From healthy eating and fitness to anti-aging products and workplace health, the thriving global wellness industry is today worth an estimated $4.2 trillion.In societies where individuals are increasingly taking health matters into their own hands, the market offers lucrative opportunities for trailblazing wellness-focused entrepreneurs. The industry grew by some 12.8% from 2015 to 2017, according to the Global Wellness Institute.Now, two Israelis boasting years of experience in the international health industry and business development arena are seeking to open doors to a healthy future for Israel’s start-ups in the booming world of wellness.Amir Alroy and Galit Horovitz are the co-founders of Welltech1, the country’s first wellness innovation hub that is due to open in the coming weeks and aims to connect local start-ups to leaders in the global industry.
“We found that there is something lacking for wellness start-ups in the Israeli hi-tech industry, so we decided to build a hub that will connect Israeli start-ups, investors and global partners,” Alroy, the former owner and CEO of Cloud 9 Wellness Clubs, told The Jerusalem Post.“We’re bridging the gap between international corporations and the Start-Up Nation, and we’re going to scout start-ups according to specific criteria set by global partners,” said Horovitz, a partner at SZ Financial Consulting.“What we are providing to the start-ups is knowledge, mentorship and a supporting community. We’re bringing our experience and knowledge to help start-ups grow and also providing a scouting service for global partners who don’t have someone on the ground.”The small number of selected pre-seed and seed stage start-ups will enjoy free office space on Tel Aviv’s Rothschild Boulevard, in addition to three months of mentorship, networking events and the support of a dedicated team accompanying the entrepreneurs as they seek to grow and secure investment. Welltech1 will also invest in the companies chosen to join the hub.“There are quite a few accelerators and hubs in Israel in fields that are related to wellness, for example in sports and foodtech,” said Alroy.“The wellness trend has developed significantly in the last 10 to 15 years. Today, it’s an industry and a lifestyle, and the market is now ready to accept a wellness innovation hub.”Budding entrepreneurs can look for inspiration to the success stories of Israeli nutrition start-ups DayTwo and Nutrino Health. Nutrino, based in Tel Aviv, was acquired in November 2018 by American-Irish medical device giant Medtronic for a reported $100 million.“One of the largest markets is the United States, so we’re starting there. But there are large companies based in Europe and Asia, especially China, that are interested in wellness,” said Horovitz.“We have been meeting with many start-ups in all sectors of wellness and we’re currently going through a due diligence process with them. We’re also in the process of signing partnerships with some of the top international wellness corporations worldwide.”