Google Inc. (Nasdaq: GOOG) plans to open an incubator in Israel in August 2012. Google Israel R&D Center director Prof. Yossi Matias made the announcement at Google Israel's annual developers conference today.
The incubator will begin operations when Google Israel enters its new offices in the Electra Tower in Tel Aviv. The company will occupy several floors of the building, one of which will be for the incubator.
Matias says that the incubator will initially host about 20 pre-seed stage start-ups, or 80 people. The start-ups will be hosted for a training period of at least three months. Google is focusing on start-ups developing open code technologies, such as Google's Android mobile operating system and Chrome browser. It will also house entrepreneurs from Israel's Arab and haredi (ultra-orthodox) communities, which currently have little exposure in the country's high-tech industry.
Google will shortly set up a team to work with universities, colleges, and other parties to promote projects for its incubator.
In contrast to other recently established incubators, Google will not charge entrepreneurs a participation fee. It will give the entrepreneurs access to work and meeting rooms, and internet access. Google Israel staff will provide advice and mentors, such as founders of established companies, technology experts, marketing and financial advisers, and attorneys. It will also sponsor projects at investors conferences and other events.
Google Israel said that the incubator will operate independently from the company, and it has no intention to invest in the start-ups through Google Ventures, or to set up partnerships or acquire successful companies. However, given that the projects will be developed under Google Israel's supervision, this could create connections for the companies with Google, more than if the start-ups came from outside Google.
Matias told "Globes", "We sought more ways to link up with the local industry and encourage entrepreneurs to develop breakthrough products. The fact that the incubator will sit adjacent to Google Israel's new offices will enable us to closely work with and advise them and provide them with suitable support."
Matias added, "The Israeli developers community is innovative and sizzling. It has great potential. This project evolved from a desire to provide suitable support when it is most effective. The incubator is part of Google's operations to deepen its ties with the developers community."
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on November 13, 2011
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