YBI partners with Israeli business accelerator

YOUNGSTOWN — The Youngstown Business Incubator has partnered with an Israeli business accelerator to help startups launch into the U.S. market.

YBI’s partnership with The Junction, announced Wednesday, is the foundation of the Israel-Youngstown Business Incubator Collaborative.

So far, YBI is working with two Israeli firms, PrintCB and Nanofabrica, both of which work in additive manufacturing, as part of the collaborative. YBI leaders said they expect the number to grow.

“When we visited Israel earlier this year, we knew that we had a good story to tell about the region’s strengths and capabilities in (additive manufacturing), as well as YBI’s experience in taking software products to market,” said Barb Ewing, YBI’s CEO.

Ewing was part of a local delegation led by the Youngstown Area Jewish Federation that traveled to Israel in January.

“The fact that one of the pre-eminent investment funds in Israel is partnering with YBI to support the growth of their technology firms validates our expertise in technology commercialization, as well as the strength of the additive manufacturing cluster in the region,” Ewing said.

The Junction was established in 2011 as the first commercial accelerator for startups in Israel, according to a YBI news release. Over the past six years, it has supported more than 130 companies.

Barak Rabinowitz, a Mahoning Valley native and managing partner at The Junction, said the YBI partnership “brings an extra level of excitement because we’re able to work with an internationally acclaimed organization that also happens to be located in my hometown.”

“It’s rare to find a partnership that provides such great benefits for both parties,” he said.

YBI’s membership in The Junction is based in part on the support of Rabinowitz and his team at F2 Capital, a venture capital fund, and the Youngstown Area Jewish Federation Thomases Family Endowment.