Home Feature Atlanta to Become a Mainstay on U.S. Tours for Israeli Smart Mobility Accelerator

Atlanta to Become a Mainstay on U.S. Tours for Israeli Smart Mobility Accelerator

by Trevor Williams
Editor’s note: This article was first published in Global Atlanta, an online news publication devoted to revealing the city’s ties with the world and helping local companies navigate the global economy.

A top accelerator for mobility startups in Israel returned to Atlanta for the second straight year as it continued to help member firms build fundraising links and corporate partnerships in the U.S. 

Drive TLV, based in Tel Aviv, was co-founded by Georgia Tech alum Tal Cohen, who held research and adjunct teaching positions at the university after earning his Ph.D. in engineering there in 1996. Dr. Cohen also runs Next Gear Ventures, a private-equity firm. 

Ten startups from Drive TLV’s Fastlane program pitched investors and potential partners during a Feb. 1 event at Georgia Tech’s Coda Building that also featured a fireside chat with Dr. Cohen and executives from Saint Gobain, Hertz and Guggenheim Partners. 

Atlanta, long a draw for Israeli startups in medical devices, fintech and other fields, has seen its mobility bona fides grow it has become a hub for software firms and automotive corporate headquarters, and as the Southeast U.S. has built out a car manufacturing belt across multiple states. 

Atlanta also provided an avenue for the startups to meet with industry leaders like Cox Automotive and Novelis, the aluminum giant making a forceful push into the auto sector as OEMs use lighter aluminum to cut weight from vehicle frames and parts, boosting fuel efficiency and battery range. 

Both firms are corporate partners of Drive TLV and have expressed an interest in seeing new startups when they come to the U.S., said Nir Dashti, head of value creation at Drive TLV. 

“We plan to visit Atlanta each year with a new batch, and continually promote their engagements with the corporate partners in the broader U.S.,” Mr. Dashti told Global Atlanta in an email. 

Car makers aren’t the only players in the smart mobility sector, which as Drive TLV defines it includes areas like the autonomous/connected car, electrification, drone aviation, energy, insurance, shared economy, logistics, semiconductors, smart city, aviation and more. 

Among the companies featured at the event were two in the fleet sector: Clearly, which helps operators monitor emissions, and Roadz, which provides visibility across multiple disparate data providers in a unified platform. 

In the electrification arena, Addionics provides smart 3D electrodes helping improve the performance of battery modules, while SafeFields reduces radiation from magnetic power trains of electrified vehicles. 

Make My Day bridges these two worlds with an all-encompassing software package for fleet operators running electric vehicles, while Picafuel helps energy retailers gain more value per customer and mobility service providers generate new revenue streams. 

Company pitch decks can be viewed here, while a list of companies that visited Atlanta and a screenshot of the company catalogue is embedded below: 

The startups also visited Akron, Ohio — the headquarters of Goodyear — and Phoenix.

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