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Intesa Sanpaolo opens accelerator for Italian startups in Israel

Source: Intesa Sanpaolo

This January, the first accelerator programme for Italian startups in Israel will be launched by the Italian Embassy in Israel and Intesa Sanpaolo Innovation Center, the Intesa Sanpaolo Group company led by Maurizio Montagnese.

Ten startups were selected through a tender process published in January 2019. Seven of them will be hosted for three months at the Eilat Tech Center (Arieli Group), one of Israel's leading startup accelerators, to develop new business ideas in one of the most advanced innovation ecosystems in the world.

A total of 40 applications were received and the Evaluation Committee selected the best startups from various sectors, from health tech to smart mobility, from food tech to clean tech. The committee composed of the Chief Scientist of the Italian Embassy in Israel, Stefano Ventura, and Dani Schaumann of Intesa Sanpaolo Innovation Center, also involved Danny Biran, former Vice President of the Israel Innovation Authority, Jeremie Kletzkine of Startup Nation Central and Dan Fishel of OurCrowd.

"Thanks to the accelerator programme, seven young Italian startups will have the opportunity to develop their business idea for three months in "Startup Nation's" extraordinary and dynamic ecosystem. The programme 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. This is an objective that the foreign ministers of the two countries also shared during the Rome MED Dialogue" - highlighted Gianluigi Benedetti, the Italian Ambassador to Israel.

"Intesa Sanpaolo Innovation Center has been actively collaborating with Israel for several years through various initiatives with innovation hubs, investors and institutions, in collaboration with the Italian Embassy - commented Guido de Vecchi, General Manager of Intesa Sanpaolo Innovation Center. This initiative is an excellent opportunity to offer a select number of startups access to a real international scale-up opportunity in a process aimed at enhancing the Italian innovation ecosystem".

“This exciting partnership will connect the two fast growing innovation ecosystems of Israel and Italy and provide Italian startups with a unique opportunity to connect to the heart of one of the world's top high tech scenes, the Israeli ecosystem. We have high hopes for the future of this partnership and believe the program will launch the participating companies forward and produce impactful new technology companies bringing the best out of these two great nations, Italy and Israel”, said Or Haviv, Partner & head of Global innovation platforms, Arieli Capital.

The program's final event, to be held in Tel Aviv, will include an expo and a high end pitch event, hosting the leading representatives from government, industry and investors from Israel, Italy/Europe and US.

The program was established under the Italian-Israeli Agreement for industrial, scientific and technological cooperation and aims to develop Italian startups in what is considered to be the most innovative country in the world: according to international rankings, Israel is ranked first in terms of startups per capita and patent applications, with 4.1% of GDP being invested in research and development. Moreover, the country is renowned for its outstanding ability to attract foreign capital (around 47% compared to the European average of 9%): in 2018 alone, Israeli startups raised roughly 6.1 billion dollars.

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