Israel’s largest equity-free accelerator program, MassChallenge IL, brought together 49 startups in Jerusalem recently to learn business essentials, a first step towards enabling companies to complete its four-month “investor-ready” program.
“We start by taking founders back to the basics of building a business. You wouldn’t enter a building that was not properly planned or that did not have a solid foundation,” said Aaron Zucker, executive director of MassChallenge IL and founder and managing partner of Sapir Venture Partners.
“Starting from first principles, we are here to ensure that all of the cohort’s founders build these essential foundations,” he added.
Jerusalem Deputy Mayor Fleur Hassan-Nahoum addressed the conference attendees:
“I want to thank MassChallenge, which has cultivated this innovation in the city and laid the groundwork for our entrepreneurial community. The innovation that has come out of MassChallenge has gone global and has become the capital’s Embassy of Innovation.”
Participants expressed their excitement to begin the program.
“We started MassChallenge because we get access to great mentors, and the whole mentor community, helping us develop our sales and marketing strategy,” said Ofer Bartal, CEO of Wakka, a startup helping people launch careers in the hi-tech industry.
Dina Niron, CEO of Organa, a femtech company aiming to be the one-stop shop for women’s sexual wellness and knowledge, said, “We are hoping to achieve a better understanding of how to approach investors, crystalize our vision and messaging, and network with the beautiful MassChallenge ecosystem.”
MassChallenge is a global network of innovators headquartered in the United States with eight locations worldwide. Since launching in 2009, more than 3,000 startups have participated in a MassChallenge program, and the non-profit has awarded over $17 million in equity-free cash and prizes.
“Our accelerator programs in Israel, Switzerland, Mexico, the United States, Africa and Asia are intended to provide entrepreneurs with the scaffolding for building business traction,” said Cait Brumme, CEO of MassChallenge.