Corporate innovation has become more than just a buzzword over the past few years. With many industries facing (in some cases serious disruption, think Uber and the taxi industry) to small startups that are slowly chipping away at their business (such as in the fintech space) every major multinational has opened some version of an office in Israel. Their presence does vary, ranging from working directly with the Israeli government's Innovation Authority to having a team member sitting at a working space doing innovation scouting. This could include anything from scouting relevant technology trends, deploying capital in Israeli startups, or the more traditional corporate R&D centers. There is a lot going on in this space so the team here at Clearview Partners is going to give you an overview of some of the notable programs in this two-part series.
This government funded organization (originally known as the Office of the Chief Scientist of Israel's Ministry of Economy) laid down the groundwork for the Startup Nation alongside initiatives such as Yozma. We would be remiss to not include this organization as they offer financial incentives to international corporates, assistance in connecting to local partners, and a legacy of making Israel the innovation powerhouse it is.
Started by serial entrepreneur and investor Barak Goldstein this is Israel’s most well-known ideation center. This program offers an example of local Israeli entrepreneurship in the service of corporates who want to go beyond their comfort zone in terms of how to think about solving their business problems. Parlaying the legacy of education in Israel this corporate innovation lab offers several programs for executives ranging from shorter education sprints to month long programs.
One of the original corporate innovation programs established in Israel in order to help Israeli startups tell their story. Coca-Cola has taken an interest in Israel because of its advancements in distillation and water related technology, but storytelling is at the heart of this legacy brand. The program is vertical agnostic and parlays Coca-Cola’s global presence to reach markets as well as their expertise in commercializing products.
The international home of fintech startups with offices in places such as New York and London as well as Tel Aviv. While RISE is a working space, we’ve decided to include them because they’ve built a notable fintech ecosystem and have partnered with world class accelerators such as Techstars. When it comes to hosting some of the best tech events in Tel Aviv RISE stands out as a worthwhile place to connect with fellow entrepreneurs and investors.
Citi opened an innovation center in Israel early in the game and helped build international credibility in the Startup Nation ecosystem. There is a focus on finance related startups and areas such as AI, customer experience, blockchain, and other verticals that are part of the fintech ecosystem. As this recent Globes article highlights Citi Accelerator TLV head Tsafrir Atar states that, "fintech has become one of the most prominent areas of venture capital funds among Israeli and international investors. Our companies receive assistance in business development from Citi globally and are given access to Citi’s vast network through which - we have created hundreds of business opportunities for our startups. We will continue to lead and support the local fintech industry that is emerging as a global leader."
Innovation is what is going to lead us forward in the coming years, not just in generating business and creating new markets but also solving some of the world’s most pressing challenges. We’re confident that Israel will continue to be world class in this area, and in fact will only get stronger as more multinationals open offices here. Clearview Partners represents foreign companies in Israel, assisting them with the setup of local business activities and offices in Israel.