In the 55th year of German-Israeli diplomatic relations, ELNET-Germany establishes the German Israeli Network of Startups & Mittelstand (GINSUM). Building on the expired predecessor GISEP (German Israeli Startup Exchange Program), not only startups of both countries will be linked, but also the German “Mittelstand” (small and medium-sized companies) and the Israeli startup scene.
Close economic cooperation between Israel and Germany offers enormous added value – for both ecosystems. In the context of digitalization and all related areas such as Digital Health, Cyber Security, GreenTech or Safe & Smart City (including a focus on energy, mobility, and security), Israel is excellently positioned and offers highly qualified talents as well as innovative products and solutions. On the other hand, the German “Mittelstand” includes thousands of hidden champions, European and international market leaders in their respective fields, mostly family-owned and in excellent financial shape.
Against this background, close cooperation between German and Israeli companies is crucial for the future and competitiveness of both economies. At present, the majority of German medium-sized companies rate their own digitalization as just satisfactory. Only every third company has its own central digitalization strategy at all. The project thus primarily aims to reduce existing deficits in the area of digitalization in Germany, to promote Israeli innovation in Germany, and to release significant synergies.
The current Bertelsmann study “German and Israeli Innovation – The Best of Two Worlds” (2019) has identified three central obstacles to successful cooperation between Israeli startups and the German Mittelstand: a lack of market access, a lack of transparency with regard to relevant market players and a lack of internal resources to find the right partner. GINSUM explicitly addresses these central obstacles and is geared towards them to be gradually reduced.
GINSUM acts as an independent and neutral platform
GINSUM focuses on the exchange between Mittelstand and Israeli startups
GINSUM links Israeli startups with private and municipal actors
A central strength of GINSUM is the partner network. Several associations and institutions, firmly anchored in German Mittelstand and the Israeli startup scene, are jointly developing the program together, building on their respective expertise or geared towards the needs and interests of their respective members.