RIHub launches Bridge to Israel program for Israeli tech startups

PROVIDENCE – Israeli tech startups looking to establish a United States presence will have a home in Providence, complete with a range of services designed to help grow their companies under a new program announced Thursday.

The Bridge to Israel program is the latest in a series of programs and services offered by RIHub, a startup incubator jointly founded by the state and a number of colleges and private companies.

RIHub has already signed agreements with three Israeli accelerator programs – IBM Alpha Zone, Hadassah Hospital Tech Accelerator and Ben-Gurion University’s Oazis – to send graduates of the startup programs to Rhode Island to further grow their businesses, according to a press release.

“We are very excited that these great startup accelerators from Israel – a country known around the world as ‘Startup Nation’ – have chosen Rhode Island as their recommended choice for companies looking to land or expand in the United States,” said R.I. Commerce Secretary Stefan Pryor said in a statement. “RIHub… is already proving to be highly successful. Innovation is in our state’s DNA, and we’re pleased to see our ‘lively experiment’ continue with this exciting new announcement.”

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One Israeli-based health care tech company, Profility, has already opened an office at RIHub, and another five Israeli companies are going through RIHub’s selection process to participate in its program, according to Annette Tonti, RIHub’s managing director. Whether and how many local employees these companies will hire has not been determined.

The launch of the program fulfills an agreement R.I. Gov. Gina M. Raimondo signed with Ben-Gurion University in 2019 designed to foster business ties and create an environment for international startups. The state in conjunction with the University of Rhode Island also gave $2.5 million in 2019 through its Innovation Campus initiative to RIHub and its partners for an innovation accelerator program that included IBM Alpha Zone.

RIHub began in 2019 in the Wexford Science & Technology Building at 225 Dyer Street.

Nancy Lavin is a PBN staff writer. You may reach her at Lavin@PBN.com

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1 COMMENT

  1. I’m very sad to see Rhode Island Commerce Corporation and RI HUB supporting Israeli companies without any context around the ongoing occupation of Palestine. Do these companies oppose the apartheid conditions imposed by the Israeli government on Palestinians? How do they support the cause of ending these conditions? Given the state’s history in profiting from the slave trade, publicly subsidizing private profit at the expense of low-income workers, residents, and communities of color, and refusal to acknowledge and put an end to police violence on our streets, this fits within the state’s general approach. However, all Rhode Islanders should be ashamed and incensed at the state’s unapologetic support for the apartheid regime that continues to control government in Israel.