When ranking the top startup and innovation ecosystem globally, Israel is often listed near the top, right behind Silicon Valley. This country has emerged as a global hub for innovation and technological advancements, fostering a vibrant startup ecosystem that has captured the attention of international corporations. With a remarkable track record of successful startups, groundbreaking research, and a supportive environment, Israel offers a wealth of opportunities for corporations seeking to tap into its innovation ecosystem, and, to-date, almost 200 global corporations have some sort of innovation presence in the Startup Nation.

As more and more companies look to Israel as a source of innovation, we wanted to share a few different options for accessing this incredible innovation ecosystem, along with examples of international corporations that have already opened up shop here.

Come Visit!

Before you decide to do anything in Israel you need to come and experience it first-hand. There are many globally recognized conferences in Israel, and we even host our yearly Scaleup Summit that focuses on helping companies learn about the opportunities in Israel.

Additionally, there are many different organizations and chambers of commerce that organize trade and business missions to Israel throughout the year.

Establish a Presence in Israel

Now that you have visited Israel at least once, there are a wide array of options for access to the innovation ecosystem, and we will outline a few examples below.

R&D Center 

According to the OECD Israel is one of the biggest spenders on tech R&D and has one of the highest numbers of engineers per capita in the world. So, it has been a no-brainer for many companies to open technical R&D centers in Israel that tap into that talent. Amazon, Apple, Microsoft, and Meta are just a few of the companies that have major R&D operations in Israel, wth companies like Alphabet even taking it a step further by opening more advanced centers in Israel with their vaunted Google X moonshot division.

Open Innovation Outpost

While R&D is clearly important to any company, other international companies have established their global open innovation teams in Israel. Procter & Gamble is a prime example of this, where their Israel innovation team oversees the innovation practice for the entire company across the world.


There would be no innovation or startups if there was no money. So, many companies have opened corporate venture arms in Israel to invest in Israeli startups. Samsung has a few different ways to support startups in Israel, such as their Samsung Next venture arm, while Robert Bosch Venture Capital has been investing in Israeli startups for years and Sunitomo’s IN Ventures is a newer entrant into the game.

Scouting Antenna 

Sometimes all you need is a small team looking for the best startups for POCs or investment. MunichRe, one of the largest reinsurance companies in the world keeps one person on the ground in Israel looking for the next big thing in the insurance field.

Accelerator/Innovation Program 

This is a big category with lots of different types of models, but the common thread among all these are that they are programs that help major corporations access and support startups. The Drive TLV, a collaboration between Volvo, Honda, Goodyear and a number of other mobility companies focuses on matching startups to POCs in all the partner companies. While programs like Intel Ignite or Citi Accelerator focus on deep-tech and fintech startups respectively.

VC Partnership & Investment 

For some companies a more indirect investment approach may make more sense. Some companies might just want to be investors in an existing VC fund that looks for startups that might be strategically relevant, as in the case of Repsol, the Spanish Energy company, that is an LP in Cardumen Capital. Additionally, Cisco was an early partner in the establishment of Team8, one of Israel’s leading cyber-security investors.

Government & Academic Programs, Incubators & Collaborations 

Since the early days of the State of Israel, the government has been investing heavily into the innovation ecosystem. Initially called the Office of the Chief Scientist, the Israel Innovation Authority is now tasked with creating opportunities for collaboration for international companies among many other things. 

The Innovation Authority is open to hearing proposals from companies about  programs they would like to launch with an Israeli partner, and some existing programs include the Road2 AI Center for Excellence, which works with nVidia and Road2 Ventures to locate, mature and sponsor early-stage AI startups. Similar programs include ESIL, a collaboration between EDF Renewables, Bazan Group and Johnson Matthey with a focus on environmental sustainability; as well as AION Labs, a partnership of Merck, Teva, Pfizer, AstraZeneca that focuses on the pharmaceutical industry.

In addition to the programs above, the Innovation Authority also has a specific definition for incubators and they support many of them across Israel. For example, Corning, Blue Sky Capital (Samtec), Kyocera, Oceancap, Rhodium, Moon2Mars Ventures and SpaceCom came together to establish a space and deep tech incubator called the Space & Earth; while The Kitchen Hub 2 focuses on food tech and is a partnership between the Strauss, Unilever, Givaudan, Ambrosia Novozymes, and Temasek.

In all these programs the Innovation Authority contributed some money, but most of it was brought by the various international and local companies that also defined how they wanted the program to be structured (within the requirements set forth by the Innovation Authority).


While Israel may be known for its R&D focus, there are some companies that look to Israel for its manufacturing expertise. Intel has invested billions of dollars to establish multiple semiconductor fabs in Israel, while Iscar, which was acquired by Berkshire Hathaway, is a major player in precision machining.

Startup Support & Innovation Hubs

The final way that we see companies tap into Israel is via the innovation hub. Volkswagen Group uses their Konnect program as a means of instilling an innovative culture into their teams around the world while also working with startups; Enel, furthermore, does something similar as well. Also, while we mentioned them before, AWS, Microsoft & Google also have hubs that host events at and also provide support (and cloud credits) to startups.

These are just just some of the ways that international corporations access the Israeli startup ecosystem, and Mind the Bridge can help your company explore all of them. From startup scouting to helping your team develop an innovation strategy , Mind the Bridge is your one-stop-shop in Israel for open innovation services and our local team is ready to help you open a presence in the Startup Nation.