Do More Faster! Join the Techstars TLV Hybrid Accelerator In the Blooming Israeli Tech Ecosystem

Oct 19, 2020
Innovation, lightbulb, sunrise

By Hilla Ovil-Brenner, Managing Director of Techstars Tel Aviv

The Israeli tech scene has once more proved its resilience. Here’s how.

The Israeli tech sector had a successful second quarter in 2020, raising 2.5 billion in 170 deals! 

COVID-19 has accelerated many trends toward technology adoption, such as digital payments, anti-fraud solutions, live tracking of data, and also advanced health-tech technologies to prevent, cure, and adapt usages to the pandemic situation.

Israel is one of the hottest startup hubs in the world and home to the highest number of startups per capita in the world (6600+ active startups) and Israeli high-tech exits (M&A, IPO, VC-backed) continue to outperform industry averages. 

Rising from the desert sands, this young country has aptly earned the nickname “Startup Nation” and, against all odds, has become a global center for innovation. Israel is ranked as the second-most innovative country in the world, after the U.S. This is an outstanding achievement, showing the ability of Israeli entrepreneurs to create high quality solutions with substantial potential to help mitigate and eradicate this crisis.

Israeli innovators are pioneering technologies in diverse sectors spanning from autonomous vehicles, medtech, cyber and agritech, and the country consistently ranks in the top-tier of the most innovative nations in the world according to the Bloomberg index. The Israel startup scene is now rated #1 outside the Silicon Valley, and as many as 300 MNCs have set up a R&D center there, including Apple’s only outside the US.

In terms of speciality, Israel is now famous for its expertise in Cybersecurity, but also in mobile with success stories such as Appixia or Waze. Israel produced tech giants like Amdocs and Mellanox, and boasts among the highest number of companies traded on NASDAQ. There are nearly 300 recognized investing entities in Israel, 30% of which are international VCs, private equity firms and corporate investors. 

Read our mini-interview with Techstars Tel Aviv Managing Director Hilla Ovil-Brenner.

What Makes the Israeli Tech Ecosystem So Special? 

01. A “never give up” state of mind

Israel has a history of overcoming obstacles and hardship with ingenuity, from the early agricultural pioneers who developed drip irrigation to survive a harsh climate to the engineers who developed cutting-edge defence technology after a painful history of wars.

Another factor often attributed to Israel’s success is the Israeli Chutzpah, or audacity. It's the flexibility, lack of strict hierarchy, and the persistence and grit of its people that are crucial for success. A highly diverse nation of numerous ethnicities and religions, and a melting pot of cultures from around the world, Israelis have cultivated a unique approach to solving some of the world's greatest challenges. 

02. The Techstars Tel Aviv Accelerator

Given the favorable ecosystem, Techstars recently decided to launch its city accelerator program in Tel Aviv!

Today the mission at Techstars is to make innovation accessible to everyone, everywhere. 

Techstars does this by connecting startups, investors, corporations, and cities to create a more sustainable and inclusive world. The Techstars Tel Aviv Accelerator offers startups from anywhere in the world the opportunity to join the global Techstars network and quickly accelerate their business. 

The program is running over three months, and you will benefit from an office space in the center of Tel Aviv and will have the opportunity to grow your business. In the first month, we will set up the maximum of relevant meetings with mentors for you (“Mentor Madness) and organize workshops with experts to help you on specific aspects of your business. The second month is dedicated to execution, based on your priorities. 

Learn more about what makes Techstars mentors so special. Read the Techstars Mentor Manifesto.

“One of the highlights from me was execution month...we reached our very aggressive KPIs, I was really proud of what we achieved.” said Mor Panfil, COO of Skillset (Techstars Tel Aviv 2020)

 The third and last month will be dedicated to Demo Day preparation and meetings with investors. Thanks to its hybrid program, the pandemic is not stopping founders from accelerating their growth nor is it keeping investors from investing. 

“The Techstars network helped us get our first connections. We have been in touch with our first investors thanks to Techstars” said Jacques Amselem, CTO of Albo (Techstars Tel Aviv 2020)

How Techstars Accelerators Operate Under Covid: The Hybrid Accelerator 

This summer was singular. In the midst of the COVID-19 crisis, the Techstars Tel Aviv team faced the challenge head-on and launched the first ever hybrid city accelerator, welcoming an exceptional class of nine Israeli and one Danish companies.

The Techstars Tel Aviv Accelerator invites startups, mentors, VCs and partners from around the globe to  join the Tel Aviv ecosystem through a crafted virtual-physical accelerator program. From the technical logistics of insuring flawless set up of cameras and lights to content tailored especially to virtual participants, the team is pouring endless creativity and dedication into running a hybrid program.  

Indeed, every event — be it a workshop, founder story, all hands, CEO breakfast, you name it — goes seamlessly online, and continues to foster engagement and a thriving community. 

Techstars Tel Aviv delivers a great experience for both the virtual and in-person participants of the accelerator. Connecting people is part of the mission of Techstars and this will forever be. 

“One of the best parts of the program was meeting all the amazing people from around the world in such a short time.” said Omri Shtayer, CEO of Lagoon.

The application deadline for the next class of Techstars Tel Aviv is December 20, 2020. The program will run for 13 weeks during the spring of 2021, from March to June. Apply here!

About the Author
Hilla Ovil-Brenner

Hilla Ovil-Brenner is managing director of the Techstars Tel Aviv Accelerator. A serial entrepreneur in the high-tech industry for the past 20 years, she is a true believer in innovation and team spirit. Hilla specializes in turning dreams into reality through passion, experience, and skill. She was named one of the top 100 influential people in the hi-tech ecosystem by geektime. Hill is the Founder of Yaazamiyot, the biggest female founders group in Israel.