Innovation Program For Promoting Start-Ups In The Arab Sector Launched In Nazareth Together With 8200 Alumni
Hybrid, a new and innovative program for promoting startups in the Arab sector, at the Nazareth Business Incubator Center (NBIC), launched by the Ministry of Economy and Industry, in cooperation with the 8200 Alumni Association. The program aims to help advance new initiatives in the Arab sector, with the goal of significantly increasing the number and quality of start-ups in the Arab sector.
To this end, the program will operate in association with a large number of partners from the high-tech industry, including Bank Hapoalim, EMC, Coca-Cola, SAP, and the Nazareth software company, Galil Software.
Last week the program’s management team issued a public call to find suitable enterprises, from which ten start-ups will be chosen to participate in the program, which will officially begin in April 2016.
The Hybrid program includes an intensive track over several months that will nurture several outstanding Arab start-ups, identified by us as having the greatest possible potential for success. These startups will undergo a meticulous selection process and, once selected, will receive a broad range of support, including workspace and professional support and guidance from entrepreneurs, investors and others in the field. The program will be based on the model of intensive content days, to be held in Nazareth and locations in central Israel.
Hybrid is a cooperative effort between the NBIC and the 8200 Alumni Association, which is identified with advancing Israeli entrepreneurship and successfully operates two additional acceleration programs: the EISP Startup Accelerator and a social enterprise program. Hybrid is led by Fadi Swidan, director of the NBIC, and Eitan Sella, a former entrepreneur and 8200 alumnus.
The program operates within the framework of the government policy that, in 2007, defined the inclusion of the Arab population in the Israeli high-tech sector as a national priority.
Ran Kiviti, Director, Small and Medium Businesses Agency at the Ministry of Economy and Industry: While platforms for encouraging entrepreneurship and facilitating the transformation of innovative visions into thriving businesses are necessary for any start-up founder, including army intelligence graduates living in Tel Aviv, they are even more crucial in the North. Graduates of this program will be uniquely equipped with the skills and connections required in order to transform their technological ideas into businesses – and will serve as role models for other aspiring entrepreneurs in their communities.
Fadi Swidan, Director, Nazareth Business Incubator Center: “We are working to shatter the classic image of the entrepreneur in the start-up nation. Our vision is to create success stories among Arab entrepreneurs, so as to increase the number and quality of entrepreneurs operating in the Arab sector all over Israel.”
Eitan Sella, 8200 Alumni Association: “2016 is the year of the Arab-Israeli entrepreneur. Business opportunity in this sector is ripe, in terms of the availability of unprecedented government assistance for initiatives from the Arab sector, increasing interest from the Israeli hi-tech ecosystem and its potential to serve as a bridge between Israeli tech and the Arab-speaking market worldwide.”