MassChallenge picks 52 global startups for Israel 2019 accelerator program

Companies hail from Israel, India, Colombia, South Africa and UK; will benefit from mentorships and networking, nonprofit organization says

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

Members of the MassChallenge 2014 Israel Judges Panel at an event held by the organization, June 11 2015 (Courtesy)
Members of the MassChallenge 2014 Israel Judges Panel at an event held by the organization, June 11 2015 (Courtesy)

MassChallenge, a Massachusetts-based nonprofit startup accelerator, has chosen 52 startups out of 500 applicants for its 2019 Israel program. The 52 finalists hail from Israel, India, Colombia, South Africa and the United Kingdom, the organization said in a statement.

The startups were selected by panels made up of experts from Israeli and international corporates, including Accenture, Google, BCG, Kimberly-Clark, Elta Israel Aeorospace Industries (IAI), Rafael Advanced Defense Systems, and Gett.

Nearly 100 startups based in India applied to be part of the 2019 cohort, MassChallenge said, with applicants coming from 41 countries in total.

“MassChallenge Israel accelerated startups are creating meaningful solutions for real challenges across industries,” said Yonit Golub Serkin, managing director of MassChallenge Israel. “We recognize that globally impactful ideas know no borders, gender or nationality, and we are proud to attract and accelerate groundbreaking ideas from a diversity of founders.”

The nonprofit, which does not take equity in the enterprises, is headquartered in the United States with accelerators in Boston, Israel, Mexico, Rhode Island, Switzerland, and Texas. MassChallenge seeks to strengthening the global innovation ecosystem by supporting high-potential startups across all industries, from anywhere in the world.

While companies addressing all sectors are invited to apply to the program, over 20 percent of the selected startups for this year’s program are in the healthtech sector. The other startups came from the energy and cleantech sectors (6%) eCommerce, retail and travel sectors (27%) automotive, cyber and fintech (21%), and social impact (8%), the statement said.

All the entrepreneurs participating in the program will have access to a support network made up of experts and mentors in Israel as well as the global MassChallenge network.

They will also get access to a work space in the heart of the Mahane Yehuda market in Jerusalem, at no cost. On July 30, the MassChallenge 2019 Israel program will come to an end, with a festive announcement of ten winning program graduates. Prizes include an all-expense-paid roadshow to present their technologies to investors and industry heads in Boston and New York City. They will also be eligible for no-equity cash grants of up to half a million shekels ($139,000).

The products of startups selected for the 2019 Israel program include a search engine for recipes from famous chefs and blogs based on ingredients, allergies and nutrition; a powder to stop bleeding in potentially fatal injuries; a solar micro grid-based electricity system for domestic and commercial use and clean drinking water for rural areas; a solution to help people with difficulties climbing stairs at home; software that enables hotels to rate customers; and artificial intelligence and image processing that helps analyze seeds for agricultural purposes.

A total of 155 alumni companies of the MassChallenge Israel program have raised more than $155 million over the years, creating 7,000 total jobs, the statement said.

Globally, more than 1,900 MassChallenge alumni have raised more than $4 billion in funding, generated more than $2.5 billion in revenue, and created more than 120,000 total jobs, according to the statement.

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