The startups will be eligible for funding from the Israel Ministry of Industry, Trade, and Labor, and technical assistance from IBM as they develop products operating around standard technologies such as Linux and Java, says Mark Hanny, VP of independent software vendor alliances and partner programs for IBM.
"We look at Israel as one of the most innovative places in the world," Hanny says. "We're putting up millions of dollars in free access to our leading technology and brightest people to help port and enable their products and applications."
Eligible companies will be able work with experts at IBM's innovation center in Tel Aviv or have those experts visit the companies' workplace.
Hundreds of startups based in Israel are likely to participate in the program, Hanny says. According to the Israel Venture Capital Research Center, 428 high-tech companies in Israel raised $1.46 billion from local and foreign venture investors last year.
IBM believes the startup companies can help fill in technology gaps, Hanny says, particularly in areas such as digital media, life sciences, wireless, and grid computing.