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Google Incubates in Israel, Attracts Arabs and Hareidi Jews

Google loves Israel. The Internet giant will host 20 potential start-ups in an “incubator” attractive to Arabs and hareidi religious Jews.
By Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu
First Publish: 11/16/2011, 9:47 AM

Google loves Israel, it seems. The Internet giant will host 20 potential start-ups in an “incubator” next year when it opens its new offices in Tel Aviv. The seed start-ups will attract Arabs and hareidi religious Jews, according to Google.

Prof. Yossi Matias, director of Google’s Research and Development, told Google Israel’s annual conference the incubator will involve 80 people. The focus of the start-ups is the development of open code technology, which in simpler terms includes such items as Google’s Chrome browser and its Android mobile operating system.

Projects will be promoted at universities and other possible sources, and entrepreneurs will not be charged a fee for participating.

“The Israeli developer community is hugely innovative and has the potential to create many more ground-breaking technological developments,” a Google spokeswoman said. “The technology incubator is part of Google’s efforts to strengthen its connections with the developer community.”

"The Israeli developers’ community is innovative and sizzling. It has great potential,” Matias told Globes.

The establishment of an incubator in Israel is ”very significant,” Shulie Galili, executive director of the California-Israel Chamber of Commerce, told the Wall Street Journal. “Google will have more accessibility to the talent and the know-how of what’s going on in that community,” she said.  

Israel has been a leader in hi-tech startups. The Israeli-based PrimeSense provides technology to Microsoft’s Kinect video game system, and the ICQ instant messenger system was created in Israel and later bought out by AOL.