Yahoo will be launching its first accelerator program in Ramat Gan, Israel. Yahoo will be launching its first accelerator program in Ramat Gan, Israel. Yahoo will be launching its first accelerator program in Ramat Gan, Israel. (Photo: Ken Wolter / Shutterstock)

Yahoo to launch its first-ever startup accelerator

The program, SigmaLabs, is a joint endeavor with Microsoft.

Yahoo has announced it's accepting applications for its first-ever startup accelerator, scheduled for launch this fall.

The program, SigmaLabs, will be headquartered in Ramat Gan, Israel, and done in partnership with Microsoft and Entree Capital, which holds stakes in companies like Snapchat, Meerkat and SeatGeek.

The U.S. tech giant already has a presence in Israel, with development centers in Tel Aviv and Haifa, and the participating startups will have access to the Tel Aviv offices, which are located nearby.

While Yahoo will provide much of the material support, Microsoft has agreed to sponsor more than $150,000 worth of licenses, tools and Azure cloud platform credits to each startup.

SigmaLabs will be headquartered in Ramat Gan, Israel, in the Moshe Aviv Tower (far right). SigmaLabs will be headquartered in Ramat Gan, Israel, in the Moshe Aviv Tower (far right). (Photo: Mikhail Markovskiy/Shutterstock)

The program will be looking for five to eight startups in four different fields: Big data (technology whose objective is to handle and process large quantities of data, whether it be crowdsourcing, machine learning etc.); video; fintech (technology for the financial services industry such as online banking and investment); and native advertising.

Interestingly, the startup accelerator will not take any equity, and instead work on a "pay it forward model" whereby successful startups are expected to contribute to subsequent classes of startups and can decide, at their sole discretion, to contribute equity back to the accelerator.

The announcement comes on the heels of Intel and Visa both announcing they would be opening similarly focused innovation labs in the country.

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