The Tampa Bay area will soon play host to a dozen tech companies looking to make their mark not only in their industries but in the region. 

The Florida-Israel Business Accelerator will be taking 12 Israel-based companies as part of its third cohort. The number is a jump from its usual eight companies per year, after officials saw applications for the accelerator double.

“I think we bring this global flavor,” said Rakefet Bachur-Phillips, FIBA director of marketing and strategic partnerships. “There are many great organizations that focus on innovation, but we bring it from the startup nation that’s known for its breadth of innovation and successful exits. We bring the flavor to the Tampa Bay area which can help inspire other local entrepreneurs.”

FIBA is a Tampa nonprofit that works to bring new companies in the technology industry to Tampa Bay from Israel. The previous two cohorts have had success, with four different companies bringing operations, staff or resources to the Tampa Bay area. 

“It’s a corporation or business looking to bring innovation to an organization,” Bachur-Phillips said of the relationship between current and interested businesses in Tampa Bay. “Then let’s see if any of these companies have a relevant technology to solve the problem the business is dealing with and launch a pilot. Hopefully it’s successful and transfers to a long-term relationship.”

While FIBA works to bring the companies to the Tampa Bay area, Bachur-Phillips added it is not an effort that can be done alone. “It would be great to get 50 percent (of the participating Israeli businesses to relocate here) but the burden is not just on FIBA, but the Tampa Bay community — to pitch in and show it’s a great place to do business and that there’s activity, from the investment side and the corporate side.”

This year, the companies will be available to chat at the Synapse Summit on Jan. 23, Connection to Innovation at the Bryan Glazer Family JCC on Feb. 13, and the FIBA Demo Day on March 12, where the companies will present in front of potential investors. 

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