Israel boasts some of the best technology talent in the world, as proven by some of the astonishingly successful startups coming out of the country. But Israeli entrepreneurs all face the same challenge: attracting investment in a relatively small pond. That’s why ICONYC Labs, a New York-based company, is bringing Israeli startups to New York City to accelerate their progress in the biggest pond of them all.
ICONYC was founded by Arie Abecassis, a partner at DreamIt Ventures, and Eyal Bino, an Israeli entrepreneur and investor, with the aim of bringing mentorship and support to Israeli companies looking to make it in New York City. ICONYC uses a hybrid model, combining an acceleration program and a studio.
The first group of Israeli entrepreneurs is already nearly three months into the six month program ICONYC offers them, and this wave of five is set to be followed by another this year, according to Abecassis.
The program concentrates on the most crucial areas an entrepreneur must master in order to expand into the U.S., including business development, operational support and funding acceleration.
For companies operating in the smaller Israeli market, the U.S. represents a chance to thrive and scale in one of the world’s largest tech consuming countries. “The U.S. is the most scaleable market,” says Abecassis. “New York is a good gateway market for Israeli companies, it’s closer to Israel and there is a community of Israelis here. So it’s a more familiar setting for these companies.”
ICONYC’s first batch of startups come from a diverse set of sectors. There is Clickspree, advertising technology that determines the best time to deliver in-video content recommendations and ads so that online publishers can increase revenue and engagement with their audience. Flux, meanwhile, is an agricultural product which enables the water-efficient growth of food and plants. DandyLoop’s marketplace allows independent online stores to acquire traffic without paying for it, Myndlift is a mobile health solution focused on brain training and Gaonic has developed a SaaS-based data and analytics platform for enterprises working with Internet of Things technologies.
The next stage for ICONYC is to raise money to allow the company to invest in some of the more promising startups to pass through the program.