Announcing the Launch of Techstars Tel Aviv – Applications Now Open!

I am excited to announce the Techstars Tel Aviv Accelerator!  I’ve been a Managing Director at Techstars for nearly two years now, and have witnessed the amazing magic of the Techstars global network around the world. This unique worldwide network includes corporate partners, investors and mentors that can support a young company at every step of their entrepreneurial journey and leads to exceptional success stories.  This is why I am so excited about the launch of our new Techstars Tel Aviv program!

Applications are now open for our 2020 Tel Aviv City accelerator program and we’re searching for exceptional entrepreneurs who have exciting and scalable ideas and want to build great companies. 

Why Techstars? 

Techstars is the worldwide network that helps entrepreneurs succeed. Today nearly 2,000 startups have raised over $8 Billion in funding, boast a collective market cap of $23 Billion, and have accelerated their businesses through a Techstars accelerators over the past 12 years.

Why Tel Aviv?

Tel Aviv is located at the heart of the Israeli Startup Nation, an innovation ecosystem with currently more than 6,000 startups. Tel Aviv’s unique environment creates a platform for startups to flourish and thrive and is attracting founders from all over the world coming to build their companies amidst a sea of top talent, a supportive community and a great place to live. Furthermore, multinationals and investors from all over the world are traveling to Tel Aviv to learn from its innovation ecosystem, partner with talented founders and invest here. 

About The Team 

Throughout my entrepreneurial life I have founded three companies (one listed on TASE), raised millions of dollars, succeeded and failed, built teams from the ground up, learned the ins and outs of business models, management, and the best part – learned to enjoy the ride. It’s my life’s mission to help entrepreneurs succeed.

I’m an investor, a mentor and a board advisor in several startups. I am embedded in the Israeli startup arena and very active in supporting women entrepreneurs. Part of my dedication to women entrepreneurs includes my role as founder of Yazamiyot, Israel’s largest community for women entrepreneurs with over 4,500 members and a Campus for Moms in Collaboration with Google, an international innovation program for moms on maternity leave.

In this new journey leading Techstars Tel Aviv I will be working alongside Program Manager Franka Godina. Franka is an experienced program manager with vast international experience in business with a wide network. 

In 2020 we will support our class of founders to help them accelerate their companies, tap into the industry and receive mentorship and insight from the global Techstars network.

What I’m Looking Forward to Most

Discovering the most innovative ideas in this ecosystem.

I’m excited to discover the greatest ideas in Israel and beyond. Many world-changing ideas and successful companies have stemmed from Israel. How did we ever get anywhere before Waze? How did teams organize projects before How did we protect our driving before Mobileye? Did you know that the first instant messenger originated here (ICQ)? I’m thrilled to bring Techstars Tel Aviv to Israel and turn ideas into successful companies.

Building Great Teams 

At Techstars we strongly believe that entrepreneurs are the primary drivers in creating a better future. I’m a strong believer in people, and am looking forward to working with founders, mentors and investors to form strong companies and even stronger teams.

Sharing my experience and helping Entrepreneurs

I am excited to share my path in fundraising and company formation. These include so many things (big and small) – from taking the right legal steps, to negotiating with customers and determining pricing, to building a cap-table, to raising a round from high quality investors. It’s incredibly important that entrepreneurs surround themselves with mentors who have experienced all those milestones and can accompany them on their journey to forming a successful company.  

Share the power of the network

Being in Israel can sometimes feel somewhat remote. The most exceptional part of Techstars Tel Aviv will be helping founders tap into the incredible international network of mentors, investors and alumni. With nearly 50 accelerators in the world and thousands of corporate partners, mentors and investors around the world, opportunities are huge!

What should you expect ? 

Carefully selected founders will spend three months working with other founders, mentors, corporate partners, and investors to drive their companies towards rapid growth and success in a beautiful setting in Tel Aviv.

Who are we looking for ? 

