Google has launched an incubator in South Africa, has gotten involved with existing incubators in Portland, and most recently, launched the Ebda2 initiative in Egypt offering one lucky entrepreneur up to $200,000 in seed capital. These are just a few of the many ways in which Google is giving back to the startup community.
Now Google plans to launch an incubator in Israel in August 2012, coinciding with the opening of Google Israel’s new offices in Tel Aviv.
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The announcement was made by Google Israel’s R&D Center Director Prof. Yossi Matias, who said that to kick things off, the incubator would be hosting around 20 startups or 80 people. Each startup will be hosted for a period of at least 3 months, with a strong focus on open source developers working on the Google Android platform.
While Israel’s tech startup scene is thriving, Google Israel plans to showcase entrepreneurs from two communities that have received little exposure – Israel’s Arabs and ultra-orthodox communities.
Most incubators tend to charge a participation fee for providing workspaces, as well as services, but Google is providing startups with office space and an opportunity for mentorship at no cost at all. Mentorship will come courtesy of founders of existing and well-established companies, tech and marketing experts and more.
While its sister organization Google Ventures has invested in a huge variety of startups, Google has no intention to invest in the startups who participate in the Israel-based incubator through Google’s venture capitalist arm.
Speaking to Israel publication Globes, Matias said:
“We sought more ways to link up with the local industry and encourage entrepreneurs to develop breakthrough products. The fact that the incubator will sit adjacent to Google Israel’s new offices will enable us to closely work with and advise them and provide them with suitable support.
The Israeli developers community is innovative and sizzling. It has great potential. This project evolved from a desire to provide suitable support when it is most effective. The incubator is part of Google’s operations to deepen its ties with the developers community.”
Google will be adding to an already vibrant and successful startup scene in Israel. The country is home to countless popular startups including the recently launched Onavo and VoIP app Jajah, which was bought by O2 to the tune of $200 million.