Israel opens door for foreign entrepreneurs

New visas track provides a framework for high-tech businesspeople to live in country, receive support

Luke Tress is an editor and a reporter in New York for The Times of Israel.

Illustrative view of Tel Aviv at night, August 29, 2016. (Miriam Alster/Flash90)
Illustrative view of Tel Aviv at night, August 29, 2016. (Miriam Alster/Flash90)

The Israel Innovation Authority has launched an “Innovation Visas” program which will provide a framework for foreign entrepreneurs to reside in Israel and receive support for their work.

“Supportive frameworks will give foreign entrepreneurs a soft landing in the local ecosystem in order to develop their innovative initiatives and start companies in Israel,” said Anya Eldan, director of the Startup Arena at the Israel Innovation Authority

The entrepreneurs will be able to stay in Israel for 24 months while receiving support from the Authority’s Tnufa program, which exists specifically to help inventors with good ideas, at a pre-seed stage. After their arrival the participants will be introduced to Israel’s technological infrastructure, business systems and work spaces through the program’s framework.

If the entrepreneur’s initiative becomes a company, and after receiving the Authority’s approval, they can receive an “expert visa” and work on the initiative for up to five years.

“This track will attract high quality entrepreneurs from the entire world with knowledge, experience and groundbreaking ideas to Israel, and will thus strengthen the country’s position as a world leader in innovation and entrepreneurship,” said Avi Hasson, Israel’s Chief Scientist and chairman of the Israel Innovation Authority.

The Authority has invited companies interested in hosting the entrepreneurs to submit proposals.

The Authority is in charge of the nation’s innovation policies and aims to help foster resources and conditions to promote the nation’s technological ecosystem.

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