It has been a little over a year since Intel launched its Tel Aviv based accelerator Intel Ignite. The success of the Israeli project has ignited the multinational technology company to launch additional accelerator programs in Austin, Texas and Munich, Germany. The company tells that future plans are already being set, with a vision of the project reaching other European cities, in addition to locations in North America, and later down the road in Asia.
“The startups we look for are fearless, pave new paths and are not afraid of taking bold steps. Intel employees engaging with the startups in Ignite are challenged to work more nimbly and creatively, and they gain perspective on how other companies and entrepreneurs operate, producing fast results and significant business outcomes,” explains Intel Ignite General Manager Tzahi (Zack) Weisfeld.
Started in Tel Aviv, now spreading around the world
Intel Ignite is a 12-week program, where 10 chosen early-stage startups receive personal guidance from global experts and Intel mentors. Once accepted, the startups receive access to technologies, business leaders, data, and Intel’s vast network of experts. As one of the world’s most challenging and yet rewarding accelerator programs, Intel notes that unlike other accelerators, its program doesn’t require startups to front cash to participate.
“Aiming for companies like WSC Sports, Spot, and Appsflyer”
Tzahi (Zack) Weisfeld explains in a conversation with Geektime that the newly founded Austin and Munich programs will be similar to the Tel Aviv branch, although with fine tuning to adjust the program to the targeted country. Weisfeld continues to tell that Intel CEO Bob Swan has been more than impressed with the first two batches of the Israeli program, which has accelerated the establishment of its German and Texas counterparts.
Westfield also referred to the outbreak of the COVID-19 virus and its effect on the accelerator program, which was forced to move to Zoom. The new programs have been entirely adjusted to the virtual world, as COVID doesn’t seem to be going anywhere soon.
You have already exported a successful accelerator program abroad (Microsoft’s program), are there any differences?
“The resemblance is strong, and here as well we are aiming for companies like WSC Sports, Taranis, Spot, Appsflyer, and many other top rated startups. One of the main differences is the incredible involvement from the Intel team, and the dedication they’ve portrayed both on the business and technology end.”
CEO of Intel Global, Bob Swan said regarding the expansion of the accelerator program: “We launched Intel Ignite in 2019 to help startups on their journey to success, as well as to provide Intel employees an opportunity to advance our goals. Already after its first year, Intel Ignite exceeded expectations, and based on its proven and strategic accomplishments, we chose to expand operations globally.”