With a population of over 51,935 people, Eilat is best known as a resort town with access to incredible beaches, snorkeling and diving in the Red Sea. Israel’s southernmost city is primarily focused on agro-tourism and has managed to create an interesting hub in the desert, far away from the other Israeli cities.
As a new entry in the StartupBlink Startup Ecosystem Ranking Report, Eilat has found itself a position at 494th. This small tourist port town has shown other Israeli cities how to transform into a unique startup ecosystem with entrepreneurs traveling from all over the country to benefit from the various opportunities available.
For Eilat’s rankings in the Startup Blink Global map click here
Unique Ecosystem Advantages:
- Strong partnership with France
- Support from various startup programs
- Excellent tourist industry and trade
- International relationships with many startups thanks to the Eilat Hub
Overview of Eilat’s Startup Ecosystem
What gives Eilat a competitive advantage?
Although a much smaller city than most on the StartupBlink Startup Ecosystem Ranking Report, Eilat shows promising verticals and development towards transforming itself into a successful and supportive startup ecosystem. With a strong tourism market and lots of international tourism attracting a variety of people to the area Eilat is seizing this opportunity to develop international partnerships and programmes designed to attract a young and entrepreneurial population.
Travel and Leisure
Tourism is by far the most successful vertical within this seaside city. With a focus on attracting tourists to the pristine beaches and desert setting, Eilat has many innovations in startups focused on improving social life and leisure. With startups like Farm Guests and Uppsale innovating in the tourism and hospitality space, entrepreneurs and startups that are developing tourist innovations will surely find themselves at home in this city.
Response to COVID-19
Along with most small touristic cities in Israel, Eilat was badly hit throughout the Covid-19 pandemic and suffered a huge decrease in tourism with restriction on international travel. Despite finding itself with a significant decrease in global tourists the city remained optimistic. Eilat has subsequently kept hope that travel in 2021 would allow for the city and its businesses to grow. With no tourists, the population of Eilat has remained small and residents were not subject to harsh restrictions and many businesses have managed to stay open.
New Fulfillment – New Fulfillment is an end-to-end, all-in-one marketplace platform connecting fulfillment logistics centers with e-commerce sellers around the world. New Fulfillment is revolutionizing the e-commerce industry by making e-commerce logistics big data accessible and usable.
Farm Guests – Farm Guests is a digital platform establishing a connection between rural tourists and agribusiness owners. It is designed for the enthusiastic travelers who choose agritourism as an alternative to traditional rest.
Uppsale – Smart restaurant solution, POS & interactive menu designed to power your entire business.
Accelerators, Coworkings and Initiatives
As a busy tourist centre this small southern city has a big focus on providing a variety of initiatives and programmes to support entrepreneurs looking to establish startups. Strong connections to France, french startup accelerators and public initiatives give this city a large competitive advantage. There is also a focus on attracting younger generations to establish businesses in the Eilat area.
CEEINCA – An exchange initiative encouraging French and Israeli nationals to develop a collaborative project aimed towards young people. This initiative is presenting itself as a training programme developing law, finance, technology, entrepreneurship, investment and design skills in young people and encouraging them to gain more experience in these various sectors.
MAOFTech – The MaofTech Eilat accelerator (Maof Tech Eilat) was created in December 2018 at the initiative of the Agency for Small and Medium Enterprises of the Ministry of Economy and Industry, through the Maof field system and in cooperation with the municipality of Eilat. It’s focus was to encourage commercial activities within the region and it ran from 2019 to 2020.
Boost BGU – A high-end academic accelerator led by Ben Gurion University and Eilat Tech Center Hub. The program brings in the top student entrepreneurs from BGU to meet top innovation leaders and design cutting edge technology-based ventures.
Travel Tech Accelerator – An International program led by Eilat Tech Center Hub brings in the top global market ready travel-related startups to meet the leading travel brand investors in Eilat, Israel’s prime resort city.
The most prevalent organisation within the startup Ecosystem of Eilat is the Eilat hub. Along with the Eilat Hub, Eilat boasts many programs and initiatives which support startups and entrepreneurship in the region. A small city, however, with much promise of progress and growth thanks to these organisations and accelerators.
Eilat Hub – Eilat Hub is the first high tech, startup shared working space in the Eilat region. The Eilat Hub offers mentoring and an accelerator as well as business development and an early stage investment option. This Hub has helped to develop and incubate a wide range of international startups including Viggo, Nexto and EasyWay through its various programs and startup bootcamps.
Eilat’s unique ecosystem shows promising initiatives and programs dedicated to growing the startup environment and supporting small and medium-size businesses. The tourism industry especially shows promising ventures and a variety of international initiatives are encouraging a more global view for entrepreneurship and startups.
Overall, Eilat offers a range of support in order to encourage entrepreneurs to consider it as a promising place for a startup.
For more information on startup ecosystems download the Startup Blink Global Report