Tech Nation: Startups Account for Quarter of Q1 Growth in Israeli Service Exports

High-tech grants for Arab university students; Israel and Quebec in five-year R&D program; Wandera raises funds

Moti Milrod

Israel’s net exports surged 19.5 percent in the first three months of the year, with startups accounting for 27 percent of the growth in service exports, the Finance Ministry’s chief economist said this week. Beyond startups, the opening of a new Intel plant in Israel was a major factor in the surge of goods exports. Exports of drugs, however, declined 13 percent. (Hagai Amit)

Israel providing high-tech grants to Arab university students, grads

The Economy and Industry Ministry has approved a 1.6-million-shekel ($446,000) grant to the Nazareth-based firm Galil Software in a new ministry program to win Israeli Arabs internships at high-tech companies. The grant will let Galil Software create 13 positions for university students and seven for university graduates. Some are expected to remain at Galil Software. Companies employing at least five interns are also entitled to apply to the ministry for a 10,000-shekel grant for administrative expenses related to the program. Students in engineering, computer sciences, life sciences, earth studies, math, physics, chemistry and science education are eligible for the program. (Ora Coren)

Israel and Quebec to provide $6 million for five-year R&D program

The Economy and Industry Ministry and the Canadian province of Quebec have signed a five-year agreement to fund joint research and development projects. The ministry and the Quebec government are each providing $3 million for the program, to be matched by participating companies. The funding is available in fields including nanotechnology, infrastructure and construction, electrical equipment, agrotechnology, medical technology, information and communications, and banking and financial services. Separately, Israel and Canada are in discussions about upgrading their free trade agreement. (Ora Coren)

Mobile security firm Wandera raises $27.5 million

Wandera, a provider of mobile security and data management for enterprises, says it has raised $27.5 million in equity and venture debt financing, bringing its total funding so far to $50 million. New investor Sapphire Ventures of California led the round with participation from existing investors Bessemer Venture Partners, also of California, and 83North, which invests in Israeli and European tech firms. Headquartered in San Francisco, Wandera was founded by Israelis and has a research and development center in Israel. Its customers include Mazda, Deloitte and Office Depot. Wandera plans to use the funding in particular to develop its intelligence engine, MIRIAM, designed to identify unidentified computer security vulnerabilities and provide analysis. (Reuters)