Is Israel the ‘start-up nation’ or is it really just Tel Aviv as a ‘start-up city’
We sat down with some of the startups that have grown out of Tel Aviv to understand what made them choose their location and the added value they have by having their offices out of town.
Cnvrg.io provides an AI development platform that enables data scientists, data engineers, and organizations to develop and manage artificial intelligence models. Their offices are located in Jerusalem and they employ about 50 employees, some of whom are from Jerusalem and others from all over the country.
“We chose Jerusalem, among other things, because the company’s founders, Leah and Yochay, are both from Jerusalem, studied at the Hebrew University and grew up in the atmosphere of Jerusalem. Working in Jerusalem gives us advantage of recruiting candidates who want to stay and work close to home and there are many talented Hebrew University graduates out there,” Yael Levi, personnel manager at Cnvrg.io told Geektime.
Cnvrg.io was founded by Leah Koldebn (CTO) and Yochay Ettun (CEO). The company was acquired by Intel for $60 million at the end of 2020.
Plus500 is a global multi-asset financial technology group operating proprietary technology based trading platforms. Plus500’s headquarters are located in Haifa, which is in the northern part of Israel, in part because of the company’s long-established collaborative relationship with Technion – the Israel Institute of Technology. The company’s Haifa office is in a well-known tech business park, where several major global and Israel-based tech companies are also based. This location provides Plu500 employees with an optimal working environment and allows quick and easy access to more people in northern and central Israel. While most of the company’s Israel-based employees work out of its Haifa office, Plus500 also has an R&D center in Tel Aviv.
David Zruia, CEO of Plus500, says, “We are proud to have a deep and long-standing connection with the city of Haifa, which provides our employees with optimal conditions to support a healthy and balanced work environment. In Haifa, we continue to recruit outstanding Technion students for several important roles within our company, while many of our employees and management are successful Technion graduates, including myself, having been president of the student association. We therefore have a significant appreciation of this institution, and “We continue to make great efforts to further develop our strong relationship with it. With an office in Tel Aviv as well, focused on R&D, we can ensure that we recruit the top tech talent in Tel Aviv and Haifa”.
ARMO, the creator of Kubescape, is on a mission to create the first open-source end-to-end Kubernetes security platform, designed for developers and trusted by security professionals. The company was founded in 2018 by Shauli Rozen, Leonid Sandler and Ben Hirschberg. ARMO has offices in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv.
“Establishing the company in the heart of Jerusalem was an easy decision since two of ARMO’s founders are from Jerusalem,” said Merav Zviran, personnel manager at ARMO. “Even today, a significant percentage of our employees come from Jerusalem and the surrounding area. Our office is based at the WeWork site in central Jerusalem, and we have another office in Tel Aviv. Jerusalem has several advantages. First, the population of the city is very diverse, which helps us recruit employees from all sectors of Israeli society. Second, our location gives flexibility to our employees and candidates who wish to work in a hybrid way and being close to home. Many candidates are very interested in this flexibility in the office, so it makes us more attractive to them.”
GuardKnox, an AutoTech company, enables the next generation of software-defined vehicles and connected mobility by creating high-performance, service-oriented automotive solutions that are customizable and secure by design. GuardKnox is headquartered in Ramle and has subsidiaries in the USA and Germany.
“We see our headquarters as an advantage when talking to candidates from cities like Rishon LeTzion, Rechovot, Nes Tziona, Modiin and others who are excited about our proximity to their homes,” said Moshe Shlisel, co-founder and CEO of GuardKnox. “Having our Israeli offices in the Taavura building has several advantages: our 2,500-meter office is a 5-minute walk from the train station and only a 25-minute drive from Tel Aviv; we have plenty of parking for employees and take advantage of the on-site gym facilities.When GuardKnox was founded, we worked in a small room in the Taavura building and have recently expanded to occupy several floors due to business growth. Being in Ramle also allows us to invest more in our people and adds to the financial stability of GuardKnox.
