In light of yesterday’s vote by the Israeli government to undermine the country’s independent judiciary, the European Startup Prize (EUSP) has decided to cancel the foreseen delegation of our winning startups and partners to Israel as part of the upcoming European tour.
We will visit major tech events only in countries where democratic values are respected and independent judiciary is safeguarded. Our tour this year will therefore consist of Belgium (European Parliament), Portugal (Web Summit) and Finland (Slush). Israel was foreseen for early next year but in the new circumstances we can no longer maintain the visit.
Our decision is made with a heavy heart but it is taken in solidarity with the masses of brave Israeli women and men who are protesting and fighting for their democracy. These include major tech companies and thousands of startups. Almost 50 Israeli startups applied this year to our Prize – Europe’s largest acceleration programme for clean mobility startups – following a recent EUSP Delegation to Tel Aviv EcoMotion. We welcome each of the Israeli startups and are proud of the high Israeli turnout. Their status as candidate startups will not change for this edition.
EUSP will remain the ‘Promised Land’ for Israeli startups who wish to scale up in Europe because sustainable innovation can only happen in a stable, inclusive and democratic environment. Our Prize was founded based on values which we cherish. These include inclusion, gender-equality, and of course climate action. We hope that the Israeli government will rethink its actions, which are of major concern for its economy and innovative sector. EUSP will be delighted to bring its startups and partners to Israel as soon as the current judicial coup is off the table.