By Tali Tsipori
Globes, Tel Aviv, Israel.
Although Israel’s high-tech industry is already quite mature, and being a start-up entrepreneur is not really an innovative idea, founding a company, let alone a company that will survive, is not easy.
Moreover, the process is liable to turn out to be quite hard as time goes by, with the pace of technology innovation almost as fast as a Formula 1 racing car.
This is the main reason why every entrepreneur, even one for whom this is not his first start-up, needs support and advice, as well as office space to work in, and it is the reason technology incubators and accelerators are flourishing.
There are both private and government incubators — incubators supported by the Office of the Chief Scientist. In Israel at least, the accelerator program is a structure that is much more suited for new outstanding companies and offers programs that are usually shorter than those of incubators.
Below, “Globes” reviews the four incubators and accelerator programs which are participating in the SmartUp3 competition.
8200 EISP: not just military intelligence
8200 EISP, the Entrepreneurship and Innovation Support Program, is one of Israel’s oldest and most successful accelerator programs, by amount of capital raised, participating in the SmartUp3. Managing director Guy Katsovich says that the program is not intended only for veterans of the IDF Military Intelligence Unit 8200. Veterans of this unit account for a substantial proportion of Israel’s information security entrepreneurs.
“Each year, we admit to the program 20 companies out of 400 applicants. We do not invest in these companies, but only provide them office space, marketing, business, legal, and other advice. This is not a for-profit program,” says Katsovich, adding that the program receives financial support from sponsors, such as Battery Ventures LP, Bank Hapoalim (TASE: POLI), and Ernst & Young Israel.