A new program for Israeli startups is based on cooperation between StartupEast, a new bilateral Israel-Asian accelerator, and NUS (National University of Singapore) Enterprise Incubator, which is considered to be one of the leading startup incubators across Asia.
The program is split between Israel and Asia, and will be headquartered in NUS’ open-space hub in the center of Singapore, called Block71.
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The Israeli startups will meet with potential clients, partners and investors from Singapore, as well as hold pilots for their products, while receiving ongoing mentoring.
The companies that would prove validation in Asia, would enjoy StartupEast’s collaboration with Synergy China Fund, an Israeli-Chinese fund that could support their successful penetration into the Chinese market.
StartupEast’s goal is to connect Israeli and Asian startups and investors through a joint two-sided acceleration program, as well as bootcamps and startups, training for individuals, students and corporate executives. The partners are Amir Ofek, former VP Client Executive (SingTel group) in Amdocs; Omri Shamir, an entrepreneur who lived and worked in Hong-Kong; and Amos Avner, former Director at StarTau – Tel Aviv University Entrepreneurship Center. The team also has a local partner who resides in Korea.
“There are a lot of Israeli hi-tech products and services with huge potential to succeed in Asia”, says Amos Avner, founding partner at StartupEast, and adds that “as long as the companies would be flexible enough to customize what they do for the Asian demands, their chances are higher even than in the Western markets. Singapore is definitely an ideal gateway, with various strengths such as English being the formal language, a government that highly supports startups and SMEs, strong admiration for Israeli innovation, and direct reach-out the all South-East Asia’s markets”.
According to Zvi Shalgo, former Chairman of the Israel Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai and currently Managing Partner at Synergy China Fund , “While previously, we used to recommend only mature companies to enter the Chinese market, in the past couple of years China has become a suitable hub for Israeli startups as well. Internet and mobile ventures can enjoy a very vibrant market. However, in order to raise significant investment in China, a company should be in a strong position, namely – with a technology that has already been proven in another Asian market. Therefore, we find StartupEast’s accelerator a very interesting way to approach Asia and eventually China”.