Elaborations by Rachel Rosenzweig, Made in JLM
3-Sentence Pitch on the local Startup Ecosystem
The Jerusalem tech and innovation ecosystem has seen rapid growth since 2012 and is continuing to flourish at an impressive rate. In 2015, Jerusalem gained media acclaim as one of the top 5 emerging tech hubs (TIME Magazine) and in 2017 as one of the top 30 tech ecosystems (Startup Compass). In addition, the two highest Israeli exits have also been by Jerusalem based companies (Mobileye to Intel in 2017 at $15.3bn, and NDS to Cisco in 2012 for $5bn).
Sectoral Focus of the Startup Ecosystem
The startup ecosystem is mainly focused on software, mobile, pharma/ biotechnology/ internet, medical devices/diagnostics.
Local Financing Landscape/Presence of VCs
There are currently 15 VCs present in the city. In 2015, annual investments in Jerusalem-based startups was $272mil. Some prominent names are:
- Jumpspeed Ventures
- PICO Partners
- Terra Venture Partners
- Jerusalem Global Ventures
- Shavit Capital Fund
- Cornerstone Venture Partners
Furthermore, the startup ecosystem is highly supported by government funding through the Jerusalem Development Authority and is focused on aiding startups through the organizations, Jnext and BioJerusalem.
Presence and Industrial Focus of Established Industries
There are a number of established industries and multinational R&D centers based in Jerusalem such as:
- Kaspersky lab
- TEVA Pharmaceuticals
Presence of Incubators/Accelerators
There are 15 accelerators and coworking spaces present in Jerusalem and the number has grown noticeably in the past few years, keeping in mind that there were none in 2012. MassChallenge, which has the world’s largest accelerator in Boston, opened its branch in Jerusalem in 2015, bringing over 50 startups each round to Jerusalem, and bring startups from all over the world. Here are some of them:
Presence of Research Institutes and Universities
There are more than 100 research centers in Jerusalem, 43% are in the field of biotechnology research and 30% of all Israeli academic scientific research in technology is done in Jerusalem.
Jerusalem hosts some of the world’s most renowned universities. The Hebrew University of Jerusalem has over 43,000 students and has 5 affiliated teaching hospitals, including the Hadassah Medical Center. There are a number of university-based accelerators, such as HUStart and Atobe, which facilitate interaction between entrepreneurial thought, innovation, and resources that are available from the university itself.
Other institutions that have a great impact on research are the Bezalel Academy of Art and Design (50% of design graduates come from Jerusalem), Azrieli College of Engineering, and the Hadassah Academic College.
With just 20 events occurring in the Jerusalem tech ecosystem in 2012, the number of events has dramatically increased to over 400 in the year 2017. There are numerous event series in the Jerusalem tech ecosystem that is focused on technology and innovation and additionally, there are events that facilitate networking.
- Happy Hour JLM (Made in JLM): For one night every month, the Jerusalem tech community gathers to network, pitch, and drink beer. Happy Hour JLM is the ultimate opportunity for investors, startup founders, aspiring entrepreneurs, and tech community leaders to come together and have casual drinks among key players in the city’s tech community. There is a different theme each month, in which relevant and high profile speakers of that field come to speak at the event. Between 150 and 200 members of the Jerusalem tech system join these events.
- OurCrowd Summit (OurCrowd): This is an annual Summit in Jerusalem. Thousands of attendees from around the globe join – investors, venture capitalists, multinational partners, entrepreneurs, journalists, and more.
- INTV Conference: A yearly conference international conference on innovation in television. Global industry leaders join in presenting the future of the screen.