The German Israeli Startup Exchange Program (GISEP) is a non-monetary platform initiated by the German Startups Association and supported by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) to strengthen and foster the German-Israeli economic relations in the field of startups. The main aim of the GISEP is to promote an exchange between both startup ecosystems. Within the GISEP, the German Startups Association acts as a neutral intermediary channelling the information flow between the Israeli and the German startup ecosystem.
The GISEP wants to support both German and Israeli founders in their efforts to not only understand but ultimately also being able to access the other country’s ecosystem. To this end, the GISEP seeks to facilitate access to the German market for Israeli startups and vice versa through 1) information, 2) capacity building, 3) networks, and 4) B-2-B networking opportunities.
First, the GISEP develops a “Go-To-Market Guide” for Germany. The guide provides Israeli startups with transparent, English-speaking, and condensed information on the German startup ecosystem as well as the administrative steps of an expansion to Germany.
Second, the GISEP wants to support the capacity development of Israeli entrepreneurs seeking to expand to Germany through a range of expert workshops. The workshops will take place in Germany and Israel and will mainly focus on issues concerning internationalization such as navigating the different legal environments and the main bureaucratic pitfalls.
Third, the GISEP built a broad network of honorary GISEP ambassadors and mentors in Israel and in Germany as contact people accessible to startups in each country. The network consists inter alia of founders, investors, experts, corporate representatives, and legal advisers.
Fourth, the GISEP seeks to create opportunities for B-2-B networking to connect German corporates and SMEs with Israeli startups. As the co-organizer of the Scale11 during the CeBIT (March 2017) as well as partner to the Young Tech Enterprises exhibition area at HANNOVER MESSE (April 2017), the German Startups Association can provide access to major B-2-B networking platforms in Germany.
The German Startups Association has been founded by founders in 2012. Headquartered in Berlin with several regional representations, the association is constantly growing and now has about 650 members representing more than 500 startups from various sectors and in all stages. As the main voice and representative of the German startup ecosystem, the German Startups Association is committed to establishing an entrepreneurial friendly environment, to advice on legislation, to develop proposals that encourage a culture of self-employment, and to reduce the barriers to starting a business. In addition, the German Startups Association conducts research on both the national and the international level.
Furthermore, in terms of connecting both ecosystems, the German Startups Association builds on its experiences as the organizer of the annual “German Tel Aviv Week” (GTAW). The GTAW is a delegation trip of German founders, investors, corporate representatives, and politicians to Israel.
The GISEP is coordinated by Sascha Schubert (Deputy Chairman), Mirco Dragowski (Managing Director), Lisa Schreier (Head of Research & International Strategy), and Lukas Gabriel Wiese (Manager Research & International Strategy).
Sascha Schubert serves as Deputy Chairman of the German Startups Association and is responsible for the realization of their events such as Exit Con, Growth Company Forum, Startup Camp Berlin, German Silicon Valley Week, German NYC Week and the CeBIT Scale 11. Sascha started three companies and two non-governmental organizations in his entrepreneurial life and shared his insights and experiences as a mentor at Startup Bootcamp, IBM SmartCamp and Founders Institute.
Mirco Dragowski is the Managing Director of the German Startups Association and is responsible for the control and oversight the daily operations. In addition, Mirco maintains the dialogue between the members and the board. Mirco is a lawyer by profession and a former member of the state parliament of Berlin (Abgeordnetenhaus von Berlin) for the Free Democratic Party.
Lukas Wiese is Head of Research & GISEP Project Lead at the German Startups Association. He is responsible for the project management of the German Startup Monitor and the expansion of the association’s international relations. Lukas completed his Bachelor’s degree in International Relations in the Netherlands and Mexico and graduated with a Master of Public Policy (MPP) from the Hertie School of Governance (Berlin) and Bocconi University (Milan). He has experience in the governmental sector and in the field of political communication and interest representation.