Ben-Gurion University of the Negev is launching Inno-Negev, a technology accelerator that will provide startups and high-tech entrepreneurs with support and essential tools to increase viability and develop abilities to advance their ventures.
Inno-Negev is a joint venture of the BGU Bengis Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at BGU’s Guilford Glazer Faculty of Business and Management,
together with the University’s technology transfer company, BGN Technologies Ltd.
“Inno-Negev will fulfill a critical role in the Negev’s developing ecosystem of innovation and will contribute to the advancement of entrepreneurship as a force for progress and regional development, ” says Yossi Shavit, Inno-Negev project manager and business consultant to the BGU Bengis Center.
“This will be achieved by tapping into our proven abilities in promoting and supporting entrepreneurship, leveraging the resources of BGN Technologies with its commercialization expertise, as well as BGU’s history of innovative research and pioneering spirit, ” he says.
Inno-Negev will provide professional services to start-up teams with an emphasis on project development and education that will ensure the teams are well-equipped to present their projects before potential investors. The state of Israel is known as the “Start-up Nation;” nevertheless, many compelling projects fail to get off the ground due to insufficient financing or lack of opportunity to present ideas to potential funders.
According to Prof. Dafna Schwartz, director of the BGU Bengis Center, “With Inno-Negev, our main interest is to provide an additional component to the variety of outstanding services already provided by the Bengis Center. The accelerator offers entrepreneurs the opportunity to free services, including practical lectures and workshops by experienced mentors: experts in law, finance and marketing.”
Inno-Negev cycles will run six months each and focus on specific industries. The first ventures will be in the information and communications technology (ICT) field, including applications, cyber security and social networks. Each cycle will consist of three stages:
The initial, more informative stage is open to all entrepreneurs, as long as their project relates to the cycle’s theme, meets specified requirements and the developer attends lectures and workshops.
Advancement to stages two and three is based on the venture’s progress and increased “traction, ” demonstrating increasing evidence of market demand and the team’s ability to identify potential customers and funders.
“Inno-Negev will connect entrepreneurs, investors and global organizations in one of Israel’s most rapidly developing high-tech areas: the Negev, ” says Netta Cohen, chief executive officer at BGN Technologies. “Israel’s Negev region offers a promising and active entrepreneurial community with BGU, leading high-tech companies, technology incubators, the Advanced Technologies Park, and the elite technology units of the Israel Defense Forces.”