HOW IT WORKS
Fusion LA is the first accelerator for Israeli start-ups in Los Angeles. We selectively accept ~6 teams every 6 months to go through our intensive mentorship-driven program. We help our portfolio companies commercialize their products, “Americanize” their value propositions and adapt their go-to-market strategies to the US market. During the program, we facilitate meetings between our Israeli founders and Venture Capitalists, tech executives & like-minded entrepreneurs in LA and Silicon Valley. Our vision is to support a long-term bridge of innovation between the LA & Israeli tech ecosystems.
Fusion LA’s next batch will begin in Feb 2019. Portfolio companies receive $20K cash investment and the full 3-month accelerator program, including: Free office space and business address for US operation in Santa Monica | Subsidized housing option | Support system of US-based industry experts, investors, executives and Fusion LA alumni.
We are actively looking for Israeli early-stage companies to join our family and scale in the US market. Apply HERE
We are looking for Israeli-based, early stage (pre-seed and seed) start-ups, with at least 2 co-founders. One of the founders must have requisite technical capabilities. We are industry agnostic and are open to meeting start-ups from all industries, looking to grow their company into the US market (See more about LA tech ecosystem below).
PLEASE NOTE: We look for Israeli founders that desire to set up their business operations in the US.
Our next batch in LA will begin in February of 2019. APPLY here
Fusion LA runs two accelerator programs every year. Together with our sponsors, partners and advisors, we choose the companies that are accepted to the accelerator following a rigorous selection process. We usually review ~250 applications for each batch.
- Each start-up fills out an application form. We will analyze each form and conduct a phone interview, if needed.
- Selected start-ups are invited to participate in a face to face interview meeting.
- Prior to the final decision, a small subset of finalists may be interviewed with our advisors (both in LA and Israel), for further assessment.
- We accept ~6 start-ups to go through our accelerator program.
PLEASE NOTE: While we try to meet in person with as many founders as we can, sometimes due to an overload of applications, we are unable to.
Yes, but we’ll only accept a single founder under exceptional circumstances.
Yes, as long as one of the founders has technical capabilities.
No. We don’t ask for business plans and/or budget. We make our decisions based on the application form and/or personal meetings with you.
Preferably yes, as it helps us get a sense of how you pitch, think and value your start-up.
We keep your info confidential—only our advisors and drafting committee will have access to it. Nevertheless, we do not sign an NDA agreement (almost no VC or accelerator would do so with an early-stage start-up).
MOVING TO THE US
Los Angeles is the biggest start-up eco-system in the world, after Silicon Valley and New York. 2017 was a landmark year for Los Angeles tech. Over the past two years, 17 new funds set up shop in LA and $10 Billion dollars were invested into local start-ups. Los Angeles is the creative capital of the world and the host city of the 2028 Olympic Games. With the biggest port in the country and 25M people in SoCal, Los Angeles is the top consumer, retail, and trade market in the United States.
LA is home for dozens of VCs and institutional investors (specifically in Seed & A rounds). It is the the fastest growing tech ecosystem in the US, and since 2012, the city has experienced constant growth in VC investments – six times larger!
Snap IPO boosts LA’s tech ecosystem with capital and talent that will shape Silicon Beach for years to come. Leading companies like Ring, Dollar Shave, Honest, Tinder and Riot Games, to next-generation transportation tech companies like Hyperloop One & SpaceX— pointing the depth and breadth of LA’s still-growing tech industry.
LA companies enjoy the proximity of Silicon Valley capital, with benefits of great (Israeli) weather, better lifestyle and lower costs (30-40% less than SF and NYC).
Sorry, no – you must be present in Los Angeles during the program. We believe that to scale quickly and most effectively, founders need to “engage” with their market as soon as possible. It is the fastest and most efficient way to gain valuable feedback, and create relationships with potential customers, partners and investors.
PLEASE NOTE: For start-ups with more than one founder and/or that have employees who are based in Israel, we only require one of the founders / key team members to be present.
During our program in LA, a tourist visa should be enough.
While we don’t get directly involved with visas, we do:
- Connect you with start-up founders in the US who will be happy to give you advice.
- Introduce you to good immigration lawyers to set up your US operation.
Israeli citizens require a visa to enter the US – we recommend scheduling an appointment with the US Embassy to get B1/B2 visa, if you don’t have one already. EU passport holders should be eligible for the ESTA Visa Waiver program.
