Genesis remodels Israel’s Junction start-up accelerator


Four years after Genesis Partners launched Israel’s first start-up accelerator, the time has come to give The Junction‘s existing format a face-lift. Despite 13 courses and112 start-ups, 53 of which raised more than $130 million and three of which were sold, Genesis announced its intention to begin filtering the entrepreneurs more rigorously, alongside increased financial investment in the companies.

Genesis Partners managing partner Jonathan Saacks explained the decision to change directions at a press conference today: “We have invested in only two companies to date, out of all of The Junction’s cycles, and we want to increase this number. Today, it’s much more difficult for a start-up to rise above all the noise, and we want to invest in more companies that come into The Junction, with a more thorough selection process, financial investment, and ongoing mentorship,” he explained.

In the new format, each cycle will be lengthened by three months to half a year, and the selection process will be changed. Of the many applications submitted to the program, 20 companies will be invited to a two-day boot camp, where dynamic meetings will be held alongside hackathons. After this process, 4-6 companies will be selected for the next cycle of The Junction, which is managed by Amir Gelman. Applications are being accepted from today, the Founders Camp will begin in June, and the first cycle will open in July.

The 4-6 companies that join Genesis’ accelerator will receive minimal, discretional financing of $50 million from a group of angel investors, whose identities were not disclosed. The financing will be in exchange for a 5% stake in the start-ups that join.

In addition, The Junction intends to place increased emphasis on the ongoing mentorship of advisors and experts from the industry. To this end, The Junction will work together with the SAP innovation lab, which will help with the mentorship and the selection process, with Facebook Israel, with Meitar Liquornik Geva Leshem Tal law firm, and with Deloitte Israel.

As for Genesis Partners’ investment, the idea is to invest in participating start-ups only after they have completed the program. “We will work with the companies to raise the next financing round, and then we will invest. It’s reasonable to assume that we will not be able to invest in each and every company, only in 80% of the companies, with the idea being to participate in the first investment round, with an investment of a few million dollars,” explains Saacks.

Genesis is very proud of the three start-ups that completed the accelerator program and were sold. Two of the CEOs of these start-ups participated in the press conference today – Ido Yablonka, who sold ClarityRay to Yahoo and currently heads Yahoo’s Tel Aviv development center, and Omri Moran, who sold KitLocate to Yandex, and currently heads Yandex’s Israel development center.

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news – www.globes-online.com – on May 6, 2015