Beersheba is an ancient and storied city in Israel’s Negev desert. The biblical city, which is often called the capital of the Negev, was long viewed as a distant and sleepy city, far removed from the hustle and bustle of Tel Aviv. For many outside of Israel, this perception of the Startup Nation being limited to the center of the country and the Tel Aviv metro still persists. But any visit to Beersheba puts the lie to this idea with the first glimpse of all the construction cranes dotting the landscape. The city is thriving, and this is due in no small part to the presence of the tech startups there. Beersheba is emerging as a thoroughly modern center for tech innovation, and there are a number of reasons why.
A big part of Beersheba’s success is due to the presence of one of Israel’s major centers of higher education – the Ben Gurion University of the Negev. The university helps bring youth and energy into the city and also serves as an economic engine driving new businesses and entrepreneurship. In addition, both the national and municipal government have taken a number of steps to encourage businesses to set up shop in the city. This is especially true for cyber startups, but enterprises of all stripes are starting to call Beersheba home.
So what kind of startups can you find in Beersheba? Check out the examples below to see some of the hot startups and organizations that are helping to make Israel’s desert bloom.
This organization works with partners such as WeWork to promote and create a strong tech community in Beersheba. They aim that Beersheba will one day rival not only Tel Aviv, but ultimately startup hubs in the U.S and Europe as well. And a quick review shows that they’re doing a pretty good job of that. Tech 7, led by Yotam Tzuker and Alon Naftali, creates meetups, workshops, guides, and classes to help local residents as well as outsiders understand the potential of the city in the desert. It’s SilicoNegev startup competition is open right now, and hopes to find the most innovative startup from the city.
Another exciting company in the city is DiACardio, a MedTech startup dedicated to increasing the efficiency, speed, and accuracy of cardiac imaging processes, specifically cardiac echos. While today the process is subjective and its results really depend on whoever performs the test, DiACardio is developing AI-driven, big data algorithms to automate much of the diagnostic process, thus creating a gold standard for heart imaging. The company, led by Dr. Noah Liel-Cohen, is working to integrate this automation into every echo machine sold on the market, helping doctors and technicians around the the world better diagnose, and then treat, patients.
Last but not least on today’s list is Croosing, which has set its sights on changing the way we use the internet. Unlike other players in the space, Croosing does this by taking on one of the very basic elements of our day to day browsing: the hyperlink. Croosing, led by Uri Ravin, has created what they call “Superlinks”, which allows web users to share a full story with their friends and contacts, rather than just a webpage. It enables users to create an experience across various websites, add annotations, and even helps their friends focus on the important part of the website they want to share. Croosing focuses not just on transmitting information, but rather creating a custom made story with every share, helping users all around the web share better content.
So, as it seems, the startup scene in Beersheba is no mere desert mirage, but a full fledged tech ecosystem focusing on anything from med-tech to the way we use the internet. The strongly supported hub is not just a “cyber” capital, but an all around tech scene, with an exciting future ahead of it.