New online platform aims to offer start-ups runway to success

Today, more than 6,600 hi-tech companies are active across Israel, with a mixture of first-time entrepreneurs and experienced hi-tech players.

Adv. Nimrod Vromen (L) and Adv. Noa Mayer (R) of Yigal Arnon & Co. Law Firm (photo credit: YORAM RESHEF)
Adv. Nimrod Vromen (L) and Adv. Noa Mayer (R) of Yigal Arnon & Co. Law Firm
(photo credit: YORAM RESHEF)
The Israeli hi-tech sector is continuing to grow, with the number of active start-ups increasingly steadily every year.
Today, more than 6,600 hi-tech companies are active across Israel, with a mixture of first-time entrepreneurs and repeat, experienced hi-tech players contributing to the swelling size of the sector.
Yet, at the same time, the number of start-ups closing every year has also increased steadily in recent years, with an estimated 600 companies shutting down in 2017, according to Start-Up Nation Central.
Eager to emulate the success enjoyed by Israel’s leading innovators, ambitious new start-ups can be saturated by advice and guidance given by various industry players. Information gaps may often be filled by venture capital firms and multinational corporations, understandably seeking to advance their own interests.
One repeat player in the hi-tech ecosystem, however, maintains that it is both involved in more deals than any other entity and clear of promoting such agendas: the large tech-practicing corporate law firms, which represent all the players in the sector, whether investors or entrepreneurs.
Now, offering a platform to fill that information gap, employees of Yigal Arnon & Co. law firm – involved in five of the 10 largest investment rounds in Israeli hi-tech last year – have established YTech Runway, an online hub aiming to better educate industry actors.
“The vision of YTech Runway is to provide first-time entrepreneurs with every single app, tool and content they might need in the first 18 months of their lifecycles,” said Adv. Nimrod Vromen, co-founder of YTech Runway and partner at Yigal Arnon & Co. “This is before they are adopted by sophisticated players in the ecosystem, like venture capital firms, investors and advisers with their own personal protocols.”
For early-stage start-ups and potential investors, the website offers a wide range of financial, legal and human resources-related document templates, a comprehensive list of service providers, regularly-updated expert insights and market analysis.
“We do hope that once start-ups and entrepreneurs start using the platform more often, they will see the value, the breadth of information and tools that they can get there, and they’ll return according to their needs,” said Adv. Noa Mayer, head of business development and innovation at Yigal Arnon & Co.
The platform is completely free to use, and even offers a one-click service for entrepreneurs to send a digital pitch to 60 investors of various sizes who have partnered with the initiative.
The website also provides a calendar, detailing all the upcoming events that could be relevant for entrepreneurs, whether in Tel Aviv, London, Berlin, San Francisco, New York and Tokyo.
“YTech Runway is our way of making the cake bigger, educating founders, bridging their information gaps and also testing our ability at developing our standalone business asset for ourselves,” Vromen said. “It’s not a business development or marketing play and we don’t want clients from the site. The best evidence of that is that we don’t mention Yigal Arnon except in the ‘About Us’ section of the website.”
Ultimately, by enlarging the cake, filling knowledge gaps and facilitating fundraising efforts by emerging start-ups, Vromen said he believes the law firm will profit from representing more companies seeking to secure investment deals.