Start-Up Nation Central, the leading non-profit which connects international companies to Israeli tech firms, is naming Guy Hilton as its new general manager.

While the firm has already connected more than 600 Israeli companies with customers from 40 countries, the five-year-old organization is ramping up its activities with the appointment of Hilton.

“We are responding to growing interest from across the globe and from within Israel. To meet this demand, we are developing talent within our organization and adding new talent,” CEO Eugene Kandel said, who Hilton will report to.

Hilton, 43, is an Israeli businessman with Irish roots who has previously worked for Amdocs, Kodak and Microsoft.

“We believe we can deliver even better service to the local [Israeli] ecosystem, and provide it with stronger and more impactful connections to corporations, governments, institutions and leaders around the world looking for innovation," Hilton said.

Start-Up Nation Central connects many companies and government agencies which know that Israel is home to cutting-edge technology and want to hire the local know-how but are unsure how to navigate the Israeli market.

Through its Start-Up Nation Finder, which includes more than 5,000 Israeli firms, platform offers international companies a starting place from which to locate Israeli companies offering cutting-edge technology.

“If you’re a corporate and you’re not here in Israel, you are at a competitive disadvantage,” said CEO Kandel, explaining why multinational companies would look to access the Israeli market.

Many of their financial services clients, for example, are looking at opening R&D centers or to embed Israeli technology into their company. Other sought-out industries include cybersecurity, digital healthcare, and the “internet-of-things,” or smart devices.  In terms of online queries, most companies hail from the US, India and the United Kingdom.

The non-profit’s connections between international companies and Israeli firms have led to dozens of contracts, investments, and the opening of local innovation hubs.

Start-Up Nation Central came about after billionaire hedge fund manager Paul Singer read Dan Senor’s best-selling book “Start-Up Nation” and sought ways to connect multinational corporations with burgeoning innovation trends in Israel.

As a public service non-profit, Start-Up Nation brings both foreign companies and Israeli start-ups together without charging either side for its database.

Hilton will now run the non-profit’s day-to-day operations, marketing and product development.