International technology giants General Electric, Microsoft, Qualcomm Ventures, Tata and the Chinese company HNA EcoTech will collaborate with Tel Aviv University and Pitango Venture Capital to establish an investment vehicle for Israeli Internet of things (IoT) projects. The new fund was unveiled at the IoT Summit 2016, which was held on Tel Aviv University campus today.
The Fund, called “Israel IoT Innovations - i3 Equity Partners” has been launched with an initial investment of $20 million.
TAU President Joseph Klafter said, “I’m proud to say that TAU’s technology transfer arm, Ramot, played a major role in leading the formation of i3 investment consortium. We see this as an outgrowth of several decades’ worth of cooperation with leading Israeli and multinational companies.”
Prof. Klafter said that i3 Equity Partners is “the cornerstone of TAU Ventures, a major new framework being established to integrate the entire campus, the wider community and investors into a one-stop shop for entrepreneurship.” TAU Ventures will be a physical space, added Prof. Klafter, involving the renovation of 1,000 square meters to house an accelerator together with i3.
The Fund will be jointly managed by Israeli entrepreneurs Noga Kap and Eran Wagner. “This novel framework will be the first stop for IoT-related startups looking to access the main global players in the IoT space,” said i3 Managing Partner Kap. “We will be targeting entrepreneurs who are adapting to changing markets and creating products that matter and will provide them with the resources they need to build successful startups,” she said.
Ramot CEO Shlomo Nimrodi, who is Chairman of i3 Equity Partners, said, “This one-of-a-kind collaboration between some of the world’s largest corporations and Israel’s leading academic institution and largest venture capital fund is a testament to their trust in the ability of Israeli entrepreneurs to invent the next breakthrough technologies that will move the world. "
The i3 funding will provide three to five high-potential seed and pre-seed startups annually with a financial investment of up to $1 million each. Selected companies will also benefit from technology, tools, mentoring, business development and office space on the TAU campus, as well as from the support of the multinational corporations for technology validation, design, proof-of-concept, later-stage investments, and ultimately, the purchase of mature technologies and their distribution in high-potential markets including China and India.
The Internet of Things industry, which injects connectivity and software into objects and appliances, could be worth almost $900 billion by 2022 according to recent estimates. IoT is slated to soon change all aspects of our lives from aerospace to medicine, transport, security, agriculture and industrial production. IoT draws on many fields including big data, machine learning, cyber security, sensing, communications, software engineering, ethics and privacy - all strong areas at Tel Aviv University.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on November 14, 2016
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