For the inaugural class of our Techstars Tel Aviv we’re interested in technology-first companies with outstanding teams that aim to solve the problems of our future. 

Applications close December 8th and the program will commence on March 29th culminating in a demo day event on June 25th.

Think your startup is a good fit? Apply now or connect with us and sign up for our virtual office hours and AMA session.

The Fourth Barclays Accelerator, powered by Techstars is starting in Tel Aviv!

We are thrilled to announce the 10 extraordinary teams that are joining the Barclays Accelerator, powered by Techstars Tel Aviv today, March 31. Three months of hard work in the world’s “Startup Nation” is awaiting the class of 2019.

Tomorrow Israel’s top investors and mentors will come together at the vibrant Rise Tel-Aviv office space to celebrate the kickoff of the fourth Barclays Accelerator, powered by Techstars in Tel Aviv.

For the next 13 weeks, these 10 teams will work in the beating heart of one of the world’s most modern and tech-oriented cities: Tel Aviv, Israel. While connecting and interacting firsthand with successful entrepreneurs, these founders will have the opportunity to build and grow their startups in preparation for Demo Day on June 26, 2019.

The 2019 class is a multicultural assembly of talented teams, representing seven countries including Israel, U.K., India, Canada, Singapore, Belarus, and Finland. Together with our incredible mentors and Barclays executives, we are excited to support another class of  companies in their goal of disrupting the Fintech industry.

We thank our generous mentors, sponsors, partners, and alumni, who continuously provide support with their time, knowledge, and passion. And a special thanks to the team at Barclays for their true commitment to the success of our partnership. The Barclays Accelerator, powered by Techstars Tel Aviv 2019 promises to be another year of triumph and success.

The 10 Companies of the Barclays Accelerator, powered by Techstars 2019 Tel Aviv class are:

B2B Marketplace for Peripheral Purchasing

C2B Direct Payment Solution

Early Automated Detection of Market-impacting Events for Financial Traders

End-to-end Investment Platform for Revenue-based Financing

A Fintech Platform for Guaranteed Retirement Income

Modern Banking for Cooperative Credit Societies in India

Leveraging Loyalty to Access High-quality Content and Services

Technology-Enabled Consumer Lending as an Employee Benefit

Radical Reinvention of Individual-institution Reporting, Starting with Taxes

Data Protection for All Data in Any Scenario


The Barclays Accelerator, powered by Techstars in Tel Aviv is a program managed by Hilla Ovil-Brenner and Franka Godina together with a strong team of associates and interns from all over the world. The Rise building, in the heart of Tel Aviv, is the bee-hive where all the commotion happens.

Applications Open for Barclays Accelerator, Powered by Techstars in Tel Aviv

“You have to, to serve these markets, re-imagine how money can be managed and moved because there’s going to be more change in the next five years in financial services than happened in the past 30.”

-Dan Schulman, CEO PayPal

Applications are now open to join the Barclays Tel Aviv Accelerator, powered by Techstars. The program will start March 31, 2019 and end with a Demo Day on July 2, 2019. Applications close December 16, 2018. You can start your application now, and keep reading for more information about meeting us and hearing from alumni founders!

Fintech is on the Rise

The demand for innovative Fintech solutions and investments in this field are increasing every year. The world of capital markets and banking is evolving thanks to innovative Fintech developments, and experts predict this will only continue to grow in the coming years. According to Innovate Finance, China had $7.7 billion in Fintech investments, the US had $6.2 billion, and the UK had $783 million.

The Barclays Accelerator: Who Is It For?

Techstars has partnered with Barclays to create an accelerator ideal for passionate entrepreneurs with a knack for tackling difficult challenges and going after impressive opportunities.  The Barclays Accelerator, powered by Techstars, is looking for FinTech startups working on blockchain, open banking, risk management, payments, cyber security, AI, machine learning, or big data.

