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  • Exequiel Lacovsky

Noga Plus Knowledge Sharing – Connecting Latin American corporates with Israeli Technologies.



KS stands for Knowledge Sharing. At Noga, the continued Sharing of Knowledge empowers the Israeli ecosystem by learning from the experience and challenges of Latin American enterprises. KS enables Latin American Corporates finding advanced Israeli technologies and state-of-the-art solutions for their challenges.


The Noga’s KS aims to connect experienced innovators from the Israeli ecosystem with directors and experts from large Latin American industrial corporations. In addition, it seeks to promote discussions and share participants’ knowledge and insights. We organized two KS this year. The first one in May 2022 focused on “how to attract startups and how to work with them from the corporate perspective, and our special guest was Grupo Bimbo. The second one on December 5th focused on “from Traditional Industry to Industry 4.0: Investing in startups to push forward innovation” and our special guest was Quimmco Group from Monterrey Mexico.



1st KS Forum


Last May, Noga Plus conducted the 1st KS; Grupo Bimbo from Mexico, the biggest bread producer in the world, was our guest. Grupo Bimbo manufactures more than 13,000 products and has one of the largest distribution networks in the world, with more than 3 million points of sale, around 58,000 routes, and more than 133,000 employees.


Grupo Bimbo was represented by Constantino Matouk, VP of Bimbo Ventures, and Patricia Villalobos, VP of R&D, both high-level directors with enormous experience. The meeting was held at the Nike R&D center, managed by Judith Halioua. It included the participation of Lool VC founder - Avichay Nissenbaum, Seagate Innovation Group manager Noa Franko (not in the picture), Gady Krumholtz-VP Corporate Development EMEA and APAC at SAP, and Rina Fainstein and Yosef Bensadon from Noga Plus.


The main topic of the meeting was how to attract startups and how to work with them from the corporate perspective. During the session, Bimbo’s executives could learn about Israel’s innovation experience, and they shared the company’s challenges in promoting innovation and working with startups.



The following points summarize the discussed topics:


● One of the main issues that the participants agreed on was focusing on the company’s needs instead of what the start-up offers.


Company barriers to adopting innovation generated by startups.

o Due to the risk-averse nature of the company management, in some companies, an extra barrier to innovation is the “not made here,” where the business units are unwilling to accept solutions developed outside the company.


o Innovation management offices are not enough, as they often need more power to implement new solutions. To overcome this barrier, they need to work with the business divisions that need to implement them.


o As the performance of each division is assessed on quarterly results, risking resources in a new project that cannot offer results in the short term is a risk that many managers are not willing to take.


● The participant agreed that each organization needs to offer incentives to promote innovation in their company. To do so, they need to set clear KPIs and understand that the companies must learn that failing is part of the innovation process. Having a higher tolerance for failure when undertaking new projects is something that companies have to promote.


Miscommunication within large multinationals was also a topic addressed. Different company units do not communicate or know about other’s business projects. In some cases, two business units may search for the exact solutions, or a solution that is not right for one business division might be suitable for the other. An example of Oracle Israel was brought to the discussion: A division disregarded a specific technology, but another division acquired it.


Challenges in the search for technologies:

o From the corporate side, they seek solutions for the real challenges the business units have; hence they need to filter many companies. From the VC’s perspective, the companies do not need to focus only on “what is under the lamp” but have a more comprehensive view of new technologies that will impact their business in the long term. Companies must envision which technologies might disrupt the industry in the next ten years and find ways to control them.

● One of the challenges that Grupo Bimbo faces when seeking new solutions is validation through POCs. Although the company has a presence in Israel, the closest market is Spain. Therefore, Bimbo has difficulties sending materials and arranging the people carrying out the POCs.



2nd KS Forum


Noga Plus 2nd KS was held on Dec 5th; our special guest was Grupo Quimmco, represented by Arturo Martinez, Innovation & Technology Leader. Quimmco Group is an industrial Mexican family-owned consortium with annual sales of over 1 billion USD, servicing world-class customers in Mexico and abroad with high standards of quality, competitiveness, and innovation.

The following participants joined the panel:


Yaron Flint, Global Technology Validation from Stanley Black and Decker

Yaron Kniajer, Managing Partner & Co-Founder at Surround Ventures

Rina Fainstein, CEO, and Exequiel Lacovsky, Israel Project Manager, both from Noga Plus

Daniela Talamantes, Global director Bimbo Ventures

Yoni Heilbronn, Managing Partner, IL Ventures

Ilana Soloducho - Partner in the Hi-Tech Practice Group, and Meny Broid - Partner and both Co-Heads of the Latin America and Spain Desk at Pearl Cohen's Tel Aviv office, hosted the KS in their offices.


The main topic addressed by the panelists was “From Traditional Industry to Industry 4.0: Investing in startups to push forward innovation”.




The following points summarize the discussed topics:


● The role of venture capital (VC) and investment in startups was addressed. In this sense, the VCs in the panel stressed the need to educate corporations to partner with startups and the challenges of finding the right technology to meet companies’ needs. In addition, they pointed out that their role should be to function as interpreters of the companies and the customers of the startups. In other words, the investors' role is to underlie and set goals in terms of time and budget, and they have to show real achievements at the end of the day to both the corporates and the startups.


● The role of venture capital (VC) and investment in startups was addressed. In this sense, the VCs in the panel stressed the need to educate corporations to partner with startups and the challenges of finding the right technology to meet companies’ needs. In addition, they pointed out that their role should be to function as interpreters of the companies and the customers of the startups. In other words, the investors' role is to underlie and set goals in terms of time and budget, and they have to show real achievements at the end of the day to both the corporates and the startups.


● The roundtable tackled the issue of understanding the corporate mindset and how to adapt it to the startup’s perspective. In this regard, to invest or have a commercial relationship between corporates from Mexico and Startups from Israel, the topic of countries ‘culture was approached; Meny Broid mentioned some differences and similarities between the Mexican and Israeli cultures. Broid mentioned some factors to be considered, such as the famous Israeli “chutzpa” and the fact that Israeli speak directly. In some cases, they can get rude, while Mexicans tend to be more polite.


● Another critical point addressed was the importance of having a person/presence in Israel for foreign corporates that want to break into the Israel startup ecosystem.


● Arturo Martinez pointed out that Quimmco, a family-owned company, has recently changed its leadership, and the third generation took over. These internal changes at the leadership level prompted strategic decisions, mainly on how to speed up the adoption of innovations. Hence, Quimmco looks for partners in developing solutions for the company’s challenges instead of buying those solutions. Quimmco looks for partners that can bring added value to the company and increase productivity. For that purpose, Arturo underlined the importance of studying the company’s needs and problems before adopting innovations.


● The participants shared their success stories in the last stage of the roundtable. Daniela Talamantes, from Bimbo, talked about how she discovered a cybersecurity startup specializing in protecting production lines and preventing machinery hacking. She mentioned the successful POC Bimbo implemented in one of its units in Spain and how Bimbo ended up not only implementing the technology in all of its factories in Mexico but also investing in the company.


● Another topic discussed was the importance of brand building in Israel for foreign companies, the meaning of success for either startups or corporates, how to measure success, and the need to define key performance indicators (KPIs).

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