Faced with unique and persistent security challenges Israel has always nurtured smart defense and homeland security (HLS) solutions. The need created a large vertical market that ranges from mega-corporations to specialist subcontractors, OEMs and small startups addressing innovations of all types. Yet the evolution of smart ideas and startup ventures into solid solutions is tough, and only few of the ideas would eventually get through to become full fledged solutions that can meet the demand from local and international customers.
Israel’s Defense & HLS Startup Accelerator, recently launched by iHLS, is providing defense innovators the jumpstart they need to get their dream into reality. Itself a startup venture that brings together all the facilities, knowhow, services and connections needed to succeed, the accelerator has already won the support of major defense corporations and local authorities.
Tal Catran, one of of Israel’s accelerator pioneers and lieutenant colonel (res.) Avi Yariv, a veteran of the IDF C4I corps and a co-founder of iHLS are managing the program. Yariv has extensive background and experience in the field of security technology and international marketing. Catran is experienced in guiding and accompanying entrepreneurs and startups, and an international speaker on entrepreneurship and innovation.
A call for proposals to be released soon, will invite applicants to pitch new projects. Those that will be selected will join the program, due to start mid-year. Accepted teams will get workspace in a complex currently being prepared for the new venture. This complex provide an ecosystem that will include training and coaching by technological and professional mentors, exposure in professional and general media outlets and conferences, as well as networking and introduction to local and international companies, investors and delegations from across the globe that already expressed interest in the new venture.
Companies that already committed to the new initiative include Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), and Elbit Systems’ ‘Incubit’ technology incubator, Verint and more. Defense-Update has joined as a consultant, in a supporting role. We congratulate i-HLS for their initiative and wish Israel’s Defense & HLS Accelerator the best success.