International online retail giant eBay is setting up a startup incubator in Israel. The incubator will focus on startups dealing with ecommerce, social networks and big data, and will be located at eBay’s Israeli headquarters in Netanya.
“We want to work with the Israeli startup community in a more organized and orderly fashion,” explains Amit Menipaz, eBay’s Senior Director, Global Product Management, Selling & Catalogs and former head of the Israeli branch.
The Israeli incubator will be set up by the end of the year, and the company is currently looking for the first wave of startups to join the project. However, Menipaz admits that he is still unsure what type of companies he is looking for. “In general terms, I can say that we want startups that deal with machine-learning and data-sorting algorithms — from text to video. Those involved in big data analytics, data visualization, social models for retail and others. Each eBay center has its own focus, and we’re still figuring out what Israel’s will be. We will invite people to work with us, to leverage the technology they’re developing,” he said.
“Other than that, we’re still thinking what exactly we can and want to supply, in the form of software solutions, tools and financial assistance. We would love to help the companies run pilots here, test their technology or conduct market research.
“We will supply selected companies with access to our vast databases and step-by-step consulting. We will assist the startups in commercializing their product and realize not only which problem they want to solve, but the value of their technology.”