Jerusalem emerging as a technology hub of the start-up nation

Jerusalem emerging as a technology hub of the start-up nation

Tel Aviv may be Israel’s capital of hi-tech, but Jerusalem has been evolving as an important center of the start-up nation in recent years. Thanks to the vision and dedication of a number of committed entrepreneurs, the Holy City is now bursting with entrepreneurialism and excitement. Jerusalem has been making strong efforts to brand itself as a tech destination, led by initiatives from the Jerusalem Development Authority and Made in JLM,  a nonprofit dedicated to expanding the city’s start-up ecosystem. Venture Capital funds like OurCrowd and JVP, which runs a 50,000 sq.m. innovation center that helps incubate start-ups and multinational companies, also serve as some of the city’s most vocal tech ambassadors. Jerusalem’s tech ecosystem now includes more than 600 tech companies and 15 accelerators and coworking spaces. The city was recently dubbed one of the 5 fastest emerging tech hubs by Time Magazine, and was ranked one of the top 30 tech cities in the world by Startup Genome. One of the best ways for potential investors and tourists to learn more is to take a customized tour of the startup scene organized by Made in JLM, which give a deep understanding of what makes the start-up nation tick. You can find out more at https://www.madeinjlm.org/tech-tours In the meantime, let’s take a look at some of the city’s most prominent hi-tech companies. Mobileye, which develops self-driving cars and advanced driver-assistance systems,  became famous when Intel acquired it for $15.3 billion in 2017, the largest deal in Israel’s history. Mobileye technology is used in more than 100 million cars worldwide, and the company is a frontrunner in the race to develop a fully-autonomous self-driving car. Mobileye currently has about 1,500 employees in its offices in the Har Hotzvim technology park, and is expected to go public soon at a valuation of some $50 billion. Orcam, based in the Har Hotzvim industrial park, develops devices to help blind or visually impaired people navigate day-to-day life with greater ease. Its technology works sort of like a wireless smart camera to read text and analyze visual information, which it tells the user via special earphones. Based in Har Hotzvim, Orcam was cofounded by Amnon Shashua, the same computer science professor who founded Mobileye. Lightricks, based at Hebrew University’s Givat Ram campus, develops video and image-editing apps for smartphones. It is best known for its selfie-editing app, Facetune, which has been downloaded hundreds of millions of times. Other leading Jerusalem-based startups include Freightos, which is working to disrupt the $19-trillion shipping industry; Ex Libris, a library management system developed at Hebrew University now used at universities around the world; AutoLeadStar, which offers digital marketing solutions for the automotive industry; and many others.  Jerusalem is also home to multinational tech giants like Intel, Nvidia and Oracle, which recently opened a massive underground cloud data center in the city. The government’s Nimbus project, which will work with Google and Amazon to move the government’s IT infrastructure to the cloud, is expected to bring even more tech leaders here.