PlanetM strengthens international mobility ties in Tel Aviv; announces grant program for Israeli startups

Thursday, June 13, 2019

In partnership with Michigan Israel Business Accelerator and Israel Innovation Authority, PlanetM announces collaboration, grant program at EcoMotion 2019

TEL AVIV, June 13, 2019 – For its second consecutive year, PlanetM, the mobility-focused brand and business development program of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC), is making waves at EcoMotion, connecting Tel Aviv’s one-of-a-kind startup scene with Michigan’s robust mobility ecosystem through match meetings, industry workshops, panel discussions and networking opportunities, with the goal of providing support to those interested in bringing their technologies to market in Michigan.

Announced among a hotbed of technology startups, PlanetM, in partnership with Michigan Israel Business Accelerator and the Israel Innovation Authority, launched the official rollout of the Israel Michigan Autonomous Technologies Collaboration (IMATC) – a program aimed at providing Israeli companies grant funding and access to Michigan’s resources across a variety of industries for real-world deployment of innovative, future mobility solutions.

“We’re excited to see this program come to fruition,” said Seun Phillips, managing director of PlanetM at the MEDC. “Our goal with this program is to provide a clear, accelerated path toward real-world deployment here in Michigan for Israeli startups developing new mobility technology, providing them with the resources and funding they need to be successful.”

Designed to strengthen international collaboration between Israel and Michigan, IMATC provides a 50/50 grant funding match for Israeli companies developing innovative solutions to test, validate and prove out their technologies on Michigan roadways and in the National Airspace System (NAS), or at one of the state’s premier testing facilities, including the American Center for Mobility (ACM), Mcity at the University of Michigan, GM Mobility Research Center at Kettering University, Keweenaw Research Center (KRC) at Michigan Technological University and the Michigan Unmanned Aerial Systems Consortium. In addition, the program will provide access to top technology incubators, accelerators and industry leaders operating in the state.

"The transportation industry is undergoing rapid changes in recent years in preparation for the future autonomous vehicles,” said Aharon Aharon, CEO of the Israel Innovation Authority. “This transformation builds on the innovative technologies that will allow this transition to take place. As a leading technological hub, Israeli innovation can play a major role in enabling and even leading this transition. We are therefore, looking forward to take part in this collaboration with PlanetM and the Michigan Israel Business Accelerator, in enabling Israeli smart mobility startups to gain access to additional resources, funding and platforms that will allow them to test innovative smart mobility solutions in preparation for future global deployment."

Access to Michigan’s mobility ecosystem also allows Israeli companies to test and deploy their technologies in the extreme weather conditions of Michigan – a crucial element for widespread development and deployment of future mobility solutions globally.

“The potential opportunities between Israeli startups and Michigan’s mobility ecosystem is very exciting and this program will serve as a catalyst for the combined partnerships,” said Scott Hiipakka, CEO of the Michigan Israel Business Accelerator.

Laser-focused on helping fund deployable technology enabling the future of mobility, IMATC supports projects across the areas of autonomous and connected vehicles, electrified vehicles, smart mobility, transportation, smart manufacturing, artificial intelligence and big data and smart cities.

The application for the first round of grant recipients will remain open through September 3, 2019. To apply or learn more, visit

In addition to the rollout of IMATC, Michigan has a strong delegation in Tel Aviv, including:

  • Trevor Pawl, senior vice president of Business Innovation at the MEDC, who is leading a Main Event Workshop – New Mobility at Scale Infrastructure 2.0 – from 12 – 1:15 p.m. on Tuesday, June 11. Main Event Workshops are aimed at finding innovative solutions to the industry’s pressing challenges, with Pawl’s Workshop focused primarily on how data, algorithms, platforms & connectivity can replace traditional infrastructure.
  • Seun Phillips, managing director of PlanetM at the MEDC, who is moderating a panel – Show Me the Money – from 3:30 – 4 p.m. on Tuesday, June 11, focused on opportunities, challenges and advice for startups seeking funding in the new mobility space. Panelists include representatives from Aptiv, BP Ventures, Drive & NextGear, ZF Group and Jeffries.
  • Alongside seven corporate partners including Faurecia Ventures, LEAR Corporation, Motherson Innovations, City of Detroit, Fontinalis Partners, Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) and Magna International, PlanetM is also hosting match meetings throughout the week at EcoMotion, connecting local Israeli startups with Michigan-based automakers.

About the Israel Innovation Authority

The Israel Innovation Authority, responsible for the country’s innovation policy, is an independent and impartial public entity that operates for the benefit of the Israeli innovation ecosystem and Israeli economy as a whole. Its role is to nurture and develop Israeli innovation resources, while creating and strengthening the infrastructure and framework needed to support the entire knowledge industry. The Israel Innovation Authority provides a variety of practical tools and funding platforms aimed at addressing the dynamic and changing needs of the local and international innovation ecosystems. For more information, visit our site: Join us on: LinkedIn, Facebook, YouTube.

About Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC)

The Michigan Economic Development Corporation is the state’s marketing arm and lead advocate for business development, job awareness and community development with the focus on growing Michigan’s economy. For more information on the MEDC and our initiatives, visit For Pure Michigan® tourism information, your trip begins at Join the conversation on: Facebook Instagram LinkedIn, and Twitter.