that went public on the London Stock Exchange in January 2007 and was voted "best performing share" in 2008 by the Financial Times. Today, Asterand is the anchor tenant in TechTown alongside other biobanking and life science organizations.


Whether you are an Israeli company looking for new customers and business connections in the American market, a Michigan company looking for new technologies and investments in Israel, or an individual who cares about helping Michigan and Israel, the MIBB will provide you with clear benefits.

The Michigan Israel Business Bridge (MIBB) is an independent, not-for-profit, "connector" organization dedicated to promoting a mutually beneficial business partnership between Michigan and Israel. The MIBB helps Israeli companies do business in Michigan and establish facilities here, while also helping Michigan companies identify technologies, business partners, and investment opportunities in Israel.

The MIBB, co-founded by Chuck Newman and Susan Herman, and backed by a successful network of Michigan businesspeople, was established in 2007 and has been thriving ever since.

To learn more about the MIBB, visit


TechTown is an urban community of entrepreneurs, innovators, investors, mentors and corporate partners creating an internationally influential village in Detroit. TechTown brings the resources of Wayne State University to high-technology startup companies to diversify and strengthen Michigan's economy in high-growth emerging industries. For more information, visit