JTA NEWS
21 October 2019 - 23 Tishri 5780 - כ"ג תשרי ה' אלפים תש"פ
JTA NEWS :
Business
New scholarship fund launched for Indian startups in Israel E-mail

A non-profit organisation, along with a trade association of Indian IT and BPO (Business Process Outsourcing) industry, has announced a US$50,000 scholarship fund for Indian startups accelerating in Israel.

The fund, created by MassChallenge Israel, along with the Deshpande Foundation and the National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM), would also provide a unique opportunity to win up to half a million Israeli shekels (US$135,000) in cash prizes.

“A US$50,000 scholarship fund has been created to support up to 10 Indian startups qualified for MassChallenge Israel’ 2019 accelerator cycle,” explained Ido Atiya, spokesperson for MassChallenge Israel.

MassChallenge was founded by John Harthorne and Akhil Nigam in 2010 with the aim of making it easy for entrepreneurs to launch and grow new ventures.
Headquartered in the US, it has offices in Boston, Israel, Mexico, Switzerland, Texas and the UK.

The selected Indian startups will join the other 2019 MassChallenge Israel finalists for a four-month equity-free accelerator programme in Jerusalem, in which they will have an opportunity to win a cash prize.

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Japan’s Recruit invests in Israeli cryptocurrency startup Beam E-mail

Tokyo-based Japanese internet giant Recruit Co Ltd has made an investment in Israeli cryptocurrency startup Beam, which has developed a cryptocurrency focused on protecting users’ privacy.

Sources say that a total of US$5 million was invested in Beam. Among the other investors was Israeli crypto investor Ofer Rotem, who heads the Collider Ventures investment fund.

The Japanese company invested in Beam on 18 February through a blockchain investment fund called RSP Blockchain Fund Pte Ltd., which it set up in November last year.

A pioneer of Japan’s internet industry, Recruit focused in its early stages on employee placement, resembling LinkedIn, but has grown into Japan’s largest internet company, providing a host of online services.

Beam was founded in March 2018 and issued its cryptocurrency on 3 January. It is headed by CEO Alexander Zaidelson, while a well-known name on the team is senior advisor Guy Corem, who founded and heads DAGlabs Blockchain Company, oneofthefirstIsraelicompanies to enter the bitcoin mining field.

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OurCrowd signs investment, partnership agreement with South Korea’s KEB Hana Bank E-mail

Global equity crowdfunding platform OurCrowd entered into a further partnership in Asia in January by signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with South Korea’s KEB Hana Bank, a subsidiary of the Hana Financial Group. The deal adds to its previous partnerships in mainland China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Thailand and India.

As part of the inked agreement, KEB Hana will become OurCrowd’s latest institutional investor in Asia and will be granted an equity stake in a range of current and future OurCrowd portfolio investments. The MOU agreement also seeks to create strategic relationships for Korean corporations that are looking for innovative technological solutions.

OurCrowd CEO Jon Medved said: “The high-tech co-operation between Israel and South Korea is quickly evolving into an economic powerhouse.”

“We are delighted to welcome KEB Hana to a front-row seat at the table, as we provide diversification of venture capital opportunities across the globe to the bank, and ultimately to a wide audience of impressive corporations and accredited investors in South Korea. This latest step forward, in addition to the partnerships we have established in Korea, will help leverage incredible commercial potential as we deepen the interface between the two countries’ industrial collaborations in various high-tech fields,” he added.

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ICL signs long-term potash agreement in India E-mail

Israel Chemicals Limited (ICL) has signed, for the first time, a five-year supply agreement with Indian Potash Ltd. (IPL), India’s largest importer of potash.

According to Globes, under the terms of the agreement, Israel Chemicals will supply IPL with 600,000 tonnes per year in 2019 and 2020, increasing to 650,000 tonnes per year in 2021-2023, including options.

Prices for the quantities to be supplied under the framework agreement will be determined in accordance with the prevailing market prices in India at the relevant date of supply.

The long-term agreement was signed by the parties in a ceremony held in New Delhi that was attended by Israel’s Ambassador to India Dr Ron Malka, IPL’s managing director Dr P.S. Gahlaut and Israel Chemicals CEO Raviv Zoller.

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Ben-Gurion University to establish entrepreneurship centre E-mail

The Council for Higher Education in Israel has awarded an NIS 6 million grant to BenGurion University (BGU) of the Negev for the establishment of Yazamut 360°, an interdisciplinary centre for entrepreneurship that will host activities in a new facility.

The centre will be chaired by Professor Carmel Sofer of the Departments of Cognition and Brain Sciences and Industrial Engineering Management, who was a hi-tech investor for 25 years, and led by Dana Gavish-Fridman, the University’s Head of Entrepreneurship.

It is at the heart of BGU’s long-term plan to enhance the university’s innovation ecosystem. It is also surrounded by a wealth of applied-oriented academic departments and will act as a facilitator of various new initiatives such as Cactus Capital, the university’s student-run venture capital investment fund, and Forum 80-20, a voluntary organisation led by student entrepreneurs from BGU’s Industrial and Management Engineering Faculty and dedicated to expanding students’ connection to the business world and to providing first-hand business experience to complement their academic studies.

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