In an effort to help two Israeli technology startups successfully enter the US market, the Youngstown Business Incubator (YBI) has announced a partnership with business accelerator The Junction, located in Israel with additive manufacturing as one of its core areas. This formal partnership forms the basis of the Israel-Youngstown Business Incubator Collaborative, or I-YBI, as it will be providing a quality flow of business deals for other technology and additive manufacturing startups in Israel as they work to get started in the US.
The collaboration is partially supported by Youngstown native Barak Rabinowitz, the managing partner at venture capital fund F2 Capital that runs The Junction, which also counts HP and SAP as partners. With any luck, the partnership will bring about many other 3D printing business collaborations between the Mahoning Valley in Ohio and Israel.
Rabinowitz grew up watching the region’s factories and steel mills close their doors and young people going elsewhere for manufacturing jobs, which is why he’s so motivated to bring technology business, like 3D printing, to Ohio, and to Youngstown in particular. He met with Barb Ewing, the CEO of YBI, as they were both members of a local delegation that traveled to Israel this winter with the Youngstown Area Jewish Federation, which is also providing funding by way of the Thomases Family Endowment.
The Junction sends out a call for applications every six months for one of the five spots it has available in its business accelerator program. Once five are chosen out of the over 200 companies it typically hears from, The Junction provides them each with an initial $100,000 investment. By working with YBI, the accelerator offers its companies a good way to ease into the US market.
YBI will help the startups the accelerator chooses re-locate to the US, and hopefully, as Ewing says, to the Mahoning Valley, which offers a low cost living, access to larger market, YBI’s experience, and “this clustering we’ve created for additive manufacturing and how it touches other clusters.” Youngstown is a growing haven for 3D printing technologies, and is also the home to America Makes, the US’ national accelerator for additive manufacturing, which recently celebrated its fifth anniversary. Ewing shared her thoughts at that event with us regarding 3D printing in the US, and what makes Youngstown so uniquely positioned to enhance the adoption of additive manufacturing in this country.
The two startups currently working with the I-YBI collaborative are nanofabrica, which is working to mass-produce 3D printed micro and nano parts, and PrintCB, which has developed a disruptive copper-based 3D printing ink product and is working to develop next-generation printer electronics materials. According to PrintCB founder Sagi Daren, the startup has been able to contact companies in the Pittsburgh-to-Cleveland region that are now customers and development partners, thanks to the collaborative; I-YBI is also helping PrintCB find investors.