StartupBlink Blog

With a population of over 220,883 people, Ashdod is the sixth-largest city and largest port of Israel. The Ashdod, Israel startup ecosystem accounts for 60% of all imported goods and is one of the most important industrial areas of the region and the country. Situated at only 32km North of Tel Aviv, Ashdod is emerging as an alternative location with a lower cost of living. 

A new entry in the StartupBlink Startup Ecosystem Ranking Report, Ashdod has found itself a position as 517th. This port city is one of the most affluent in industry in Israel and is slowly transforming itself from a traditional business economy to a startup and innovation ecosystem.

Ashdod, Israel Startup Ecosystem

For Ashdod’s rankings in the Startup Blink Global map click here

Unique Ecosystem Advantages:

  • Strong established industry
  • Promising destination for developing technologies in logistics
  • Promising vertical in maritime solutions
  • Close to and cheaper than Tel Aviv

Overview of Ashdod’s Startup Ecosystem 

Ashdod, a huge industrial city, is an important part of the Israeli economy with a large port and access to a traditional business economy. This city is showing promising development in startup and entrepreneurship. With plenty of public investment initiatives and vibrant local entrepreneurship groups, Ashdod has a clear focus in developing the current economy into a supportive startup ecosystem.

What gives Ashdod a competitive advantage? 

Although a traditional economy and business city Ashdod shows promising verticals and development towards transforming itself into a successful and supportive startup ecosystem and ranks well on the StartupBlink Startup Ecosystem Ranking Report

With costs of living 32% cheaper than London and access to the beautiful  Palmachim Beach National Park where there are lots of activities and opportunities for sports and recreation, Ashdod is a welcoming environment for entrepreneurs. A good standard of living plus the already successful economy the city is an excellent startup ecosystem. The proximity to the country’s capital, Tel Aviv, also makes Ashdod an excellent cheaper alternative for those seeking access to the main business hub of Israel without compromising on costs. 

Industry

With a strong established traditional economy and as the largest port in Israel there is no lack of industry in Ashdod. A new focus is transforming the city from a traditional industry hub to a supportive and thriving startup ecosystem. The Israeli government has put a large focus on attracting foreign investment as well as attracting entrepreneurs through Visas programmes and startup – focused initiatives. 

With strong verticals in the food tech industry Ashdod shows promising growth from startups in the food sector as well as those in technology. The young, educated population thanks to the SCE, the largest engineering university in Israel, has boosted the growth in the tech sector. Innovation and progress is clear in this city. The proximity to Tel Aviv and the already large business population gives startups access to a healthy economy with many sectors growing rapidly. 

Response to COVID-19 

Israel adopted similar restrictions and preventative measures as most other countries, including lockdowns, social distancing and travel restrictions. As a big city Ashdod suffered from these throughout the beginning months of the Pandemic. However, with most businesses resuming as normal and opening up in the month of February 2021, the Israeli economy is beginning to flourish again. With trade through the port of Ashdod continuing throughout the pandemic a lot of the population maintained jobs, in turn maintaining the economy. 

Promising Startups

Fesh – a solution for selling online with a powerful comprehensive solution for building an eCommerce business.

Better Juice – Better Juice develops a unique, Non GMO, Biotechnology process for converting high calorie-value sugars to dietary fibers.

Yofix – Yofix develops and manufactures dairy and soy-free fermented plant based pre and probiotic foods.

AB Dental – A.B. Dental is a dynamic and innovative service-based company providing the dentist a complete dental solution, starting from computerized implant planning and surgical guide along with using 3D Additive manufacturing technology for use in the oral-maxillofacial field.

Build Ben – Smart algorithms operating in the background of developer machines create an eco-friendly CI/CD that does not require maintenance, servers or cloud resources. 

Tevatronic  – By using the concept of “3D Irrigation” Tevatronic have created a more efficient irrigation system which can be used on a variety of crops, using less water and preventing loss of crops. 

Public Investment  Initiatives 

Israeli Innovation Authority – National authority, financially supporting entrepreneurs and startups. With a wide variety of initiatives to create supportive and successful startup ecosystems across Israel.

Visas by the Israeli Innovation Authority –  Assists foreign entrepreneurs with the visa process alongside TheHive Ashdod accelerator. 

Ashdod Municipality, Industrial and Commercial Administration – Provides subsidized co-working spaces and smart city pilots along with small and medium business infrastructures, both digital and physical. 

MaofTech – A nationwide technology acceleration program initiated by the Israeli Small and Medium Enterprise Agency. 

Key Organizations

TheHive Ashdod – Dedicated to supporting early-stage startups owned by new immigrants in Israel. A collaborative program with the Small and Medium business Agency in the Ministry of Economy and Industry along with the Ashdod municipality this accelerator is aimed towards early-stage startups. It is operated by the non-profit organisation Gvahim who focus on promoting new initiatives and technologies. 

SCE – The largest engineering college in Israel. Access to a  high amount of academic professionals from the tech and engineering sector provides the city of Ashdod with a young and enthusiastic population looking for employment. 

Accelerators and Coworkings

Ashdod Tech – The largest HiTech and entrepreneurs community in the Ashdod area offering meetups and peer support. This coworking hub focuses on promoting partnerships and opportunities among entrepreneurs. 

The Kitchen by Strauss – Israel’s leading Foodtech Incubator. With a focus on investing and supporting cutting-edge technology startups in the food industry, this Ashdod-based incubator provides an excellent environment in which startups can thrive. Creating hundreds of jobs, raising millions, and supporting tens of companies The Kitchen nourishes promising FoodTech ventures in the hope they will disrupt the global food system, making it more productive, more affordable, more sustainable, and healthier. 

Startup Summary

A promising startup ecosystem with a wide range of public investment initiatives and organizations focused on promoting and supporting startups, Ashdod is on track to becoming a startup hub within Israel. Its proximity to Tel Aviv, along with a strong established traditional economy, Ashdod is an excellent option for startups looking to move to Israel. 

Following this focus on startups Ashdod is in an excellent position to find itself higher in next year’s ranking of the StartupBlink Global Report. 

For more information on startup ecosystems download the StartupBlink Global Report

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