We met with some of the startups making it big outside of Tel Aviv to understand what made them choose their location, and what added value they have by having their offices out of the city.
Cnvrg.io provides an AI development platform that allows data scientists, data engineers, and organizations to develop and manage artificial intelligence models. Their offices are located in Jerusalem, and they have around fifty employees, some of whom are from Jerusalem and some from throughout the country.
"We chose Jerusalem, among other factors, because the company's founders, Leah and Yochay, are both from Jerusalem, studied at the Hebrew University, and were raised in the Jerusalem atmosphere. Working in Jerusalem gives us the advantage of recruiting candidates who want to stay and work close to their homes and there are many talented Hebrew University graduates on hand”. Yael Levi, Head of people at Cnvrg.io told Geektime.
Cnvrg.io was founded by Leah Kolben (CTO) and Yochay Ettun (CEO). The company was acquired by Intel for $60 million in late 2020.
Plus500 is a global multi-asset fintech group operating proprietary technology-based trading platforms. Plus500’s headquarters are located in Haifa, which is in the northern part of Israel, partly because of the company’s long-established collaborative relationship with Technion - Israel Institute of Technology. The company’s office in Haifa is in a well-known technology business park, where several major global and Israeli-based technology firms are also based. This location provides Plu500’s employees with an optimal work environment and allows quick and easy access from more people in northern and central Israel. While most of the company’s Israeli-based employees work at its Haifa office, Plus500 also has an R&D centre in Tel Aviv.
David Zruia, Plus500 CEO, says: "We are proud to have a long-standing and deep connection with the city of Haifa, which provides our people with optimal conditions to support a healthy and balanced work environment. In Haifa, we continue to recruit outstanding students from the Technion for several important roles within our business, while many of our employees and management are successful Technion graduates, including myself, having served as the President of the Student Association. So, we have a significant appreciation of that institution, and we continue to make great efforts to further develop our strong relationship with it. With an office in Tel Aviv as well, focusing on R&D, we can ensure that we are recruiting the best technology talent from both Tel Aviv and Haifa.”
ARMO, the creator of Kubescape, is on a mission to create the first end-to-end Kubernetes open-source security platform, built for developers, and trusted by security professionals. The company was founded in 2018, by Shauli Rozen, Leonid Sandler, and Ben Hirschberg. ARMO’s has offices in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv.
״Establishing the company in the heart of Jerusalem was an easy decision since two of ARMO's founders are originally from Jerusalem,״ said Merav Zviran, Head of People at ARMO. "Even today, a major percentage of our employees are from Jerusalem and the surrounding area. Our office is based out of the WeWork site in the center of Jerusalem, and we have another office in Tel Aviv. Establishing our headquarters in Jerusalem has several advantages. First, the city’s population is very diverse, which helps us recruit employees from all sectors of Israeli society. Second, our location gives flexibility to our employees and candidates who want to work hybrid and be close to their homes. A lot of candidates are very interested in this flexibility in the offices, so this makes us more attractive in their eyes."
GuardKnox, an AutoTech company, is enabling the next generation of software-defined vehicles and connected mobility by building high-performance, service-oriented, customizable, and secure-by-design automotive solutions. GuardKnox is headquartered in Ramle with subsidiaries in the U.S. and Germany.
“We see our HQ office as a benefit when talking to candidates from cities like Rishon LeTzion, Rechovot, Nes Tziona, Modiin, and others that are excited by our proximity to their homes," said Moshe Shlisel, Co-founder, and CEO of GuardKnox. “Establishing our Israeli offices in the Taavura building has several bonuses: our 2,500-meter office is a 5-minute walk from the train station and only a 25-minute drive from Tel-Aviv; we have plenty of parking for employees and enjoy on-premises gym facilities. When GuardKnox was founded, we worked out of a small room in the Taavura building and have recently expanded to occupy several floors due to the company’s growth. Choosing to be in Ramle also allows us to invest more in our employees and adds to GuardKnox’s financial stability.”
