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Intel selects 10 startups for Israel accelerator program, names new director

Intel Ignite, which fosters startups, says Ranny Nachmias will replace Tzahi Weisfeld as accelerator program head; Ignite will be rolled out in Germany and the US

Shoshanna Solomon is The Times of Israel's Startups and Business reporter

Bob Swan, the CEO of Intel Corp., left, and Yaniv Garty, general manager of Intel Israel, at a press conference on June 16, 2019, at the Peres Center for Peace and Innovation to launch a new accelerator program in Tel Aviv (Shoshanna Solomon/Times of Israel)
Bob Swan, the CEO of Intel Corp., left, and Yaniv Garty, general manager of Intel Israel, at a press conference on June 16, 2019, at the Peres Center for Peace and Innovation to launch a new accelerator program in Tel Aviv (Shoshanna Solomon/Times of Israel)

Intel Ignite, a program to foster and grow startups set up by tech giant Intel Corp., said Tuesday that Ranny Nachmias has been appointed managing director of the Tel Aviv program, which will kicking off in November its third cohort.

Tzahi (Zack) Weisfeld, who formerly led the Ignite TLV program, will assume a global role as general manager and head of Intel Ignite following the expansion of the program to Munich, Germany, and Austin, Texas.

Ten startups will participate in the third cohort of the Tel Aviv program, Intel said.

Intel Ignite is a 12-week program for 10 diverse early-stage startups that will get hands-on mentorship from Intel and global experts. Through the program, the companies also gain access to technology, business leaders and investors.

Ranny Nachmias, managing director of the Intel Ignite accelerator program (Courtesy)

Nachmias brings with him 20 years of entrepreneurial experience and has served as mentor for Ignite participants in the first two batches of the program. He founded the security startup Alcide in 2016, where he served as CEO, and set up the global customer success operations at Dynamic Yield, later acquired by McDonald’s.

“Ignite isn’t just another startup program,” said Nachmias in a statement. “It’s a highly tailored curriculum that gives each company the tools needed for significant growth, and its recent global expansion is really a testament to the success the team has had so far, and the concrete benefits the program provides to startups. We’ve selected a great batch of companies for the latest cohort.”

The 10 startups chosen to participate in Ignite’s third cohort, kicking off on November 2, were selected from over 230 applicants — the most the program has seen to date.

Of these, 150 companies were screened via Zoom, narrowing them down to 75, and 18 made it to the final selection day in front of 60 judges — 30 VCs and 30 Intel executives.

In light of the pandemic, the entire program will now be conducted virtually, beginning with matching each startup with an industry mentor.

The companies in the third cohort have raised an average funding of over $5 million.

Armo has developed a platform that allows software developers to deploy automatically secured environments, creating frictionless security.
• Bria generates synthetic visual data.
• Komodor is an end-to-end troubleshooting platform for developer teams to manage incidents.
Konnecto enables brands to apply data science on consumers’ digital footprint.
• Lightsolver is building a quantum inspired optical solver to find solutions for  complicated computational problems in a short time frame.
Lynx enables healthcare organizations to share sensitive data at scale in a private and secure manner.
Oolo is an AI-powered problem detection solution built specifically for digital media companies.
Orca AI provides “intelligent” navigation and collusion prevention solutions for the maritime industry
Solvo helps developers and engineers secure their cloud applications, preventing misconfiguration hacks.
Valerann  uses sensors to make roads smart, and alert for hazards.

“Despite the uncertain times, Ignite is continuing to grow, having had our largest applicant pool yet, and our recent expansion news,” said Weisfeld, the current General Manager of Intel Ignite. “There is undoubtedly a need for a startup program that tackles head on the major challenges that startups currently face.”

Through Ignite, Intel gives participating startups “credibility and validation,” provides global access to markets, customers and experts, and builds support infrastructure for the startups, he said.

Earlier this month, data compiled by IVC Research Center and Zag S&W showed that investment in Israeli startups in seed stage crashed by 47% in the first three quarters of the year compared to the same period a year earlier, as investors shun risk due to the coronavirus outbreak.

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