May 3, 2018 | As Israel prepares for the 101st Giro d’Italia’s ‘Big Start’ bicycle race kicking off on Friday in Jerusalem, hitting Haifa, Tel Aviv, Beersheba, and Eilat, Start-Up Nation Central, an Israeli tech non-profit organization connecting global corporations, governments, and organizations to Israeli innovation, has released new data about the Israeli sports tech industry to coincide with the big event. According to the Tel Aviv-based non-profit, there has been a significant increase in the number of startups active in the sports tech sector and the early-stage funding that is going into the industry. Israel’s sports tech industry now has over 103 companies, up from 61 active companies in 2013. Start-Up Nation Central reports these companies are in fields like augmented reality, real-time video analysis, hydration management, movement sensors, sports broadcasting and more. Data from Start-Up Nation Finder, the non-profit’s innovation discovery platform, reports that most of Israel’s sports tech startups have been established in the past five years, with 35 percent of the companies in the bootstrap phase while 34 percent have already raised their seed funding. The seed funding size of these companies has increased from $375,000 in 2014 to an average of over $700,00 by end of 2017. The data shows 78 companies out of 103 have between 1 to 10 employees while 20 companies have between 11 to 50 employees. “We’re seeing the birth of a new Israeli technology sector, with mostly very young companies, whose entrepreneurs are taking technologies from places like the military where they worked on augmented reality, or from digital health and food tech where they worked on quantified self and personal nutrition,” said Amir Mizroch, Director of Communications for Start-Up Nation Central. “These technologies are now making their way into sports,” he added in a statement. Start-Up Central is one of the sponsors of the ‘Big Start’ races, and is also hosting a sports tech innovation saloon at the Giro media center in the Waldorf Astoria in Jerusalem. The saloon will feature some of Israel’s most innovative sports tech startups.