Business incubators in Israel are not particularly impressed with Economy Minister Naftali Bennett's
work for Israeli hi-tech, or with his former career in the field. A survey conducted by the Fahan Kana & co Accountancy Firm revealed that over half of incubator businesses in Israel do not see a particular benefit to the appointment of Bennett as the new economy minister.
When asked if Bennett's appointment will have a positive effect on the hi-tech
industry, 53% of business managers replied that they believe his impact will be slightly productive; about 18% believe there will be great positive impact; about 29% said they believe he will not at all positively impact the industry.
Israel has 25 incubator businesses
operating under the nearly full funding of the Office of the Chief Scientist in the Economy Ministry. The office funds about 85% of investment for the start of each business. In the passing year the incubated business plan went through a significant change and due to new bids incubated businesses run by international companies were added to it, such as Nielsen, JVP, the Gitam Company, and more.
Last week, Israel announced the latest winner in the bid to start a bio-technological incubator business—a combined group of the Japanese Takada, Johnson & Johnson, and OrbiMed.
According to the survey, most business
managers predict that the field that will see the biggest rise in Venture Capital investments this year will be information security and BioMed. Some 41% of incubated businesses named information security as the field that will garner the most referrals to technological incubated businesses; 29% named BioMed; 17% named the Internet and 12% named Cleantech.
Some 82% of incubated business managers believe that Venture Capital investment
will remain unchanged or drop compared to last year; 59% said they believe VC investments will remain unchanged; and 23% replied that the rate will decrease slightly. Only 18% of incubated businesses said they believe the rate of VC investments will grow slightly.
"I think people who deal with starting companies at their early stages see the difficulty in raising funds to technology-rich firms," said venture capitalist Eyal Lipshitz, manager at the Pergreyn VC. "The scientist built tools to enter incubated businesses to companies, but there is a great difficulty in starting firms and a real problem raising funds. That's why, before the election, we believed it'd be appropriate that there'd be a hi-tech minister, and not just a committee. There were extensive talks about it, and Naftali Bennett was chosen. He's a man from our industry, a man who understands our needs. It's still early, but I believe he will get in the thick of it. We need a deep involvement of the minister because we are headed in a bad direction."
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