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The Maschallenge accelerator is opening a branch in Israel that will take in about 100 promising start-up companies in the next two years

A prize of up to one million shekels will be awarded to the companies that excel in each cycle

From right to left: Chairman of Bank Hapoalim Yair Sarosi, Accelerator graduate Inbal Sheinfeld, Director of MassChallenge's Israeli operations, Israel Ganot, Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat and CEO of the Jerusalem Development Authority Eyal Chaimovsky
From right to left: Chairman of Bank Hapoalim Yair Sarosi, Accelerator graduate Inbal Sheinfeld, MassChallenge's Israeli Operations Director, Israel Ganot, Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat and Jerusalem Development Authority CEO Eyal Chaimovsky

The Maschallenge accelerator officially announces today the establishment of a branch in Jerusalem. According to the plan, in the next two years, about 100 start-up companies from a wide variety of fields will be integrated in the center that will operate in the capital, the most prominent of which are: cyber, Internet of Things (IOT), information technology, tourism and travel, and social entrepreneurship. MassChallenge operates without profit and does not take holdings in the companies that participate in its programs that operate in Boston, London and, starting this year, in Jerusalem as well. The outstanding companies that will be selected by an independent judging committee will be awarded a cash prize, worth up to one million shekels.

Over the past 6 years, 835 companies have participated in MassChallenge's global programs, raising more than a billion dollars. The revenue of these companies has already reached more than half a billion dollars. These companies created 6500 new jobs.

The launch ceremony takes place at the train station complex in Jerusalem with the participation of about 1000 senior industrialists from Israel and the world, hundreds of young entrepreneurs and senior officials from the Jerusalem Municipality, the Jerusalem Development Authority and the government. The CEO and founder of Masschallenge Global, John Harthorn, also participated in the event. The director of Israeli operations, Israel Ganot, the mayor of Jerusalem, Nir Barkat, the director general of the Ministry of Economy, Amit Lang, the director general of the Jerusalem Development Authority Eyal Haimovsiki, the chairman of Bank Hapoalim, Yair Sarosi, and many others.
"When we founded MasChallenge in Boston, it was clear to us that we would like to open a branch in Israel in the future, said MassChallenge CEO John Harthorne. "The accelerator in Jerusalem will support hundreds of startups from all over Israel and the world. We will make available to the companies participating in our program the best means on the way to success. These measures include offices, a global network of mentors and experts, cooperation with local companies, senior officials in the industry and contact with Israeli and international investors" - said Harthorne.
Israel Ganut, director of MassChallenge Israel, explained that applications to participate in MassChallenge's acceleration programs in Israel and around the world will take place in February and March 2016. The examination of candidates will take place during the months of April and May. The first acceleration program in Jerusalem, which will last 4 months, will start in July and end at the end of October. The closing ceremony and awarding of financial prizes to the outstanding companies will take place on October 27, 2016.

Israel Ganut pointed out that MassChallenge's international program connects the most promising start-up companies with the appropriate measures in order to encourage entrepreneurship and growth for the benefit of humanity. By the end of 2019, Masschallenge plans to open branches and hold acceleration programs in 10 different cities around the world. It is estimated that these programs created 30,000 new jobs.

The main supporters of the MassChallenge program in Israel include the Jerusalem Development Authority, the Ministry of Jerusalem Affairs, the Jerusalem Municipality, the Ministry of Economy, the Kraft Group, Bank Hapoalim, EMC and CJP, the law firms Herzog Fox, Naaman Vigal Arnon, and private donors from Israel and the world .

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