This article was first published on The Times of Israel and was re-posted with permission.
There are tech accelerators galore around the world, but there’s only one Techstars – and last week, the most prestigious brand name in accelerators announced that it was opening an office in Tel Aviv.
“We’re expanding, moving beyond our city programs in Denver and other US cities,” said Greg Rogers, executive director, Techstars Barclays Global Partnership. “Now we are concentrating on partnering for specific industries. Tel Aviv has become one of the premier places in the world for financial technology, so we decided to open a branch here.”
Techstars has partnered with Barclays, the famed UK bank, to develop innovative financial technology solutions with Israeli start-ups, said Rogers. “It started with a program in London, in which we selected and worked with ten start-ups to develop their technology on payments, security, consumer banking, and more. They were so happy with the program that we eventually expanded it, first to New York and now to Capetown and Tel Aviv.”
All four cities represent a different “pillar” in fintech, with Tel Aviv a center for cyber-security blockchain technologies and more.
Start-ups accepted into the 13-week program will work with a large variety of mentors in the fintech industry, and be eligible for an investment of up to $120,000 – $20,000 just for being in the program, and an additional $100,000 convertible note (a loan that converts to equity when the start-up raises money or gets acquired).
But the most important aspect of the program – and what makes it a Techstars program – is “access to the largest entrepreneurial network in the world,” said Rogers. “We run 20 programs in 15 cities, and have a great relationship with enterprise, investors, and institutions. We can provide start-ups that work with us access to just about anyone they need to grow their business.”
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