Intel Ignite Graduates First Cohort

The nine graduating startups are set to present their technology to global tech executives at a Tel Aviv event next week

Naomi Zoref 09:5727.02.20
Luminaries of the local and global tech industry are set to convene next week in Tel Aviv for an event hosted by Intel Ignite, the new tech accelerator program operated by the multinational chipmaker in Israel. The event will showcase the technology of the nine startups selected as Ignite's first cohort to investors, global corporations, and industry experts.


Click here to apply to Intel Ignite's second cohort.


Ignite is the first program of its kind to be offered by Intel, and the company is planning to expand to additional countries in the future. The program is designed to support and promote startups in early pre-seed and seed stages. Ignite is open to all tech verticals, with a particular focus on startups working in the fields of artificial intelligence, big data, cybersecurity, automation, and IoT.

Shai Agassi. Photo: PR Shai Agassi. Photo: PR


Next week's event will be co-hosted by Deloitte Catalyst, the innovation practice of advisory and accounting firm Deloitte. Avi Hasson, the former chief scientist at the Israeli Ministry of Economy, will lead the opening panel, titled: Technology Paves the Way for Exciting Tomorrow. The panel will be participated by Israeli tech entrepreneur Avigdor Willenz, founder of AI chip developer Habana Labs Ltd., acquired by Intel in December for $2 billion, and Amnon Shashua, the co-founder and CEO of Intel automotive chipmaker subsidiary Mobileye.


The event will continue with four talks. Shai Agassi, founder of electric car company Better Place, will talk about the future of mobility. Agassi is a serial entrepreneur who has sold three startups for a total of over $500 million. Prior to founding Better Place, he was president of the product and technology group at SAP AG.


Tehilla Shwartz Altshuler, a senior fellow at the Israel Democracy Institute, will talk about the future of privacy. Shwartz Altshuler holds a PhD in law from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, and today teaches public, constitutional, and administrative law at the Hebrew University's Federmann School of Public Policy.


Deloitte's Dana Swanson Switzer will talk about the future of work. Swanson Switzer leads the human resources advisory practice at Deloitte U.S.


Israeli tech entrepreneur Avigdor Willenz. Photo: Eyal Toag Israeli tech entrepreneur Avigdor Willenz. Photo: Eyal Toag



David Brassor, director at Deloitte and cloud lead at Deloitte Canada, will talk about the future of cloud and AI technology.


Deloitte Catalyst connects Israeli startups with multinational companies and organizations in search of investment and technology implementation opportunities. Deloitte catalyst also offers tailored services to startups in various stages of their development.


Intel CEO Robert (Bob) Swan first announced the creation of the Ignite accelerator program in June 2019, during a visit to Israel. According to Intel, the goal of the program is to bolster young startups. The company said it is not looking to acquire technology or profit. That is why Intel does not seek equity in or rights to intellectual property from the participating companies.


Tzahi (Zack) Weisfeld, the former general manager of Microsoft's startup outreach program, is the general manager and managing director of Ignite. Weisfeld left Microsoft in April 2018 after eight years with the company. In his role as head of Microsoft's startup program, he helped some 800 startups raise funding totaling over $5 billion, and saw 80 of these startups make a successful exit.


Ignite general manager and managing director Tzahi Weisfeld. Photo: Amit Sha'al Ignite general manager and managing director Tzahi Weisfeld. Photo: Amit Sha'al



"Our goal at Ignite is to create, together with the startups, a bright technological future, in addition to the contribution to the local and global ecosystem," Weisfeld said in a statement. "Intel is committed to being 20 steps ahead to plan and develop the infrastructure of the future."


Among Ignite's mentors are Kaltura co-founders Michal Tsur and Ron Yekutiel; Aki Eldar, co-founder of Secure Islands Technologies Ltd., bought by Microsoft in 2015; Ariel Finkelstein, board member at Bizzabo and WizeStamp; gaming startup StreamElements Inc. founder Gil Hirsch; Panorama Software CEO Eynav Azarya; Inon Beracha, former CEO of 3D sensing company PrimeSense Ltd.; Venture Capitalist Gigi Levy -Weiss; Wix's Navot Volk; Hanan Lavi; and other serial entrepreneurs.


Ignite was designed to meet current industry needs, and the plan includes new methodologies for identifying a product-market match, and business development according to lean startup methodology. According to the company, the goal of the program is to "put great minds, entrepreneurship, and innovative ideas at center stage."


Registration for the second cohort of Intel Ignite, set to begin in late March, is ongoing. Interested startups should present a strong and innovative idea and a committed team.