Start Up Incubators

As massive repositories of potential ideas, the Israeli technological incubators have helped make Israel’s hi-tech entrepreneurship world-renowned. The Office of the Chief Scientist (OCS) of the Ministry of Industry and Trade takes great pride in implementing the government policy of encouraging and supporting industrial research and development in Israel at the earliest stages. Today, with both public and private incubators assisting entrepreneurs in turning their ideas into exportable commercial products, Israeli business ventures look forward to a promising future.

1. There are 24 incubators scattered throughout Israel, many of which have been recently privatized.
2. By the end of June 2004, more than 1000 projects had left the incubators (in addition to the 200 that remained). Of these “graduates,” 45% have continued on their own path.
3. Most of the ongoing projects have attracted private investments.
4. The total private investment obtained thus far is over US $773 million.
5. Approximately 200 projects are being carried out in the technological incubators today.
6. Some of the incubators are gradually becoming more specialized, after several projects in a shared discipline have matured there.
7. Breakdown of projects fields of activity

· Electronics / Communication 19%
·  Software 15%
·  Medical devices23%
·  Biotechnology 19%
·  Agriculture and environment 11%
·  Other 13%

Functions of the Incubator
8.The principal purpose of the technological incubator is to help entrepreneurs successfully implement and commercialize their projects. The following services are provided:

· Assistance in determining the technological and marketing applicability of the idea and drawing up an R&D plan.
· Assistance in obtaining the financial resources needed to carry out the project;
· Assistance in forming and organizing an R&D team.
· Professional and administrative counseling, guidance, and supervision.
·  Secretarial and administrative services, maintenance, procurements, accounting, and legal advice.
·  Assistance in raising capital and preparing for marketing.

Acceptance criteria
9. An R&D project based on an innovative technological idea that aims to develop a product with export marketing potential.

· Entrepreneurs: fledgling entrepreneurs
· Team: 3-6 development people
· Stay in the incubator: approximately two years

10. During the time in the incubator, the entrepreneur should carry his/her idea to the stage of explicit product definition and proven technological and marketing feasibility. A number of milestones should be met such as a prototype or working model and an orderly business plan. Additionally, the project should be ready for commercial investment and/or a strategic partner who is an expert in the field.
11. After the two-year period, entrepreneurs should be able to continue on their own if necessary, availing themselves of regular channels of state support or outside investments.

Source: Office of the Chief Scientist, Ministry of Industry Trade and Labor