In northern Be’er Sheva resides a growing high-tech park, a southern hub for the flourishing Israeli industry. As a beacon of high-tech innovation, there are many employment opportunities in the myriad of companies based in the park. If you missed Nefesh B’Nefesh Go Beyond South’s most recent Tech Tour of the park, are curious about the make-up of the park, or just need a refresher, stick around to find out more.
Gam-Yav Negev/ Hi-Tech Park
Gam-Yav is a real-estate firm with around 20 different parks throughout Israel including Gam Yav Negev in Be’er Sheva. Currently, there are three buildings with a fourth under construction. The fourth building will be completed in April 2020 and is expected to bring in 1,000 new jobs. The long-term plan for Gam-Yav Negev is to have 15 buildings in the park- within 10 years in order to create a center specialized in advanced technologies. Although there is certainly a heavy emphasis on tech companies in the park, it is by no means exclusive to those types of businesses. Additionally, there are plans to open a medical clinic, daycare, and residential apartments to make the Hi-Tech Park a much more hospitable working environment. Its proximity to Soroka Medical Center and Ben Gurion University already make it an ideal location within Be’er Sheva and it certainly seems as though northern Be’er Sheva will continue to grow and develop at a very rapid pace.
In Building 2 is the WeWork, where NBN Go Beyond South’s office is based. Here, our team rents our own office, but we share the overall workspace with the other members of the WeWork community. Each individual office room in WeWork is rented out by a different company, but there are shared conference rooms (each company must reserve the rooms in advance, allocating a share of their monthly reservation allowance) and a single reception booth. This benefits smaller companies and start-ups as they can save money on overhead by sharing pay for reception and not needing to pay for an excessively large office space. There is also the option to rent an open-space spot, which grants access to all of the WeWork amenities for those who need a comfortable, modern space to work and/or study but don’t need a whole office. Some medical students have even begun renting out open-space spots in the WeWork to use for their exam preparations.
The first company we visited on the tour was RAD, which stands for Research and Development. They are a cybersecurity telecom firm focused on domestic development and manufacturing. With their headquarters in Tel Aviv and manufacturing branch in Jerusalem, that leaves Be’er Sheva to work on quality assurance and software development. While the company as a whole has about 3,500 employees, their Be’er Sheva office has 80; their sleek and spacious office has plenty of room for all their employees and they even have a lab for testing their routers, switches, and other products.
The next stop was Wix’s office. Wix is an organization devoted to making website creation easy and accessible. Their freemium model (offering some features and services for free while locking complete access behind a premium membership) has allowed them to reach a massive number of consumers and still turn a profit even with under 3% of users being premium members: certainly a testament to the success of their service. Currently, they have three Israeli offices: Tel Aviv, Be’er Sheva, and most recently Haifa. Wix’s Be’er Sheva branch is only a few years old but has grown very rapidly from 5 to 80 employees in the span of five years. With about 90% of employees being programmers or software engineers, there is an unsurprisingly large amount of innovation within the company and its relatively flat hierarchy creates a more meaningful space for employment.
ECI Telecom, a telecommunications company developing ways to streamline connectivity for service providers, was our last stop of the day. Founded in 1961, ECI has lasted in the tumultuous high-tech industry and adapted throughout the decades. Through their three major projects, Apollo, Mercury, and Neptune, they work to utilize more powerful servers and data centers to increase bandwidth, range, and overall efficiency of communication. ECI is also a very global company and, as such, English is very ingrained into the company culture, especially given their regular online meetings with ECI’s Indian branch.