The first accelerator program for Italian startups in Israel is opening in the Red Sea resort city of Eilat.
The accelerator is cosponsored by the Italian Embassy in Israel and the Intesa Sanpaolo Innovation Center, a division of the Italy-based Intesa Sanpaolo Bank, which has some 12 million customers around the world.
Forty applications were received for the program. The winning seven companies will be housed for three months at the Eilat Tech Center, which is part of the Arieli Capital Group, a US-based holding group with offices in Israel and New York.
The Eilat Tech Center coworking facility will provide mentors, tutors and networking meetings to the participating startups. Each has a budget of €10,000 ($11,000) from the Italian Embassy – €8,500 for the accelerator and €1,500 for living expenses.
While the names of the startups were not released, they span health, food-tech, smart mobility and clean-tech.
The selection committee was headed by the chief scientist of the Italian Embassy in Israel, Stefano Ventura, and Dani Schaumann of the Intesa Sanpaolo Innovation Center.
Also on the committee were Danny Biran, former vice president of the Israel Innovation Authority, Jeremie Kletzkine of Start-Up Nation Central, and Dan Fishel of the crowdsourced venture capital firm OurCrowd based in Jerusalem.
“The program is a new means of leveraging the synergy that exists between the two economic systems: our world-class manufacturing ecosystem and the Israeli ecosystem focused on innovation and venture capital,” said Gianluigi Benedetti, Italy’s ambassador to Israel.
The program will end with an expo and pitch event where the startups will try to win over investors from Israel, Italy and the United States.