Elaborations by Tzvi Ben-Elya, Startup Village Yokneam
3-Sentence Pitch on the local Startup Ecosystem:
The investment grants and tax benefits that companies receive for locating in a National Priority Area A city like Yokneam, combined its location on the main junction that connects both Jerusalem and Tel Aviv with northern Israel have made Yokneam the center of northern Israel’s startup scene. The wealth of cultural activities for young families along with the low cost of housing attract the type of entrepreneurs and professionals who are more interested in quality of life, nature and educational opportunities for their children than in the benefits of the city that Tel Aviv can provide. The combination of financial incentives and a growing source of high quality professionals have turned Yokneam into Israel’s fastest growing startup ecosystem with nearly 150 high tech companies who export close to $6 billion USD annually.
Sectoral Focus of the Startup Ecosystem
Yokneam has a diverse mix of high tech companies, especially in sectors that require longer term research and development such as medical devices, semiconductors and network infrastructure. Each of the four technology incubators located in Yokneam focus on different sectors.
Local Financing Landscape/Presence of VCs
The local financing landscape is based on government tax incentives and development grants, technology incubators, and investment sources based outside of the local area. Israel’s largest bank located the northern branch of it high-investment division in Yokneam. VCs based at nearby Technion as well as VCs in Tel-Aviv and overseas all invest in local companies.
Presence and Industrial Focus of Established Industries
Yokneam has a number of established companies of different sizes and with different industrial focuses.
In the semiconductor and network infrastructure industries, Mellanox is based in Yokneam; Marvell, MRV Communications and Kaminario all located their main Israeli R&D centers in Yokneam; and Amazon acquired Annapurna Labs two years ago. ADT, MicroPoint Pro, and SELA all develop and produce specialized tools for the semiconductor industry.
In the field of medical devices, Given Imaging (now part of Medtronic) pioneered in the field of GI capsules, Rewalk Robotics and UPnRIDE Robotics in the field of walking systems, Lumenis and Syneron are global leaders in laser and light-based technologies, and Biosense Webster (a Johnson&Johnson company) is a leader in the field of diagnosis and treatment of heart rhythm disorders.
Presence of Incubators/Accelerators
Yokneam has four technology incubators located in Yokneam, each of which focus on a different sector:
Presence of Research Institutes and Universities
Two major universities (Technion and University of Haifa), the Neve Ya’ar agricultural research institute, and the Oranim educational institute are all within a 20 minute radius.
For events in Yokneam please make sure to check the Startup Village Calendar.