Joining Techstars Atlanta are, from left: Cemento lead engineer, Or Shapira; CEO and cofounder, Dov Litmanovitz; CTO and cofounder, Tomer Shohet; Fixel CTO and cofounder, Hadar Shpivak; and CEO and cofounder, Etgar Shpivak.
Two Israeli companies in Techstars Atlanta‘s third annual class were selected by Managing Director Michael Cohn for their future potential in the Atlanta market.
Cemento is a commercial real estate construction app helping construction companies gain visibility into projects by streamlining communication management between contractors and their subcontractors.
Fixel is a platform that helps marketers segment website visitors based on engagement.
The two Tel Aviv companies join eight from the U.S. to begin a 90-day class in August in the entrepreneurial accelerator program. Cohn chose the Israeli companies from 70 startups he considered on his third visit to Israel for Techstars Atlanta.
Fixel was started by two brothers, one of whom is recognized as a leader in digital marketing, and one of Cemento’s founders headed development of the command-and-control software systems that manage communication across the Israel Defense Forces.The app Cemento developed applies to the construction space management tools used effectively by the Israeli military, Cohn said.
Techstars Atlanta works closely with Conexx: America Israel Business Connector to support the Israeli companies that go through the program, said Conexx President Guy Tessler.
“From its launch in 2016, Techstars Atlanta identified Israel as one of the most important feeders to the program,” Tessler said. Conexx helps with introductions in Israel, engages the companies with the Conexx business network, and helps them understand and benefit from the Jewish and Israel-support community in Atlanta, Tessler said. “These companies have been featured in events, programs, media, and social media as well as made personal connections within the community. Conexx and Techstars also share a goal of making these companies comfortable in Atlanta so that, as they expand in the U.S., they will view us as a potential U.S. base for their activities.”
The Atlanta branch of the international accelerator program recruits globally and invests in entrepreneurs, said Cohn, who is Jewish with Israeli parents.
When looking for investments, Cohn said his first stop out of the Southeast market is Tel Aviv, and increasingly, Jerusalem. In its first year, 2016, Techstars Atlanta also included two Israeli companies.