The startup city of Tel Aviv, Israel, is to launch a program which will allow entrepreneurs from around the world to work in the city for 24 months in order to develop innovative projects. Entrepreneurs who wish to stay in Israel and open a startup company will be granted a specialist visa.
The program has been annnounced by the Israeli Ministry of Economy and the Ministry of Interior, along with the office of Chief Scientist.
According to Compass report ranking Tel Aviv as the #1 startup ecosystem outside of the United States, Tel Aviv’s greatest challenge is the integration of international talent (40% lower share than Silicon Valley). It has been Tel Aviv-Yafo Municipality’s goal to diversify the workforce in order to promote the ecosystem.
“Israel is perceived in the world as a center of innovation and development, and we must preserve this achievement,” said Aryeh Deri, Minister of Economy. “The Startup Visa will enable foreign entrepreneurs from around the world to develop new ideas in Israel, that will aid the development of the Israeli market”.
Tel Aviv-Yafo mayor Ron Huldai also endorsed the program.
“Tel Aviv is the Nonstop City with Nonstop Innovation,” he said. “Young entrepreneurs from all over Israel come to Tel Aviv to invent new products, and now young people from all over the world will be able to come and share this phenomenon with us. The decision of the Israeli government to launch a startup visa in 2016 is groundbreaking for the state of Israel and makes Tel Aviv’s ecosystem even more accessible and attractive for foreign entrepreneurs.”
Hila Oren, CEO of Tel Aviv Global, added: “This is a really exciting time for entrepreneurs from around the world. Tel Aviv is the Startup City of the Startup Nation, and we see a huge amount of foreign companies looking to be part of the amazingly innovative culture we have here. As city makers, we’re thrilled that the government of Israel decided to launch this program and are looking forward to welcoming entrepreneurs to our Nonstop City”.
This Startup Visa joins Tel Aviv’s city-to-city-collaborations signed with Paris and Berlin in the last month, allowing entrepreneurs from these cities to visit each other’s ecosystems and receive a soft landing package including desks at co-working spaces, advice on visas, regulations and legal issues around starting up companies, as well as one-on-one mentoring assistance and access to the ecosystem.