Priceless Benefits

Participants benefit from access to a global network of entrepreneurs, successful and inspiring mentors, and access to investors and potential corporate partners. The Barclays Accelerator is held in Tel Aviv, the heart of the Startup Nation. It is one of the best places to build a startup, network with fellow founders and experts, and learn from the best and brightest mentors as you grow and develop the skills you need for long-term success.  

Techstars’ Global Track Record

Techstars’ network helps entrepreneurs in 150+ countries and features over 10,000 mentors, 300,000 alumni, and 4000 events. Over 1500 companies have participated in Techstars accelerators, and 90% of them are still active or acquired with total funding of $5.8 billion and a market cap of over $16.1 billion.

What Founders say About Their Experience

Founders appreciate and value our work. Here is what some are saying about our program:

“We love Techstars! Really. This program gave us so much – an amazing support team,

great content, smart people, a wonderful network of companies and founders that we feel so close to, and most importantly – a boost to help us grow the company.

We could not be happier to have chosen this path – and look forward to ringing the Nasdaq bell together!” – Ben Fried, CEO Cred

“Techstars has been a great experience for our founding team and we are looking forward to being part of the network for life.” – Melissa Koch, CEO InFront Compliance

“The program is a worldwide quality accelerator! it improve our business to the next level.” – Christian Torres, CEO Kriptos

“Techstars really helped us create a super relevant network for our business within three months.” – Yaacov Goldenhersh, CEO LiST

“The entire StremX team is grateful for this amazing opportunity and we truly believe that this program help us move forward in our dreams of creating a successful startup!” – Itai Cohen, CEO StremX

Meet the Team

Myself, Hilla Ovil Brenner, the Managing Director here in Tel Aviv and Franka Godina the accelerator’s Program Manager that leaves no problem unsolved, are excited to meet you. We are holding office hours in Tel Aviv, Berlin, Munich, Singapore, Tallinn, Oakland and remotely through Google Hangouts. If you’d like to meet with us, please check out the date and times below, and fill out this meeting request form.

  • Remote on Hangouts – October through December
  • Sardegna: 11th-12th of October
  • Oakland: 22nd-24th of October
  • Singapore: 12th-16th of November
  • Tallinn: 20th-23rd of November
  • Berlin, Munich, Vienna: late November, early December

Ready to apply? Get started now. Applications close December 16th! If you have any questions, take 14 minutes to listen to my webinar about the program.

Announcing the 2018 Class of Barclays Accelerator, powered by Techstars in Tel Aviv

We are thrilled to announce and welcome the next ten companies to the 2018 Barclays Accelerator, powered by Techstars in Tel Aviv. Today is the first day of the program that will run for the next 15 weeks. Demo day will take place on the 5th of September 2018 in Tel Aviv.

The program brings together two powerful networks: Barclays, who is shaping the banking landscape and quickly making itself the first partner of choice for the most promising FinTech companies, and Techstars, the worldwide network that helps entrepreneurs succeed. The 1300 portfolio companies of Techstars have raised over $4.6 billion in capital and 139 have been acquired. Together, Barclays and Techstars give founders the best chance for success.

Being a serial entrepreneur myself, I truly understand the value of having a true, worldwide network aimed at helping entrepreneurs succeed.

In addition to being selective, this program is remarkably global and diverse. Incredible Israeli founders will be joined by entrepreneurs from Montenegro, Ecuador, India, Italy and the USA. They were selected from an applicant pool focused on next generation technology for the financial services industry. Companies in this class have launched exciting businesses using technology to address opportunities in options trading, compliance, cyber-security, open banking, supply chain, legal, payments, insurance, property management and lending.

I’d like to thank our mentors, sponsors, partners and alumni for their generous support. We look forward to another great class!


Cred helps financial institutions personalize their investment offering. As each retail investor accepts, rejects, and tweaks their suggested portfolio and underlying equities, Cred’s future suggestions become more accurate.


Cubbit is the first cloud provider that does not need expensive, polluting server farms. Thanks to our award-winning p2p technology and the power of sharing economy, we transform the unused internet resources of users into encrypted cloud services for SMEs.


