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Center for Digital Innovation Launched in Beer-Sheva

Center for Digital Innovation Launched in Beer-Sheva

September 2, 2015

Business & Management, Negev Development & Community Programs

The Times of Israel — A new project sponsored by Ben-Gurion University of the Negev aims to professionalize the often-chaotic business of starting up a start-up.

The Center for Digital Innovation (CDI) is a “paradigm shift” that will provide start-ups – first in the healthcare space, and later in other areas – with the direction and guidance they need to succeed, according to CDI Chief Executive Officer Ziv Ofek.

“The program has the ability to turn the University, and the entire Negev, into the world’s engine for innovation. This is the essence of Zionism today – taking Israel’s know-how and capabilities and using them to make the world a better place,” says BGU President Prof. Rivka Carmi.

Boaz Lavie, a CDI founder; BGU President Prof. Rivka Carmi; Beer-Sheva Mayor Rubik Danilovich; Ziv Ofek, CDI CEO; Sharon Sasportas, a CDI founder (Photo: Shai Shmuel)

Boaz Lavie, a CDI founder; BGU President Prof. Rivka Carmi; Beer-Sheva Mayor Rubik Danilovich; Ziv Ofek, CDI CEO; Sharon Sasportas, a CDI founder (Photo: Shai Shmuel)

CDI sees itself as a one-stop shop for start-up success – in essence, running an accelerator the same way a corporation would run a division, evaluating activities and seeing what works, in order to emerge as a winner in the market.

“There are so many great ideas here, but only one percent of them make it to market, with the rest falling away for a wide variety of reasons,” Ofek told a crowd of 200 at CDI’s new headquarters in Beer-Sheva’s Advanced Technologies Park.

“We have a lot of experts here in the Negev,” adds Ofek. “Ben-Gurion University is located here, as are many companies with cyber security and other labs. Beer-Sheva will also soon be home to the IDF’s cyber security and technology units, which are moving here from the center of the country.”

The first startups to work with CDI will be those in the medical technology area, which Ofek is intimately familiar with. He is the former chief executive officer of an Israeli start-up called dbMotion, a company that connects medical records in hospitals, clinics and doctors’ offices, providing fast access to patient records to all parties who need them. The company was bought by U.S.-based Allscripts Healthcare Solutions, which specializes in electronic medical records, for $235 million.

Watch this video on the CDI >>

Read more on The Times of Israel website >>