List of artists
The founders of the creative technology company Artist, originally from the north, decided to establish the company’s first offices in the north of the country, believing that Israeli high technology should also lead the northern economy. Artlist began looking at several options in different parts of the north and settled on Kibbutz Afikim’s dining hall. The offices were built on nearly 800 square meters of the total building area, while the other part of the building still functions as a dining hall.
Itzik Elbaz, Founder and Co-CEO of the company added: “All the founders of the company grew up and were educated in the north of the country, so establishing an office in the north was a natural decision from the start. . We see a big mission in directing technology activity in the North. We believe that a quality workforce is found in all regions of the country. Therefore, alongside intensive activity in Tel Aviv, Israeli high-tech companies are also engaged in the Israeli economy outside of Tel Aviv.”
Haifa-based MeMed is a fast-growing startup whose mission is to translate the immune system’s complex signals into simple information that transforms the way diseases are diagnosed and treated. MeMed’s goal is to create and commercialize disruptive technologies to solve big problems that have no good solutions in 21st century medicine. Our first breakthrough product is the MeMed BV, a test that differentiates between viral and bacterial infections – the first FDA-approved test that is based on host response and returns results in 15 minutes from a sample of serum.
MeMed co-founders Dr. Eran Eden (CEO) and Dr. Kfir Oved (CTO) both live in the Haifa area and studied at the Technion, where they also came up with the idea for MeMed, in the kitchen of Kfir’s grandmother. MeMed is currently rooted in Haifa, and its success is linked to the city and its developed medical ecosystem. From early experiences to clinical studies and FDA-approved product, MeMed has partnered with many academic centers and hospitals in the region. Additionally, many MeMed team members are native to the region and have accumulated their knowledge, academic background, and industry experience in and around Haifa. At MeMed, they believe there is a large pool of talent in northern Israel, and being in Haifa gives MeMed the ability to attract them.
AIR is revolutionizing everyday mobility for ordinary people, allowing individuals to grasp the power of personal flight. AIR was founded by Chen Rosen who was later joined by Netanel Goldberg and Rani Plaut. It is based in Pardes Hanna, with a presence in Texas, to pave the way for a cleaner, more exciting future of mobility, giving everyone the freedom to fly.
“We chose to be located in the Pardes Hana Industrial Zone, a place accessible by train from central Israel but which gives us a large area to test electric motors and full ships without disturbing or attracting too much traffic. Warning. We build electric planes, so we have to develop both hardware and software for batteries, motors and controllers. This huge hangar, located outside of Tel-Aviv, allows us to optimally manage all these disciplines, including testing, at full power and easy access to hover and flight test areas. Being in Tel Aviv is fun but also stressful and causes traffic jams in your daily routine, which generally negatively impacts your life,” said Rani Plaut, CEO and co-founder of AIR.
Established in 2020, Fresh Start is a global food tech incubator operating under the Israel Innovation Authority’s Incubator Program. It is led by Noga Sela Shalev (CEO) and Dr. Tammy Meiron (CTO). Fresh Start has quickly grown to become an emerging agribusiness cluster leader in the Eastern Galilee region.
Noga Sela Shalev, CEO of the incubator, said, “The incubator was established in Kiryat Shmona to strengthen the region’s economy and encourage entrepreneurs to settle in the Eastern Galilee; it works closely with the regional ecosystem. With the support of its partners, the incubator provides early stage companies with everything needed to succeed and takes the business from the initial stage of an idea to the final market launch stage. Approximately 70% of employees at The incubator and portfolio companies originate from the Eastern Galilee region, and we benefit from quality and committed human capital. To date, the incubator, establishing its position as an important player in the local food technology industry, has invested in eight companies in various fields and technologies. Fresh Start works to find more and more entrepreneurs and businesses to help solve acute problems in the food industry while strengthening the entrepreneurial ecosystem that is growing in the non-rth of the country.