A Business Technology Entrepreneurship Center in Haifa’s Innovation District
Who we are
HiCenter has been promoting tech ventures in Haifa for the past 12 years.
HiCenter was established in 2008, as an entity supported by the Innovation Authority (then the Chief Scientist’s Office) to invest in seed-stage tech companies, by the Haifa Economic Corporation (HEC) and the Haifa Municipality.
Wishing to provide a comprehensive support system for the development of tech ventures in Haifa, and since there are no other entities that provide such support, HiCenter has extended its activity to include additional services necessary for the foundation and development of startups.
As such, it provides startups and entrepreneurs with business assistance, help raising capital and even direct incentives through the In-VENTech program.
HiCenter in numbers
Million NIS entered the city’s economy due to HiCenter’s activity
Years of experience in business ventures in Haifa
startups in Haifa are promoted by HiCenter
What we do
HiCenter leads the Innovation District’s entrepreneurial, technological and business activities, and supports startups and entrepreneurs in developing their companies and creating a business environment that maximizes their chances of success.
wishing to build successful companies that will make Haifa their home, and act as a catalyst of growth for the city’s economy in general and for the development of the technological innovation industry in particular.
HiCenter, headed by leading professionals in their field, provides startups with business assistance, helps with fundraising, and provides direct incentives of up to 500,000NIS per company.
Since its establishment and until today, HiCenter has become partner in and leader of Haifa’s developing high-tech community, has held and promoted enriching events that are open to the public, has led the “Investors Club” that brings together investors from all over the country and is an international focal point for cooperation between the three sectors: government, municipal and private, successfully promoting start-ups and acting as a driving force for the development of a complete entrepreneurial ecosystem.
HiFund connects investors to leading technology companies in Haifa, after completing an in-depth due diligence process, managed by our experienced investment team. We introduce companies after confirming that each company has the management, product, market and financial plan needed to build a sustainable and fast-growing company.
As part of our mission, we established an Angel Investors Training Course with the Technion Knowledge Center for Innovation. Throughout the course, investors learn and practice methods and methodologies of managing the investment process in startups, acquaintance with the Israeli ecosystem, mapping specific markets, pre-investment due diligence and more, including real-time analysis of startups.
At the end of this learning process, the investors enhance their skills – good investment capabilities become excellent ones.
HiFund built and manages a national investors community that helps connect local entrepreneurs with angel investors. Our community taps into local and international investors, many of whom wouldn’t invest in startups unless the community existed. The training course (mentioned above) is part of our holistic approach to pushing growth and enabling individuals to take a more active and impactful part in the HiTech ecosystem.
HiFund is certified and regulated by the ISA as a “Proposal Coordinator”.
HiFund, as part of the HiCenter’s group, complies with the mission to accelerate the technological entrepreneurial ecosystem in Haifa, and supports the companies during their long journey to success, providing them with business and fundraising support.
Hicenter, alongside the Haifa municipality and the Israeli government, established the National Center for Blue Economy in January 2022.
The vision of the National Center for Blue Economy is to lead the innovation and entrepreneurship in all aspects of maritime space, in Israel. A crucial component of the vision recognizes that Israel, with its existing development, innovation, and technological entrepreneurial capabilities, can and should be a provider of global solutions for maritime space and climate crisis.
The National Center for Blue Economy’s primary goal is to create a framework that will support the development of innovative sea-oriented technologies, based on creating a broad partnership of all infrastructure in Haifa, including knowledge, research and information, institutions, and marine infrastructure.
How we do it
Harnessing the rich complex of knowledge infrastructure, data, and physical infrastructure concentrated in Haifa’s area into one entity will support early-stage technology companies focusing on marine technologies, and lead to the development of young technology companies, focused on Blue Economy technologies.
The IN-VENTech program was planned and built by HiCenter and promotes startups in Haifa’s port district, supported and funded by Haifa Municipality and Haifa Economic Corporation.
The program includes locating partners and customers in Israel and abroad, giving counsel and assisting in building an investment model, introducing investors, recruiting and supporting the team of counsels and the company’s marketing strategy. The duration of the program is between 6 months to two years, depending on the track chosen for each company, and in addition, the companies are given a grant of 300K NIS, grants for office rent and meals at Haifa’s restaurants for the employees participating in the program. In total, the companies receive grants worth approximately 500K NIS without management fees, equity allocation or diluting their shareholders and founders, while their only commitment is to stay in Haifa for three years after joining the program. Beyond being assisted financially, the companies also receive help in recruiting employees, finding investors and regarding their business development. Twenty seven companies joined the program in the past year.
Our program is designed for companies based on technological innovation, with a cohesive entrepreneurial team that has diverse capabilities and proven feasibility, while nautical, shipping, medical and smart city ventures are prioritized.
While the quality and abilities of our companies, teams and the stage they’re in are important factors, it is the quality of the entrepreneur leading them that has the greatest influence on whether we choose a company or not.
In our experience in high-tech, it is the entrepreneur’s technological, business and personal capability that can significantly increase a company’s chances of success.
Entrepreneurs need to know how to withstand pressure and always think outside the box. The moment we find such an entrepreneur, it confirms our understanding that their company has a place in our program.
In its distant past, HiCenter acted as an investment firm and raised more than one hundred and fifty million shekels for 22 portfolio companies. The Innovation District, and the programs promoted there, as well as its proximity to Matam Park and academic research and medical institutions, undoubtedly indicate that further innovation is in the city’s future.