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Beer-Sheva’s Tech Ecosystem Continues to Bloom

Beer-Sheva’s Tech Ecosystem Continues to Bloom

March 22, 2016

Homeland & Cyber Security, Robotics & High-Tech

TechCrunch — David Ben-Gurion famously said that the future of Israel lies in the Negev. Today, his prophetic words ring true as Beer-Sheva is morphing into a tech oasis.

The relocation of the technology units of the Israel Defense Forces, the presence of multinational and local companies, proximity to Ben-Gurion University and its tremendous student talent, and generous government subsidies give Beer-Sheva all of the ingredients of a vibrant security technology ecosystem.

“All in all, projections are that 20,000 to 30,000 cyber and related jobs would be created in Beer-Sheva over the next 10 years,” says Yoav Tzurya, partner at Jerusalem Venture Partners (JVP), an Israeli venture capital firm with a cybertech accelerator located in Beer-Sheva’s Advanced Technologies Park.

BGU is pumping out skilled labor to fill those jobs.

“Ben-Gurion University plays an obvious and important role here,” says Amos Stern, co-founder and chief executive office of Siemplify, a cyber security threat analysis company. Stern is also a former IDF intelligence corps leader.

Beer-Sheva’s unique tech ecosystem is making it easier than ever for students to find local jobs after graduation.

“The tight collaboration with major industry firms such as Deutsche Telekom, EMC and IBM makes the BGU cyber security program a very strong and practical one,” says Stern.

“I’ve found BGU cyber security graduates to be well-aligned with this focus, bringing more than just a theoretical understanding of cyber. They bring a professionalism that’s very valuable when you’re looking to solve the real-world challenges of today’s business,” he adds.

Another good sign for BGU students looking for high-tech work after graduation is the fact that the co-working space WeWork recently opened a branch in Beer-Sheva, an indication that the influx of startups is in full swing. WeWork, known for its presence in big cities, seems to have made an exception to its big-city strategy by launching a branch in the desert.

“We believe that many exciting and innovative companies will develop and emerge here in the next few years. We are also finding that many companies are relocating to Beer-Sheva and we are here to offer them a suitable solution,” says Ronnie Ceder, general manager of WeWork in Israel.

Beer-Sheva’s cyber security hub has even piqued the interest of the likes of former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, who visited the burgeoning city recently to talk to students, researchers and startup entrepreneurs.

Giuliani is the latest in a long line of politicians who are eager to benefit from Israeli cyber security know-how. In February, the United Kingdom and Israel announced an agreement to deepen cooperation to tackle cyber attacks.

“The UK’s world class companies and universities combined with Israel’s cutting-edge technology and entrepreneurial culture is an unbeatable combination,” says British Cabinet Minister Matt Hancock.

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See a similar article on the Christian Science Monitor website >>