Elbit Believes In Startups, Joins iHLS Defense Startup

This post is also available in: עברית (Hebrew)

When iHLS defense startup accelerator was only just established, one of the very first companies to join was Elbit Systems, which is represented by Incubit- Elbit’s technological greenhouse in Be’er Sheva. Elbit joining the accelerator has great significance as the company is a leader in the Israeli defense market and has a long tradition of innovation. Few companies can offer startups such value in such a wide range of fields – exposure to R&D, access to experts and infrastructures, mapping and acquainting with the market’s needs, experience in production, marketing and systematic technological understanding. Another uniqueness is the wide range of technological fields the company deals has its hands in: Software, hardware, communications, electro-optics, cyber, nano-technology, chemistry, mechanics, aerodynamics and more.

In a wide strategic process, the company decided to realize this innovation concept, i.e. searching for technologies and innovations from without the company. This activity is being led by the technological greenhouse – Incubit. Elbit won a competition to operate the Chief Scientist greenhouse in Be’er Sheva. Unlike the accelerator where the focus is on HLS and Defense technologies,  in the greenhouse Elbit chose to focus on open innovation and startup companies with breakthrough technologies with a large and promising civilian market, and on technology which also has the potential to be used in the markets in which Elbit operates. This model can offer more growth opportunities for the accelerator’s projects, including both civilian markets and the defense ecosystem which Elbit provides.

Elbit’s participation in the accelerator will expand the possibility of exposure for young entrepreneurs with innovative ideas, and experts from within the organization will receive the opportunity to meet with ideas and a different, “fresh” and innovative perspective. Entrepreneurs and startup companies will gain in meeting experts, receiving the feedback and experience from experienced teams and being exposed to a range of technological capabilities and infrastructures, as well as gaining access to senior managers and scientists. For young companies, such an encounter can be priceless.

The startups in which Elbit has invested so far come from a variety of fields: Materials Engineering, nano-materials, cyber, speech processing and identification, rocket propulsion, electro-optic medical devices. Incubit’s startups vary in technology but share many common challenges, being young firms just starting out. All the companies work in Incubit’s offices in the new high-tech park in Be’er-Sheva and working side by side allows the teams to learn from each other. Incubit’s screening processes highlight the great importance of both the quality of technology and the quality of the team of entrepreneurs as the key for future success in startup companies.

Incubit CEO, Ran Bar-Sella, M.A. graduate in electrical engineering in the Technion and former CTO of the Unmanned Aerials Systems Division at Elbit, says that despite the differences in size and maturity, Israeli startup companies share with leading companies in the Israeli defense industry the need to look outside and focus on export, as well as to be technologically ahead of the market as a condition to translate R&D and innovation into business success.

As part of the cooperation on the accelerator, Incubit will also be looking for companies with high potential to develop solutions for Elbit’s parts of the market as well as companies in other markets with technologies that could interest Elbit.


For more information on our defense accelerator click here.

For registration click here.