May 19, 2020

Italian startups complete the Eilat Acceleration Program

Smart city
Marnie Alton
3 min
Italian startups complete the Eilat Acceleration Program

Seven Italian startups complete the first Eilat Acceleration Program, amidst the current COVID-19 pandemic.

Initiated by the Italian embassy in Israel and the Intesa Sanpaolo, in cooperation with Eilat Tech Center (ETC), seven Italian tech startups complete the first Eilat Acceleration Program, a three month long acceleration program.

“It is clear that COVID-19 has caused many difficulties among industries, however it’s incapable of stopping innovation, creativity and demand for groundbreaking technologies,” comments Ariel Capital - owner of ETC.

In recent days seven Italian startups completed the first class of the accelerator, and are in the process of negotiating deals valued at US$10.8mn, with 80% made by 10 israeli institutions and companies. 

“The seven startups were chosen after a rigorous selection process from 50 companies that signed up. We selected 7 relatively mature companies that already had a proven technology, customers, revenues and had raised a total of tens of millions of shekels. The accelerator program upgraded their technological capabilities and instilled them with upscaling capabilities that led to fantastic results,” commented Or Haviv, CEO of ETC and the director of the global innovation platforms at Arieli Capital.

The program included 250 lectures, accompanied by 100 global mentors such as Samsung, Ernst & Young (EY), PwC and Israel Chemicals to name a few. As well as providing connections to 100 Israeli companies, including 30 investment groups.

“The entrepreneurs overcame the concern for their families in Italy and the isolated conditions at work and continued full speed ahead with their various activities. We, the leaders of the program, were surprised at the attentiveness and openness of the senior managers at some 100 Israeli companies and institutions to assess the projects and enter into negotiations during these trying times. In the months ahead we will continue our efforts to advance deals,” added Haviv.

The seven startups included:


Developing a groundbreaking healthcare technology for those in need of bionic limbs.


Developed a patented technology for the production of advanced materials for various industries, enabling increased efficiency, cheaper production and increased sustainability.


Supplying digital platforms to improve user experiences and strengthen brands.


Developing a patented technology to strengthen buildings to prevent collapses during earthquakes.


Supplying a digital system harnessing blockchain technology to manage data of health funds, hospitals and health systems.


Developed an advanced virtual network harnessing AI to detect cancer early.


Developed a system for precision agriculture with nanotechnology and biotechnology. The solution protects agricultural crops without the use of spraying dangerous chemicals. 


For more information on all business in Europe, please take a look at the latest edition of Business Chief EMEA.

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Jun 18, 2021

GfK and VMware: Innovating together on hybrid cloud

3 min
VMware has been walking GfK along its path through digital transformation to the cloud for over a decade.

GfK has been the global leader in data and analytics for more than 85 years, supplying its clients with optimised decision inputs.  

In its capacity as a strategic and technical partner, VMware has been walking GfK along its digital transformation path for over a decade. 

“We are a demanding and singularly dynamic customer, which is why a close partnership with VMware is integral to the success of everyone involved,” said Joerg Hesselink, Global Head of Infrastructure, GfK IT Services.

Four years ago, the Nuremberg-based researcher expanded its on-premises infrastructure by introducing VMware vRealize Automation. In doing so, it laid a solid foundation, resulting in a self-service hybrid-cloud environment.

By expanding on the basis of VMware Cloud on AWS and VMware Cloud Foundation with vRealize Cloud Management, GfK has given itself a secure infrastructure and reliable operations by efficiently operating processes, policies, people and tools in both private and public cloud environments.

One important step for GfK involved migrating from multiple cloud providers to just a single one. The team chose VMware.

“VMware is the market leader for on-premises virtualisation and hybrid-cloud solutions, so it was only logical to tackle the next project for the future together,” says Hesselink.

Migration to the VMware-based environment was integrated into existing hardware simply and smoothly in April 2020. Going forward, GfK’s new hybrid cloud model will establish a harmonised core system complete with VMware Cloud on AWS, VMware Cloud Foundation with vRealize Cloud Management and a volume rising from an initial 500 VMs to a total of 4,000 VMs. 

“We are modernising, protecting and scaling our applications with the world’s leading hybrid cloud solution: VMware Cloud on AWS, following VMware on Google Cloud Platform,” adds Hesselink.

The hybrid cloud-based infrastructure also empowers GfK to respond to new and future projects with astonishing agility: Resources can now be shifted quickly and easily from the private to the public cloud – without modifying the nature of interaction with the environment. 

The gfknewron project is a good example – the company’s latest AI-powered product is based exclusively on public cloud technology. The consistency guaranteed by VMware Cloud on AWS eases the burden on both regular staff and the IT team. Better still, since the teams are already familiar with the VMware environment, the learning curve for upskilling is short.

One very important factor for the GfK was that VMware Cloud on AWS constituted an investment in future-proof technology that will stay relevant.

“The new cloud-based infrastructure comprising VMware Cloud on AWS and VMware Cloud Foundation forges a successful link between on-premises and cloud-based solutions,” says Hesselink. “That in turn enables GfK to efficiently develop its own modern applications and solutions.

“In market research, everything is data-driven. So, we need the best technological basis to efficiently process large volumes of data and consistently distill them into logical insights that genuinely benefit the client. 

“We transform data and information into actionable knowledge that serves as a sustainable driver of business growth. VMware Cloud on AWS is an investment in a platform that helps us be well prepared for whatever the future may hold.”

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