Israel undergoes an accelerator boomJul. 7, 2016
Israel has 261 startup accelerators as of late June 2016, according to theIVC Research Center in Tel Aviv, a private research firm that tracks trends in Israeli high-tech, venture capital and private equity.
By the time you read that sentence, the number is sure to be higher.
Only last October, IVC reported that Israel had 207 accelerators. The first accelerator in Israel was Genesis Partners’ The Junction in Tel Aviv, which launched in March 2011. So it’s no exaggeration to say that the growth of accelerators in Israel is extraordinary.
Tel Aviv alone hosts 50 accelerators as of June 2016, reflecting a growth rate of 137 percent since 2012.
As their name indicates, accelerators help early-stage companies scale up. They enable angels and VCs to invest small amounts of money in many startups at once, and to identify the most promising ventures.
The Seed Accelerators Ranking Project at MIT defines an accelerator as a fixed-term, cohort-based program that includes educational and mentorship components and culminates in a public pitch event or “demo day.” This year, it identified 150 US accelerators fitting that definition.
By contrast, incubators help entrepreneurs build business plans from raw innovative ideas. Incubators are also plentiful in the startup nation, but their number is perhaps half that of accelerators — although there is some overlap.