Beer Sheba is Sizzling Hot, and it’s Not Just the Desert Sun

An analysis of activity at the Beer Sheba high-tech park shows annual growth of 40% in the average number of start-ups established, compared with a country-wide average of 12%.

Beer Sheba’s high-tech park, some 60 miles south of the bustling Tel Aviv tech ecosystem, was inaugurated four years ago in what was then a patchy desert outpost with big ambitions. Huge national resources were allocated to build the park – which sits adjacent to Israel Defense Forces’ technology base – to jumpstart an innovation ecosystem in the Negev’s capital. There are early signs of success.

Upon completion of the park it only held 23 high-tech inhabitants, whereas today it holds more than 60 different companies, established and startups – a total growth of 40%, which is particularly incredible when compared to the national growth of 12%.

Beer Sheba has also seen eleven more new R&D centers open up over the past four years, all belonging to multinational companies, contributing in no small way to the ecosystem, while providing hundreds of jobs.

Roughly three quarters of Beer Sheba’s tech companies are young start-ups with no more than ten employees. Around 30% of these companies have already completed their seed round, a percentage that matches the national average, although the median seed sum is $1.3M, slightly lower than the countrywide average.

Beer Sheba also boasts one successful buyout by a multinational corporation – CyActive sold to PayPal in 2015. Of the 60+ start-ups, more than a dozen are cyber related, and are responsible for 86% of the venture capital flowing into the area. Another sector on the way up with six companies in the area is Digital Health.

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