TAU Ventures, the venture fund launched by Tel Aviv University last month, has partnered with domestic intelligence agency Israel Security Authority (ISA) to create an accelerator program called Xcelerator, Globes reported on Wednesday.
The inaugural cohort, which will begin in June, will consist of early-stage teams working on artificial intelligence technologies, with a particular focus on natural language processing, robotics and data science.
The Xcelerator will seek to connect entrepreneurs who have a proof of concept but who are not necessarily targeting the homeland security sector.
TAU Ventures and the ISA will select participating startups through a joint committee. Each portfolio business will receive a $50,000 provided by the ISA and will be offered space in a complex also occupied by TAU Ventures.
Nimrod Cohen, managing partner of TAU Ventures, said: “The startup accelerator that will be launched soon is a groundbreaking program on an international level.
“This is the first time the most important counterterrorism organisation in Israel, and one of the best worldwide, is investing in and supporting technologies from the local ecosystem of entrepreneurship, seeking to adopt these technologies and employ them in its routine activity.
“This is an extraordinary opportunity for the startups to work with a leading intelligence agency with no restrictions and without being required to make any commitment in return.”