The Tata group has joined hands with General Electric Ventures, Microsoft Ventures, Qualcomm Ventures, HNA EcoTech, Pitango Venture Capital and RAMOT, the Business Engagement Center of Tel Aviv University (TAU), to establish a new technology incubator in Israel. With the first closing of $20 million, the incubator called i3 Equity Partners (i3) will focus on developing next-generation IoT (Internet of Things) and IIoT (Industrial Internet of Things) technologies.
Through this collaboration, the Tata group along with the other partners will support promising early-stage Israeli ventures, enabling them to reach an advanced phase of development, and ultimately strengthen their presence in global markets. The partners, on their part, expect to tap the acclaimed ingenuity and knowhow of the Israeli tech industry, for growing their enterprises in the field of IoT, which is expected to transform how industry operates and how individuals live, work and play.
With headquarters at the TAU campus, i3 will be headed by managing partners Noga Kap and Eran Wagner, both successful Israeli entrepreneurs as well as investors with extensive experience in early-stage investments, and chaired by Shlomo Nimrodi, chief executive officer of RAMOT, and a veteran of the Israeli high-tech industry.
Commenting on this partnership, KRS Jamwal, executive director, Tata Industries, said, “The Tata group is excited about partnering with leading multinationals like GE, Qualcomm and Microsoft, along with Tel Aviv University and the venture capital fund Pintago. The group, since inception, has focused on developing new technologies in the spirit of innovation that is strongly embedded in its DNA. We hope to provide guidance and mentorship to the start-ups based on our experience of operating across a range of sectors, across multiple geographies. We could also potentially help start-ups scale easily by facilitating better access to market. This collaboration will help us identify and support breakthrough innovations in IoT, and look forward to having early access to new technologies with a focus on high-quality products and ideas that will develop through this initiative.”
Shlomo Nimrodi, chairman, i3 Equity Partners, said, “This one-of-a-kind collaboration of some of the world’s largest corporations with Israel’s leading academic institution and largest venture capital fund, is a testament to their trust in the ability of Israeli entrepreneurs to come up with the next big thing that will transform our world. The fact that we were able to bring all these leading partners around one table, providing access to their technologies, markets and clients, and also attract top venture capital talent to lead this initiative, generates the highly unique differentiators we will be offering to top entrepreneurs.”
i3 will annually provide 3-5 high-potential seed and pre-seed startups with optimal conditions for success including the following:
- Financial investment of up to $1 million each, supplemented by high-value in-kind contributions including but not limited to technology, tools, mentoring, business development and other services;
- Access to supportive multinational corporations at all stages of development: technology validation, design, proof-of-concept, later-stage investments, and ultimately the purchase of mature technologies and their distribution in high-potential markets – including China and India;
- An inspiring centre of excellence offering world-class office space right next to the TAU campus with its multiple research and service centres;
- Active professional assistance in the crucial processes of business development, marketing, recruiting and product innovation.
IoT brings together the various IT technologies developed over the past decades – big data and analytics, machine learning, cyber security, sensors and communications networks – to create connected solutions that are already starting to change every aspect of our lives: from health through transportation and home appliances to aviation, agriculture, industrial manufacturing and much more.