Intel to expand startup growth program from Tel Aviv to Texas and Germany

Intel Ignite is the US tech firm’s startup growth program set up last year in Tel Aviv; program will be extended to other cities in Europe, North America and Asia as well

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

CEO of Intel Corp., Bob Swan, center, visits the US tech giant's Haifa facility on June 16, 2019. (Ezra Levy)
CEO of Intel Corp., Bob Swan, center, visits the US tech giant's Haifa facility on June 16, 2019. (Ezra Levy)

US tech giant Intel Corp said Monday it is expanding its startup accelerator program to Austin, Texas, and Munich, Germany, after the success of the program in Tel Aviv.

Intel Ignite is Intel’s startup growth program launched in Tel Aviv in 2019. It aims to help grow early-stage startup companies in Israel in key industries, including artificial intelligence, autonomous systems and other data-centric technologies. The announcement on Monday is the first stage of the expansion of the program that will set up similar initiatives in a number of cities throughout Europe, North America and Asia, the US firm said.

Intel Ignite is a 12-week program for 10 early-stage startups that will receive hands-on mentorship from Intel and leading experts. Participating companies will gain access to technology and business leaders, as well as the knowledge, network and association that come with being accepted into one of the world’s most challenging and competitive startup programs, Intel said in a statement.

“We launched Ignite in 2019 to both support early-stage companies on their journey to success and to provide Intel employees with an opportunity to advance our purpose,” said Intel CEO Bob Swan in the statement. “In its first year, the Ignite program’s achievements have far surpassed our expectations and because of its proven, strategic impact, we are expanding its reach.”

The Intel Ignite team chose to establish programs in Austin and Munich because both cities are home to Intel sites with strong startup ecosystems, that have a concentration of innovation, technology and talent.

Intel Ignite has completed two successful cohorts in Israel with startups from a range of industries, including artificial intelligence, cybersecurity and the Internet of Things, all areas where Intel can provide expertise and guidance, from engineering to manufacturing to marketing, as well as industry connections, the statement said.

The program is currently accepting applications for the third cohort in Tel Aviv.

The Ignite program in Munich and Austin will start in first half of 2021. Applications for Munich will open in the fourth quarter of this year, and will accept applicants from all over Europe; applications for Austin will open in the first quarter of 2021 and will accept requests from all over the US. All three programs will have a physical base at the center of their local startup ecosystem.

The selection process and complete program will be delivered virtually while operating under pandemic guidelines, the statement said.

To be accepted into the program, startups must have received a minimum of $1 million in funding (Seed or Series A), and must have an experienced founding team, significant intellectual property and a large market opportunity. Startups must be in the technology sector. Intel Ignite will not take equity from startups as part of this program.

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