The Startup Nation. Light years from where the current assent in the early 1990’s started. It feels like the country, and the ecosystem is only getting started. Israel’s presence is not only pervasive in the general global tech ecosystem but has dominated specific verticals such as blockchain, cybersecurity, drone technology, and agritech. None of the startups’ success could have happened however without major ecosystem players such as VCs, universities, and accelerators.
Over the last few years, accelerators have been springing up in the Israeli ecosystem, with a range of different models to accelerate startups’ rapid growth. They run the full gamut; corporate accelerators started by large multinationals to programs connected to funds and institutions such as colleges. With conference season in full swing, and now being a great time to visit Israel with lots of activity going on, let’s go thru who made the Clearview Partners cut for the top 5 accelerators to know in Israel for 2018.
One of the major upcoming players in the Israeli accelerator scene, this program offers very strong mentorship, corporate relationships, and a very hands-on approach. They use a non-profit model and do not take equity or fees. This 3-month program approaches their “deep mentoring” work with the selected startups with the ethos of “by founders, for founders”. SigmaLab’s model is showing results as they already have one exit under their belt. Partnerships play a major role in helping propel startups, and this accelerator works with young gun VC Entrée Capital as well as major ecosystem players such as Amazon AWS and Leumi-card.
Jerusalem has invested significantly in making itself a more desirable location for startups to launch and grow their business. In growing a robust ecosystem academic institution are central to the growth of any ecosystem. Israel has a legacy of educational institutions (many founded before the state itself), and in recent years many new colleges have been created. The AtoBe Entrepreneurship Center is part of the Azrieli College of Engineering and offers companies a 6-month program that helps founders grow their ideas. What separates this accelerator from others in the country is the mix of both academia (in this case engineering) and practical hands-on mentoring.
The brand, the myth, the legend. This accelerator is an extension of the legendary (and if you ask any their alumni, one of the most important) intelligence units in the IDF. With the exposure that the now classic book Startup Nation gave this unit, its status is associated with excellence globally. With a robust and active alumni network, excellent mentorship, and a deep understanding of the ecosystem this accelerator is an example of an outgrowth of the best of what the IDF has to offer. As true to the egalitarian nature of the Israeli ecosystem the program is not limited to alumni of this unit and is open to all entrepreneurs to apply.
The Junction is a good example of an accelerator that has developed high-performance teams such as Honeybook, EatWith, and Meerkat that have entered the US market. The program is 6 months and promising startups who are accepted receive a 100K dollar investment, office space and mentoring from the team at F2 Capital. With a history as part of the Israel ecosystem and strong international partnerships alumni, The Junction’s cohorts have had three exits.
Microsoft has a stellar reputation in playing the role of a major ecosystem partner in the Israeli ecosystem. Corporate accelerators always play a major role in every ecosystem, and in Israel, they have contributed to the growth of the ecosystem. Year after year this program performs at a high level of excellence, helping young Israeli startups with sales, marketing, and technical support (the former two being something Israeli startups need if they want to enter international markets and succeed).
Innovation is one of the key recipes for success in 2018, and this trend will continue as people and organizations around the globe are looking for solutions. Organizations that are looking to open an office in Israel or search for the latest technology that will give them that edge turn to Clearview Partners as their go-to resource and local on the ground partner.
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The Clearview Team