MassChallenge expands to Jerusalem

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(Image from

MassChallenge has plans to establish a new outpost for Boston’s tech economy in Israel’s capital.

The Seaport-based startup accelerator program that provides free office space, mentorship, and cash to a select group of young companies every year said it would open an accelerator space in Jerusalem in 2016. The Jerusalem program, whose size hasn’t been set, will be the third location for MassChallenge, which plans to expand to 10 cities by 2019.

Previously, the accelerator invited startups from Tel Aviv, Israel’s second-largest city, to participate in its Boston program, which provide resources to 128 startups and provides $2 million in cash to the most promising ones at the conclusion of a four-month growth period. The Jerusalem program’s backers include EMC Corp., New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft, Combined Jewish Philanthropies, and several Israeli government agencies, according to MassChallenge.

Jerusalem is home to more than 450 startups that raise hundreds of millions of dollars from investors every year, according to MassChallenge. The news comes a year after MassChallenge launched an accelerator in London that is now home to 90 startups in a range of industries and also welcomes startups from Israel. About 32 Israeli startups have gone through MassChallenge, a spokesman said.

MassChallenge isn’t the only Boston-area incubator in an expansion mode. The Cambridge Innovation Center, a coworking space, has opened locations in St. Louis and Rotterdam, in the Netherlands. It also has plans to open a location in Miami.