The Upper Galilee is on the (Hi-Tech) Map


After a year as part of an accelerator, the first 20 start-ups of Kiryat Shmona and Hatzor Ha-Galilit pitched their ideas to over 400 investors, entrepreneurs, journalists and tech leaders from all over the country, looking to secure investments and business partnerships.

XlR8’s Demo Day took place on Thursday, November 28th, The accelerator is a part of the startup program led by the Ministry of Economy the Small and Medium Business Agency – Maof Tech, in partnership with Israel Initiative headed by Erel Margalit.

Given the success of the program, a second round of registration will open for Galilee-based entrepreneurs.

Just some of the Startups participating: Super “wine” ripe with extra antioxidents, sugar-level reducing chocolate, revolutionary fruit and vegetable preservative technologies, agricultural waste packaging, banana flour, an English language teaching avatar, drone window cleaners, a dance app and more. (Complete details in a separate file).

During the event each startup pitched their solution in 3-minutes to hundreds of participants, with the goal of securing investments and business partnerships.

XLR8, in collaboration with the Municipalities of Kiryat Shmona and Hatzor Galilee, is based at the northern tip of the state.  

The acceleration program, designed to transform initiatives and research into new startups, selected the participants from a pool of approx. 136 applicants. Over the past 6 months the entrepreneurs received access and support on all fronts including; business development, content workshops, legal consulting services, product development marketing plans, patent registration, strategic client recruitment, hi-tech mentorships, and of course, connections to investors and to exclusive tech conferences. All with the aim of having these startups up and running within a year. 2 million NIS has been invested in the accelerator, as part of the 25 million NIS meant to be invested in the national accelerators program for priority areas.  XLR8 is a part of the startup program led by the Ministry of Economy the Small Medium Business Agency and Maof Tech which is establishing accelerators in 20 cities and towns in Israel.


Among other things, XLR8 includes a dedicated “Foodtech” track in collaboration with the “Foodtech Israel” innovation community. This has enabled food researchers to take part and turn their research into startups.

In order to connect the northern periphery to the broader Israeli ecosystem, Israel Initiative has recruited top Israeli high-tech executives to partner with, mentor, and connect the initiatives in the program to a wider professional network.  

JVP & Israel Initiative Chairman Erel Margalit:

“This is part of the Galilee’s new story. 5 years ago, we believed the Galilee could become a new focal point in Israel and established the “Foodtech Valley”. Building an entrepreneurial ecosystem requires partners, and so along with the Ministry of Economy and the municipalities of the region I’m happy to see that we’ve created an environment that allows entrepreneurs a place to establish their ideas right here in the Galilee.

The Galilee is on the map; an integral part of the Startup Nation, it fills me with pride seeing these startups take the next step.”

Avichai Stern Mayor of Kiryat Shmona:

“Today, we’ve etched a new chapter into Kiryat Shmona’s history. The dream has become reality. For the past six months we’ve had the privilege of seeing dreamers become entrepreneurs with startups, people who know the language, know how to pitch an audience, and build a business model.

They are the new story of Kiryat Shmona, and with them in mind we go to work every morning”



For further details-

Maof Tech, the Small and Medium Business Agency in the Ministry of Economy – Neta Shoshan, Yael Shavit –


Erel Margalit- Nissan Ze’evi- 050-6233789

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