July 29, 2018 | The Israel Innovation Authority and Israel’s Ministry of Economy and Industry announced last week they are expanding their programs supporting ultra-Orthodox tech entrepreneurs in a number of ways including an extension of the program from one to two years as well as increased funding for technological enterprises owned by ultra-Orthodox entrepreneurs.
The organizations will expand on their current dedicated startup program with “substantial additional assistance to maximize resources and company success” as well as help “increase exposure and entrepreneurial training.” They will also gradually transition to external sources of funding, including increased funding in the second year (up to 75 percent of the budget in the first year and up to 70 percent in comparison to the previous 30 to 50 percent in the original startup program. According to the statement, up to NIS 2.5 million (about $685,000) will be awarded in the first year and up to NIS 4.5 million (roughly $1.2 million) in the second year.
“The Innovation Authority’s grant program fosters research and development, including amongst the ultra-Orthodox sector in Israel. The program, intended for startups, offers unique benefits to enable the ultra-Orthodox community in Israel to integrate as well as to contribute to the growth of the economy in general and the hi-tech industry in particular,” said Dr. Ami Appelbaum, chief scientist at the Israeli Ministry of Economy and Industry and chairman of the Israel Innovation Authority.
Since the start of the program, over NIS 25 million (almost $7 million) has been granted to ultra-Orthodox entrepreneurs in Israel, the organizations said.
“The Ministry of Economy sees enormous importance in promoting industry and employment in Israel. The Israel Innovation Authority’s program to support startups in the ultra-Orthodox sector is an additional tool in the government’s policy to increase the number of people employed in the hi-tech industry and to create a supportive environment for startups via government funding,” Israeli Minister of Economy and Industry Eli Cohen said.
The startup program for the ultra-Orthodox sector in Israel offers diverse tracks in all fields of tech, including support for entrepreneurs and startups, AI software platforms, multichannel digital communications, tech enabling fleet tracking and dispatching, connecting carriers to direct shipper loads, and more.
Examples of ultra-Orthodox initiatives that have received a grant over the past few years include AI startup Brillianetor, AI tech empowering, machines to socialize and form groups with other machines and/or humans and RigGoh, a land shipping management platform.
“Expanding support for hi-tech entrepreneurship amongst ultra-Orthodox women and men will facilitate their ongoing, successful integration into Israel’s high-tech market. There are already significant success stories and we want to see more entrepreneurs utilize the unique tools we are providing on their way to becoming additional success stories,” Aharon Aharon, CEO of the Israel Innovation Authority said.