Chair of the Religious Zionist Party Bezalel Smotrich
Chair of the Religious Zionist Party Bezalel SmotrichSderot conference - Kay Academic College

In a significant move to fortify Israel's high-tech sector during a period of uncertainty, Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich announced today a substantial expansion of the budget allocated to the Israel Innovation Authority's Fast-Track program. The program's funding has been increased fourfold from NIS 100 million to NIS 400 million, providing vital support to startups facing financial difficulties as a result of the ongoing hostilities.

Minister Smotrich met last evening with executives from the Finance Ministry, the Israel Innovation Authority, and other leaders of the high-tech industry to discuss the effects of the war on the Israeli high-tech sector. They discussed the steps that are needed to transcend the current crisis as well as the long-range plans that should be implemented to help the high-tech industry in the days following the war.

Participants in the meeting, which included representatives of Israeli and foreign venture capital funds, institutional investors, corporate representatives, and pivotal entities in the ecosystem, presented the minister with updated information and data regarding local tech companies and industry, and the demand for a prompt response. This information came in addition to data that was presented to the minister in the last few days, including the results of a survey filled in by hundreds of local companies, detailing the challenges they face these days.

Following the data, financial analysis, and professional recommendations in the meeting, Minister Smotrich accepted the recommendation to immediately increase the funding resources available to the tech industry. He has therefore decided to increase the budget of the Innovation Authority's Fast-Track program from NIS 100 million to NIS 400 million, with the goal of providing immediate response for Israeli startups that are currently facing difficulties in raising capital from their existing investors during this time of war.

This is the first in a series of further short-term and long-term provisions the Finance Ministry's professional leadership is working on with the Israel Innovation Authority, while maintaining continuous collaboration and coordination with the high-tech industry.