Israel trade rep opens doors for int’l. expansion

Dayton-based CommuterAds — which has contracts with 13 public transportation authorities across the United States — is now in talks to bring its messaging technologies to Israel’s public transportation sector, thanks to Hadas Bar-Or, trade rep for the Dayton-Israel Regional Trade Alliance.

“Andy Schwartz was telling us about this amazing trip that he had through DRITA and his company, Lion,” said Russ Gottesman, CEO of CommuterAds.

Bar-Or then arranged for Gottesman and CommuterAds Senior New Business Development Director Ann Berger to attend the Digital-Life-Design Tel Aviv Conference, Sept. 27 and 28. She also set up meetings for Gottesman and Berger with 12 Israeli transportation sector agencies, including Israel’s Ministry of Transport.

“That was one of the top five business meetings I’ve ever had in my career,” Gottesman said of his time with a representative of the Ministry of Transport. “He was articulate, he was understanding, he helped us, he walked us through the cultural differences between the states and Israel.”

Gottesman said CommuterAds came away with requests for partnership outlines with two of Israel’s top four transit agencies.

“In Israel, the extra layer is you have to get approval through the Ministry of Transport, that controls the entire transportation industry,” he added.

Israel’s largest billboard company expressed interest in adding its inventory to CommuterAds’ online marketplace buying tool. The CommuterAds buying tool allows businesses to access its inventory in real time online.

Gottesman and Berger also discussed a potential partnership with an Israeli company to provide coding for back-end development of its marketplace buying tool. They’ve even hired an Israeli vendor to design CommuterAds’ interior office space in Dayton.

“What’s great about DRITA that we didn’t know is, I’m not sure Ann and I could have secured any of the 12 meetings that we had, on our own,” Gottesman said. “Hadas is highly networked. And for us to secure a meeting with the Ministry of Transport on the day that they were coordinating transportation for over 70 world leaders for the funeral of Shimon Peres — and still kept that meeting with us — was amazing.”

— Marshall Weiss

To read the complete November 2016 Dayton Jewish Observer, click here.

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