The biggest South Korean tech company Samsung has announced it has launched a startups-incubating program in Israel. Why are they doing this and why in Israel? This small country with only 8 million people, 40,ooo of them work in the high-technology industry which contributes to 15% of the total export GDP of the country. Israel has been known for their startup success stories with $9.5 billion in exits in 2015. They have a vibrant ecosystem for startups as well as already having 150 companies listed on NASDAQ. There are already 300 R&D centers of innovative tech companies like HP, Microsoft, Google, and Facebook present in Israel, which is why Samsung wants to join that list.
Samsung NEXT Tel Aviv will be serving as the center for startups there. A startup can get as much as $1 million in funding from Samsung. They will focus on startups with cutting edge-tech through a stake purchase and mergers and acquisitions. Samsung will join a growing list of VCs, accelerators, incubators, and industry programmes like JVP, JVP Media Labs, SOSA, WeWork, Cyberpark and TAU, which are all designed with the right focus to back valuable startups. Clearly Israel is a place that supports budding entrepreneurs and the culture of innovation.
Samsung Electronics has invested in a total of 18 local startups in Israel over the last three years. Now having a presence in Israel could help startups have a connection to the world’s largest manufacturer of smartphones and a connection to the South Korea market.