!When a spirit meets a vision, the result is a celebration

Ashdod has for a long time been more than just a port. In recent years, the city has made innovation and entrepreneurship its priority. Its municipality promotes many innovative projects including: the National Experimental Center for Smart Transportation; a pilot program at the Port of Ashdod; the Kitchen FoodTech Hub; ReWay, a 'smart transportation project; and the ClimateLaunchpad Israel program, which encourages climate tech innovation.

Committed to entrepreneurship and innovation, Ashdod also promotes an acceleration program for startups: TheHive Ashdod by Gvahim. The accelerator is operated by Gvahim and has been serving the city since 2013. It is situated at Hub Ashdod, an entrepreneurial shared workspace that was established by the city’s first cooperative youth center.

TheHive Ashdod by Gvahim portfolio is diverse and includes startups from many fields, including: climate tech, smart cities, software, cybersecurity, SportsTech, smart transportation, EdTech, marketplaces, aviation, retail, and automation for developers.

TheHive Ashdod by Gvahim is one of the first accelerators in Israel. It recorded a significant achievement when PerceptionBox selected it as one of Israel’s top five accelerators for 2021.

The accelerator program runs for six months and accompanies early-stage startups, through those that have run pilots. Entrepreneurs acquire tools for building their startups. They participate in practical workshops, receive personal guidance from mentors, and are provided with networking opportunities, as well as access to investors. They also enjoy access to a shared workspace.

Each accelerator program concludes with a demo day that showcases the progress of the startups, opens doors for them, and creates opportunities. During this event, the alumni startups present their ventures to angel investors, investment funds, civic entities, and municipalities. The startups that rank the highest win cash grants. Since the demo day is an excellent opportunity for startups to get the exposure they need, it sometimes leads to venture investment.

Many exciting and groundbreaking startups have emerged at the TheHive Ashdod by Gvahim. For example, Maxim Levin's software startup, BuildBen, won first place at the ninth cohort’s demo day in 2020. Maxim, a Russian Oleh, is the CEO of BuildBen, which develops SaaS that accelerates deployment and testing processes in large companies, unlocking the hidden parallelization capabilities of DevOps tools. This concurrency is powered by the combination of both cloud and local computers. BuildBen’s MVP alone recorded an improvement of over 200% in performance. The product can significantly shorten time to market, increase developers' productivity, and even reduce the energy consumption and resources associated with the cloud. BuildBen, which employs six people, already completed a successful first round, raising close to $1 million. They are currently preparing for an additional round of fundraising.

TheHive Ashdod by Gvahim also included Cynergy, a cybersecurity startup that won first place at the accelerator’s 10th demo day in July 2021. Cynergy is a SaaS platform developed by veteran cybersecurity experts. The platform utilizes an innovative approach that helps organizations combat the risk of ransomware through automatic detection of external assets, assessment of network vulnerability, models of threats, authentication, prioritization, and more. The startup currently employs seven people.

One thing that sets TheHive Ashdod by Gvahim apart is the variety of participating startups. At the latest demo day in 2021, Liron Cohen, a computer science student, presented an exciting and unconventional venture in the field of cybersecurity investigation and forensics. His venture decrypts cybercrimes against civilians that typically remain unsolved. Liron is very active in network ethics and expects this field will evolve into an integral part of technological development and daily conduct. He has completed development of an MVP and is now preparing for a pilot.

To date, there have been ten accelerator cohorts, with a total of 170 alumni that have benefited from the program. Together, they raised over $30M. Alumni startups may continue to receive mentoring and guidance from the accelerator’s staff.

Applications are currently open for the 11th cohort of TheHive Ashdod by Gvahim. So, if you have an idea or venture, Apply now!

For additional information, and to apply to the next accelerator program – Click Here

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