Ramat Gan's business district..
(photo credit: REUTERS)
The Junction, arguably the first start-up accelerator in Israel, is taking on a new approach to its program, focusing more attention and resources on a fewer amount of start-ups, with an eye toward having a larger investment stake in the companies.
Since 2011, the accelerator has had 112 start-ups go through its doors in 13 “waves.” Of those, 53 have gone on to raise follow- on funding, and three have had exits. Companies ranging from Meerkat, which recently made a splash in the tech world, to EatWith and Moment.me all got a head start at The Junction, which was founded by Genesis Partners.
But now, instead of taking an average of eight new companies for three-month sessions, the group is looking for a more focused experience. It will select some 20 companies for a two-day start-up boot camp, and choose just four-six for a six-month period.
For the first time, start-ups will be offered $50,000 in funding (in exchange for 5 percent of their equity).
Big name partners such as SAP, Facebook and Amazon will be on hand to offer guidance and mentorship.
One motivation for the change is the realization that the start-up space is getting more crowded in every direction.
“Because technology has become a mature industry, it’s much harder for a start-up today to stick out above the noise,” said Jonathan Saacks, a managing partner at Genesis Partners.
But another reason is that Genesis, the investment that founded the accelerator, is looking at it more as an investment opportunity.
While the $50,000 investment will come from a group of angel investors whose names the company did not want to disclose, Saacks said a major goal of the accelerator would be to find more investment opportunities for Genesis.
The start-ups that graduate from The Junction, which is accepting applications for its July wave, will compete for investments from Genesis.