Automating the full lifecycle of a homebuyers experience from application to underwriting and closing/funding on the blockchain.

InFront Compliance

InFront Compliance is building a collaborative compliance platform that helps enterprise and their vendors keep pace with innovation.


Kriptos is a sophisticated software that classifies and labels company information using Artificial Intelligence. Obtains the probability of data loss, measures the economic impact of data loss and generates policies of use.


LiST dramatically expands the Life Settlement space by creating a new and efficient marketplace offering investors of all sizes the opportunity to freely enter the LS market and invest in a transparent, diversified and highly liquid format while simultaneously helping the policy owners to maximize the value of their policy.

MADA Analytics

We are developing an AI-based fintech software solution for optimizing investments in renewable generation and energy storage.

OKO finance

Mobile-centric insurance for farmers in emerging markets. OKO aims to provide over 2 billion farmers with an affordable and efficient insurance against droughts and excessive rainfall.

SafeHouse Technologies

The SafeHouse Secure Cloud can protect any device that it is connected to it. It sits as the first point of contact to the Internet for all traffic that is passing through it; using a combination of homegrown and existing cyber capabilities, and AI – driven analytics we are able to detect and prevent cyber threats in real-time.

Uhura Solutions

An AI platform that can read and understand customer contracts just as humans do.

Hilla Ovil Brenner Joins Barclays Accelerator in Tel Aviv

As a serial entrepreneur, I’ve taken many remarkable paths in my life – but I’m about to start my most exciting venture yet.

I am pleased to announce that I am taking over the Barclays Accelerator, Powered by Techstars in Tel Aviv as managing director. Working alongside Program Manager Yasmin Nachum, we are going to support our class of exceptional founders to help them accelerate their companies, tap into the industry and receive mentorship and insight from Barclays.

Before I found my passion in entrepreneurship, I completed two law degrees and practiced law in Israel and NYC. More recently, I was the CEO and co-founder of the publicly traded company White Smoke, Inc. While at White Smoke, we invented a sophisticated grammar engine that was adopted by over 50 million users around the world.

But my entrepreneurial experience doesn’t end there. During my life, I have raised over $40 million, built teams from the ground up, learned the ins and outs of business models, management, and the best part – making dreams become reality.

I sit on several tech advisory boards, I’m an investor, a mentor to multiple accelerators, and am continuing to become deeply embedded in the startup arena. Last year, I had the honor of being nominated one of the most influential people in tech by GeekTime, a leading Israeli website.

Another passion of mine is supporting women entrepreneurs. I am the founder of Yazamiyot, Israel’s largest community for women entrepreneurs, as well as Campus for Moms in Collaboration with Google, an international innovation program for moms on maternity leave.

What I’m Looking Forward to the Most

Discovering the Big Idea – The word innovation gets thrown around in the startup world, but I truly can’t get enough of it. I’m excited to discover great ideas that are in Israel and beyond. Two world changing ideas stemmed from Israel, Waze and Gett. How did we ever get anywhere before Waze? How did we think of ordering a taxi before Gett? I’m thrilled to work with Techstars to turn ideas into successful companies.

Building Great Teams – Techstars says that they look for five things when selecting companies to join their programs: team, team, team, market, and idea. In that order. I’m a great believer in people, and am looking forward to working with founders, partners and investors to form strong companies and even stronger teams.

Helping Entrepreneurs – As I mentioned before, I love being an entrepreneur, but I love coaching others. There’s nothing more satisfying than hearing founders say they were influenced by my advice. I can’t wait to work with all of our companies in the program, and use my experience to help them grow.

So let’s do this. Let’s draw in the best companies and mentors from all over the world to create a pool of successful fintech entrepreneurs. Let’s work with amazing partners like Barclays and grow the Techstars worldwide network.

Are you ready to take that step? Applications for the Barclays Accelerator, Powered by Techstars in Tel Aviv are open now and close February 25th, 2018. Apply today!