PLEASE NOTE: The purpose of your trip is to attend business-related meetings and activities that advance your company, such as meetings with prospective investors and clients.
No, it’s not a pre-condition to set up a Delaware C-Corp in order to participate in Fusion LA – we work with Israeli LTD companies as well. Nevertheless – if you want to grow your business in the US, you will eventually do it. It’s only a matter of the right timing.
Accelerator programs are often described as “mentor-driven” because the bulk of the actionable information the teams receive is from the mentor network. Mentors have the industry knowledge, experience, and connections; these are often the most important factors in the start-up teams’ long-term success. Fusion LA’s mentorship club is composed of field experts, investors, industry leaders, academics and entrepreneurs. We’re big believers at 1:1 meetings, and during the program, we invite our mentors to engage with the companies via “Office Hours”, professional workshops and presentations, roundtable discussions, meetups and other events.
Weeks 1-5: Silicon Beach Boot-camp
Doing business in Los Angeles: The first few weeks after arriving to LA are very intense, with back to back sessions, lectures, and office hours with the purpose of letting our founders get to know the US market, learn and network on high-speed. Most of these days are structured and the curricula consists of sessions with our network.
Week 6: Silicon Valley Road-Show
Engaging with investors (VCs, Angels) and corporate partners.
Meeting investors, potential clients & partners: We keep track of the start-ups’ progress, holding weekly KPI’s meetings focused on traction and costumer acquisition. We organize bi-weekly sessions on branding, marketing, and pitching to help you with the process of “Americanizing” your value proposition.
Final events and road-show with angel investors and early-stage VCs in LA.
Optional 4-weeks of strategy and next steps to set up an office in Los Angeles. Working from our offices in Santa Monica to get traction and grow your business in the US. These weeks are less structured and tailored for each start-up goals.
Sure. We’ve been working with Israeli start-ups that have raised their seed funding and/or have been “on the road” for a while.
Yes, some of the start-ups we work with don’t really need the money. In fact, the money is only a small part of what we do and is more like pocket money, to make sure that all of the founders can cover their living and travel expenses while being incubated in Fusion LA.
Our standard deal at Fusion LA is a $20K cash investment and the full accelerator program. Equity stake in each company is varied according to funding status:
- For non-funded companies – We ask for 5%.
- For funded companies – We ask for a face-value of $80K in equity, determined by the valuation of the company.
Each portfolio company will receive the full investment amount at the beginning of the program.
We try to make the deal as straight forward as we can. Just to be clear: We don’t charge any fees or commissions from the start-ups in our accelerator. We try to avoid any complicated terms like low caps in certain situations, weird anti-dilution terms, accelerator’s fees, etc.
Most start-ups don’t come to Fusion LA for the money – they do it because they are interested in growing their business to the US. Our mentorship and welcoming network in LA provide a “soft landing” platform for their business and personal needs. The accelerator is an opportunity to get to know Silicon Beach “insiders”, pitch local investors and corporates, and learn from experienced founders. Furthermore, the program is just the beginning of a journey: As strategic partners and stakeholders, we continue to work with our alumni to set up their LA office, and provide access to capital and potential corporate partners.
Unfortunately, we can’t. We are focusing all our efforts in giving value to our start-ups in the program.
We are always happy to meet or interact with founders. Unfortunately, we can’t meet with every start-up that wants our advice and/or wants to get into Fusion LA in person. Hence:
- If we are in the midst of a drafting process, applying would be the best way to engage with us.
- If you have a different ask and/or a special inquiry (that we didn’t cover in our FAQ’s), feel free to drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org . We appreciate accuracy combined with relevancy. Please communicate relevant information for your request and make a clear and concrete ask.
When we refer start-up founders to investors, it means we are recommending them – hence, we know them well and preferably have worked with them. If we don’t know you well, we can’t recommend you. Furthermore, we don’t make intros for commissions and/or any kind of other compensation.
If you’re looking for investors, your best alternative is to find people within your network (or sometimes, beyond it) who are involved within the tech industry and know you well, and ask them for their assistance.
No matter what stage you are at, if you are looking to build your start-up into a company in the US, we would love to hear from you. Our partners are based in Israel and Los Angeles. Don’t hesitate to reach out to us to set up a time to chat: email@example.com