Intel project aims to nurture Israeli start-ups
June 20, 2019
Intel has announced a programme to accelerate early-stage start-up companies in Israel targeting artificial intelligence (AI), autonomous systems and other data-centric technologies and business models.
Based in Tel Aviv, the programme called Ignite will aim to provide early-stage start-ups with advantages on their paths. Tzahi (Zack) Weisfeld (pictured) will serve as general manager and managing director of Ignite.
Following a rigorous selection process, Intel will host ten to 15 pre-seed to seed start-ups through a 20-week programme where they will receive hands-on mentorship from Intel and industry experts in product, business, management and technical areas. Intel says it is committed to accelerate their growth and scale their ideas for greater impact.
"Intel has always worked in concert with open ecosystems to scale new technologies so they can be transformational for our customers, business and society," said Intel CEO Bob Swan. “This process is fuelled by the innovation and passion of the start-up community. Israel has the deep skill base in AI, autonomous systems and the underlying technologies critical to these inflections that make it a natural choice to launch our Ignite programme."
The programme will begin operations in Israel this year, with plans to scale to additional countries over time. Diversity will be an important guiding principle of Ignite, with start-ups established, owned and run by different representatives of Israel's diversified social mix. Intel has no plans to seek equity in or rights to intellectual property from these companies.
Weisfeld, former global head of Microsoft for start-ups, will report to Yaniv Garty, general manager of Intel Israel. Weisfeld will be assisted by Intel vice president Avner Goren, who will connect the Ignite programme to the technical community inside Intel.
"As Israel's largest high-tech company, we want to support the major technological changes emerging across our start-up community,” said Garty. “Ignite is an important step in this direction, focused on our efforts to transform the world through working on innovations in AI, autonomous, cyber and next-generation computing. With our advances in these areas, Intel is positioned to help companies charge forward. I'm confident that Intel's unique expertise in hardware, software and manufacturing will help the start-ups grow and succeed. The fact that Intel is a large corporation with over 100,000 employees worldwide and very substantial Israeli presence (12,000 employees including subsidiary Mobileye) will greatly help the companies taking part in this programme."