About the program
Background and Vision:
The Ministry of Economy and Industry, via the Small and Medium Business Agency (SMBA), would like to promote a culture of technological innovation in National Priority Regions. To that end, MaofTech program has been created and over 20 technological accelerators were established throughout Israel.
Who are we?
The SMBA works to create a business environment that fosters growth for the small business sector in Israel. On one hand, the Agency attempts to decrease the hurdles which make the operation of small and medium businesses disproportionately difficult, and on the other hand, it helps them improve their business performance and management skills using a variety of tools and assistance programs aiming to promote entrepreneurship, business development, innovation, and increased productivity.
To that end, the Agency operates a coordinated nationwide network of 40 offices around the country, acting as the executive arm of the Agency, providing the necessary tools and services to business owners and entrepreneurs, all under one roof, with personal and professional long term mentorship.
The need for setting up technological accelerators
The Ministry of Economy and Industry identified a market failure in technological – entrepreneurial activity in the social and geographical outlying areas of Israel. The accelerator concept is a common concept around the world, and Israel alone appears to have over 250 accelerators founded by hi-tech companies, investors, non-profits, private organizations etc. However, most of them are located at the center of Israel.
The MaofTech program, the Ministry of Economy and Industry’s accelerator program, operates over 20 accelerators nationwide, and in addition an accelerator for people in active reserve duty that will operate crosswise. Each accelerator accepts 8 – 14 startups, or ventures, that get an acceleration program for their project for a period of 6 months, and additional mentorship down the road. In addition, in order to create an entrepreneurial ecosystem in the targeted regions, each accelerator sets ups community activities, exposure to the program, to the Hitech industry, meetups with entrepreneurs, investors, etc.
What do the Entrepreneurs get?
The Accelerator offers a supportive professional envelope, mentoring and guidance in setting up their startup and advancing it to the target market while assisting in preparing a realistic business plan, and starting first round fund-raising :
- A HUB – a seat in a shared workspace that includes meeting rooms and a work environment suitable for startups
- Entrepreneurial training and business skill training
- Lectures and professional content on technological entrepreneurship related topic, exposure to engaging content that will enrich the project and the entrepreneur and lead them to the next phase
- Professional mentors with technological knowledge relevant to each project and with experience founding startups or managing in hi-tech companies
- Hands-on workshops – the knowledge acquired as part of the program can be implemented in hands-on workshop along with their personal mentors and they can receive the necessary feedback in every stage of the process
- Demo Day – meetings where the participants can exhibit their projects to potential partners and investors from industry, hi-tech companies, investors, venture capital funds, strategic partners, etc.
Altogether, we expect approximately 400 projects and a significantly higher number of entrepreneurs to participate in the program during the years 2019-2020 and accelerate the development of the startup culture in National Priority Regions in Israel. Furthermore, and not least in importance, close cooperation of a large number of entities, business people, start-up people, investors, industry and so forth, is expected to empower and expand the entrepreneurial and technological activity in those areas on the one hand, and increase familiarity with existing opportunities for the business world on the other hand.