The founders of the creative-technology company Artist, originally from the north, decided to establish the company's first offices in the north of the country, believing that Israeli high-tech should lead the economy in the north as well. Artlist began to examine several options in different areas in the north and decided on the dining hall at Kibbutz Afikim. The offices were built on almost 800 square meters of the total building area, while the other part of the building still functions as a dining room.
Itzik Elbaz, founder, and co-CEO of the company added: “All of the company's founders grew up and were educated in the north of the country, so establishing an office in the north was a natural move from the very beginning. We see a great mission in leading technological activity in the north. We believe that quality manpower is found in all parts of the country. Therefore, alongside extensive activity in Tel Aviv, Israeli high-tech companies are also committed to the Israeli economy outside of Tel Aviv."
Located in Haifa, MeMed is a rapidly growing startup with a mission to translate the complex signals of the immune system into simple insights that transform the way diseases are diagnosed and treated. MeMed's goal is to create and commercialize disruptive technologies to tackle big problems that don’t have good solutions in 21st-century medicine. Our first breakthrough product is the MeMed BV, a test that differentiates between viral and bacterial infections– the first FDA-approved test that is host-respond based and returns results in 15 minutes from a serum sample.
MeMed's Co-Founders, Dr. Eran Eden (CEO) and Dr. Kfir Oved (CTO), both live in the Haifa region and studied at the Technion, where they also came up with the idea for MeMed, in Kfir's grandmother’s kitchen. MeMed is currently rooted in Haifa, and its success is tied to the city and its developed medical ecosystem. From the first experiments to the clinical studies and the FDA-approved product, MeMed has made partners in numerous academy centers and hospitals in the region. Moreover, a lot of MeMed's team members are from the region and accumulated their knowledge, academic background, and industry experience in and around Haifa. At MeMed, they believe that there is a vast pool of talent in northern Israel, and being in Haifa, gives MeMed the ability to attract them.
AIR is revolutionizing everyday mobility for everyday people, by empowering individuals to seize the power of personal flight. AIR was founded by Chen Rosen who was later joined by Netanel Goldberg and Rani Plaut. It is based in the Pardes Hanna, with a presence in Texas, to pave the way for a cleaner, more thrilling future of mobility, affording everyone the freedom to fly.
“We chose to be located in the Pardes Hana industrial area, a place that is accessible by train from the center of Israel yet allows us a large area for testing the electric motors and full vessels without disturbing or attracting too much attention. We build electric aircrafts so we must develop both hardware and software for batteries, motors, and controllers. This huge Hanger, located outside Tel Aviv, allows us to handle all these disciplines optimally, including tests, at full strength and easy access to hovering and flight test areas. Being in Tel Aviv is fun but also stressful and brings traffic congestion into your daily routine which generally has a negative impact on your life,” said Rani Plaut, CEO and Co-Founder of AIR.
Established in 2020, Fresh Start is a global Foodtech incubator operating under the Israel Innovation Authority incubator program. It is led by Noga Sela Shalev (CEO) and Dr. Tammy Meiron (CTO). Fresh Start rapidly grew to become a leader in the emerging agri-food cluster in the eastern Galilee region.
Noga Sela Shalev, CEO of the incubator said, "The incubator was established in Kiryat Shmona to strengthen the area's economy and encourage entrepreneurs to settle in the Eastern Galilee; it works in close cooperation with the regional ecosystem. With the support of its partners, the incubator provides early ventures with all that is required to succeed and brings the venture from the initial stage of an idea to the final stage of going to market. About 70% of the employees of the incubator and the portfolio companies are from the Eastern Galilee region, and we benefit from the quality and committed human capital. To date, the incubator, establishing its position as a significant player in the local food tech industry, has invested in eight ventures in various fields and technologies. Fresh Start is working to find more and more entrepreneurs and ventures to help solve acute problems in the food industry alongside strengthening the entrepreneurial ecosystem that is developing in the north of the country.