Screen Shot 2015-03-05 at 2.29.35 PMThrough my role as Brand Ambassador for the Rackspace Startups Program in Israel, I have been fortunate to work with the wonderful tam of Boaz Mamo, Lior Zeno and Inbal Ron at the The Transportation Innovation Institute at Tel Aviv University and their EcoMotion Accelerator.

They have just announced its call for applicant startups for its Summer class which runs June 1 – September 1. The program takes no equity, provides $25,000.00 to the founders, and access to world-class mentors and experts in the field of startups and transportation innovation.   Applicants from around the world are invited to submit their applications no later than March 31.

At the completion of the accelerator program, with the acquisition of the necessary tools, the startups will be ready for initial investment, along with a demo to coincides with a major innovation in transportation focused event in November .

Israel As A Center for Transportation Innovation

Israel is one of the leading startup and innovation hubs in the world. In the last 24 months, Israel-based companies such as Waze, MobilEye, RedBend, Moovit, Smartbus, and GetTaxi have seen exits, IPOs and funding in excess of $2.5 billion. The program will be administered by the EcoMotion staff, and will draw upon a community of mentors and experts in related fields.

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Startups accepted into the accelerator will gain exposure to a variety of experts, companies and investors from the field, mentors and leaders in the transportation industry. They will also receive funding to develop their product, professional services and work space, as well as be access to, facilitating the creation of new partnerships.

The vision of EcoMotion is to position Israel as a significant factor in the smart transportation field, while attracting new and innovative entrepreneurs into the ecosystem. The penetration of the “Digital World” in transportation can promote Israel’s positioning as a leading player.

Why EcoMotion?

“EcoMotion provides not only an opportunity to accelerate new and innovative startups, but doing so in the Startup Nation, Israel,”  Boaz Mamo, Executive Director of EcoMotion shared with me.   “The work you will do at EcoMotion will provide your startup with world class experts, access to deal flow for investment, and strategic partners seeking innovation and fresh ideas from the startup sector.”

Who? Admission Requirements.

Startup teams from around the world are invited to apply to the summer class. Ten companies will be accepted into the program as long as they meet the following the following criteria:

  1. Potential impact on both domestic and global levels.
  2. The startup applying has received no more than $100,000.00 in seed funding.
  3. Potential to raise initial or add-on funds.
  4. Commitment of at least two of the founding team members to spend the majority of his/her time in Israel during the program.

Location

The Accelerator is housed in one of my favorite buildings in Israel and the subject of many of my Instagram photos: the Porter Building, home to the School of Environmental Studies at Tel Aviv University.

Each startup will receive a portion of a shared workspace. The work will be primarily independent, specific to the project plan with a weekly -shared day leaded by the program administrator. Each group presents its progress, problems and current needs, as well as enrichment lectures.

The managing team will also aim to include relevant university departments in the entrepreneur’s activity.

The focus of work will be based on three main levels:

  1. Product development.
  2. Formulation of a business model and operation.
  3. Securingsources of financing for further development.

Desirable Outcomes

At the end of the Accelerator program, each of the projects will be prepared to raise its 1st Round funding, seed funding, or acceptance to an incubator. The “best case” scenario (i.e., software projects) would be market-ready.

Funding

Participants in the Accelerator program will not be charged any fees or percentage from future project earnings.

Each startup accepted to the program will receive $25,000 for related expenses. The funds will be given according to the work plan submitted by each project and approved by the Executive Committee.

The funds may be used to purchase equipment, services, travel to conferences and meetings, marketing expenses and site construction. The funds are not to be used to cover payroll expenses.

A Community of Mentors

The EcoMotion staff and many community members will be available to the accelerator projects: Local Investors (foundations, government programs and international cooperation programs), entrepreneurs and other companies, academics, government and local authorities, local and international companies.

How to Apply

Startup teams should apply here.   Applicants will be notified of their status, have an opportunity to conduct a Skype call interview and discussion by March 1. Companies selected for the program will announced on April 27 at the EcoMotion Main Event.

For more information, visit: www.ecomotion.org.il.