Leading Israeli VC Jerusalem Venture Partners (JVP), in cooperation with BGU’s technology transfer company - BGN Technologies, will create Israel’s first ever cyber-security incubator under the Israeli Office of the Chief Scientists' incubator program in Beer Sheva. The initiative comes in the wake of rising cyber-threats and increasing attacks on critical infrastructure in Israel and around the world. The incubator will be located in the new Beer Sheva Technology Park adjacent to the University and the new technological campus of the IDF Telecommunications Division. The incubator is expected to begin operations as early as the beginning of 2013.
JVP plans to choose a select number of new start-ups each year from hundreds of candidates in the fields of cyber-security and enterprise software to join the incubator. Once established, the incubator will seek to expand to include an additional incubator for community-based social initiatives and a cultural arm which will bring Jerusalem’s Zappa Music Club to the southern town.
“Hi-tech is the engine of the Israeli economy, and it’s important that we bring it to areas and population groups throughout the country,” said JVP Founder and Chairman Erel Margalit. “Israel’s leadership in the area of cyber-security is a strategic asset for the country, and we can leverage it not only for security purposes, but also economically and socially. Establishing the Beer Sheva incubator alongside a social incubator and other cultural hotspots can create cultural and social change along with a thousand new jobs.”
JVP’s Yoav Tzruya, who will be heading the cyber-security incubator, believes it may be the key to expanding hi-tech development in the Negev. “Our vision is to turn Beer Sheva into a center of innovation and creativity in the field of hi-tech, and a leader in the field of cyber-security,” said Tzruya.
JVP, established in 1993, manages eight venture capital funds with over $900m under management having created and supported over 90 companies over the past 19 years. The fund has lead 24 prominent exits, the most recent being the sale of storage innovator XtremIO to EMC in May this year and encryption to the cloud company Navajo Systems to Salesforce.com last August. JVP's exits are amongst the largest in Israel’s hi-tech industry. JVP has long focused many of its investments in the area of cyber-security and enterprise software, the most prominent in this space today being Cyber Security company Cyber-Ark, which has over 1,100 customers worldwide being installed in 8 of the world's top 10 banks.
Israel has been named one of the top three world-leaders in the field of cyber-security. Approximately 25 Israeli information security firms have been acquired by multinational organizations, and Israeli companies are counted among the world’s leading IT security providers.
Ben-Gurion University of the Negev is one of the leaders in academic applied research in cyber-security as part of its Homeland Security Institute.