With coverage of the delegation making its way to media outlets such as Globes, Strategyeye, Galey Tzahal, Diginomica, the JC and the Financial Times, this year’s TeXchange programme was a highly successful one, on all counts.
This was not our first outing into the Future Retail arena. Last summer we organised the UK Future Retail Delegation to Israel, where we introduced Shop Direct to TeXchange 2014 delegate Cimagine. Discussions ensued and this month Shop Direct will be launching a new app using Cimagine’s augmented reality technology.
As with last year’s programme, TeXchange 2014 for Future Retail was a joint project between the Economic and Trade Mission at the Embassy of Israel in London, the UK Israel Tech Hub at the British Embassy in Tel Aviv and the Israel Export and International Cooperation Institute.
With so many applicants for this year’s programme, the selection process was rigorous and extremely competitive: Fifteen Israeli start-ups were selected from over 70 applicants and they were chosen according to their unique offering and relevance to the UK market. As such, those final 15 won their opportunity to come to the UK to present their solutions for the UK retail industry.
In truth, it was an intense and high-pressured week with the Israeli startups working hard in over 500 meetings. However, the results are now starting to show with the continuing and deepening conversations on how British retailers can implement these Israeli technological advances into their own operations.
Feedback on the week from both the British and Israeli participants in TeXchange Future Retail has been supremely positive. One of the UK’s leading retailers stated, “We were bowled over by the innovation we saw, and we wish to engage further with six of the startups we met on the night”
With their appetite whetted, we are now in the process of organising programmes for several UK retailers who have made the decision to visit Israel to gain further from Israel’s advances in Future Retail.
This TeXchange Future Retail Delegation has been lauded as a great example of how well these two countries are working together, and with UK Prime Minister, David Cameron, visiting Israel in that same week – signing several MoUs in the process (including one for digital government) – the week of 10 March 2014 has proven to be landmark week for the Israel-UK business relationship.
We are in midst of very exciting times and there is more great work ahead.