A delegation of a European Union-backed accelerator is currently visiting Israel to get a closer look at the local startup ecosystem and meet with Israeli high-tech professionals. The EuropeanPioneers is a Berlin-based accelerator which is currently supporting 13 startups, including three from Israel (Fitfully, Lingua.ly, and Pico).
Under the EU-funded program, each startup receives up to £250,000, depending on its business model and financial needs.
Program Manager Martin Weber spoke to “Globes” about why Israel was included in the accelerator’s mentoring tour. “I know Israel personally. I lived in Tel Aviv for more than a year and I also invested in a startup here. For me, this visit is a little like coming home. It’s the program’s second course, and Israel wasn’t included in the first; this time, we realized Israel needed to play a significant part in the activities.”
Weber noted that it is only sensible that it became a part of the entrepreneurs’ itinerary since Israel is considered to be part of the European Union. “They are not relocating to Berlin. Each one stays in his own country, out of the understanding that it is best they work within the local ecosystem, but we ask them to visit us in Berlin every few weeks.
“When we began the current activity last August, we received 700 applications from startups, including some from Israel. In the end, the majority of the applications came from Germany, with Israel trailing behind in second.”
The visit to Israel has become part of the program, partly due to Weber’s experience. “Our delegations will also visit other cities, like London and obviously Berlin. The current trip includes mentoring meetings with 15 senior professionals in the sector. We have stopped in at the innovation center MindCET from the Center for Educational Technology, and the Google campus, where the entrepreneurs will present demonstrations of their startup and receive professional feedback.”
Weber also did not shy away from questions on the security situation in Israel. “I know Israel personally and I know the situation is not always what it appears on European media outlets. I was considering canceling the trip, and I admit it took some effort to convince people to come here. But now that we are here, everyone seems more relaxed. I’m actually talking right now from a restaurant in Jaffa. There is a great atmosphere among the delegates.”
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on October 23, 2015
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