• Carol Ruth Weber

Leading Israel Investors to Create Funded NYC Israeli Startups Pipeline


Reprinted from Medium article by Carol Ruth Weber

The 2020 Startups Israeli Pipeline Initiative will give venture capitalists in Israel an affordable alternative for their startups to enter U.S. ecosystems. Israeli startups will be given the chance to bring their visions to New York, New Jersey, and Miami in Florida, in an unparalleled value program that disrupts traditional business models of consulting firms and opportunists.


2020 Connection for Israel Startups to Come to U.S.

On the 46th floor of the Azreili Round Tower in Tel Aviv one can see a bright future on the horizon, with a view that captures the imagination of what’s possible when visionaries collaborate. As John Skully once said:

"The future belongs to those who see possibilities before they become obvious."

The meeting that took place on that floor, between 2020 Startups Managing Director, Mark Gold, and mHealth Israel founder, Levi Shapiro, is one of many for Gold during his week in Israel. Mark Gold’s itinerary for the week embraced meetings with Sosa, Cornerstone Venture Partners, Mass Challenge, AngelNet, and StageOne Ventures.

2020 Startups, a city-subsidized accelerator program in NYC, aims to create a hi-tech pipeline by offering leading Israeli investors a 0 percent equity accelerator. This platform has already seized NYC’s attention by producing unprecedented results as a non-profit accelerator. Traditionally, consulting firms, accelerators, and organizations charge a high premium, including a good amount of equity to onboard startups across oceans. This is especially true when providing premium services, such as access to highly coveted partners, press, and investors.

The initiative offers a 90-day accelerator program providing workspace, workshops, mentorships, partnerships, public relations, and investor relations for the founder and executive of a startup requiring no equity in exchange. The only cost to the startup is a nominal fee of $2,500 for 3 months. The non-profit initiative is to empower entrepreneurs and stimulate economic development across all major sectors.

2020 Startups is Already a Proven Program

The Accelerator’s ability to create and perpetuate close relationships, and media hits, serves venture capitalists the low-risk with high-reward opportunities they yearn for. Participants have been featured on NBC, CNN, BuzzFeed, and Huffington Post. The program’s results have caught the eyes of NYC’s top angel investors, such as Gust CEO, David S. Rose, and Chairman of New York Angels, Brian Cohen. Both men are frequent speakers at 2020 events.

The 2020 Startups program has proven to be highly successful for Omer Golan, founder of Israeli Hi-tech company Outernets, and 2020 alumni from Q4 2016. Outernets was one of the best performing startups in the accelerator’s history, marked by winning IBM’s SmartCamp competition at Yankee Stadium, along with being named one of the top 10 retail tech-companies by Dell, acquiring $400k in funding, and partnering with McDonalds. This was all accomplished within the 90-day program. Omer is now a mentor and active alumni disseminating his journey.

With a non-profit model aiming to empower entrepreneurs, stimulate economic growth, and minimize entry barriers, it’s quite clear why Israeli venture capitalists are eager to be involved. Long-term Israeli technologist and investor Hanan Brand, partner at Cornerstone Venture Partners, deems this a, “no-brainer for Israeli startups since the next level is the U.S.”

2020 Creates New Opportunities for Startups

2020’s purpose is to level the playing field by creating opportunities for low-tech and no-tech startups. Examples include the maker community, Soloprenuers, and traditional small business owners that are overlooked in the hyperactive, hi-tech accelerator space. This program has proven to work for both early and advanced stage startups.

Success for super early-stage startups is evident. The previously unknown early-stage EcoHelmet, a 2020 Alumni from Q3 2016, is a proven example, as Gold states:

"If we can get a relatively unknown student entrepreneur from Pratt university to be incorporated, branded, and on CNN and NBC within 90 days, imagine what we can do for pioneering hi-tech Israeli startups."

It will be interesting to see how 2020’s Israeli pipeline initiative will develop given the hardline and headstrong Israeli reputation. As the accelerator between the two countries begins, hope endures. It is anticipated that the program will gain popularity among a larger group of leading Israeli investors, allowing for the pipeline to become a sustainable resource in the Israeli ecosystem.


#businessideas #2020Startups #technology

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