Galit Horovitz is putting the combination of wellness and technology (welltech) on the map. Literally. Together with her co-founders — Amir Alroy, Ramy Shvarts and Shlomi Zedkia — they are currently mapping out the over 450 startups in Israel at the intersection of the $4.5 trillion wellness industry and tech startups.
A business development guru, Horovitz has observed the rapid growth of the wellness sector in Israel and globally. She credits her global perspective to having studied in New York, Paris and Jerusalem before making her home in the center of Tel Aviv.
“People are taking care of their well-being,” she said. “Wellness in Israel in general is growing. You can see that in the way that people exercise, the salons, the vegan food. Israel is the startup nation and you have a lot of technology. We put the two together. There are a lot of startups that were doing wellness, but they didn’t know that’s what it was.”
Whether it’s a fitness application using machine vision or a nutrition application using artificial intelligence, there are a lot of technology startups contributing to the boom in wellness tools. So Horovitz and her crew have created a new sub-industry by naming what was already taking shape.
WellTech1 — the wellness microfund and innovation hub Horovitz and her co-founders started in May 2019 — is a blend of accelerator, platform and micro-fund. Horovitz calls it “a gateway to revolutionary wellness technology in the startup nation.” The hub serves all facets of the business equation: the provider, the investor and the consumer.
“Wellness in Israel in general is growing. You can see that in the way that people exercise, the salons, the vegan food. Israel is the startup nation and we have a lot of technology. We put the two together.”
“Startups generally are two to three people who maybe were in the army together, studied together, but they don’t have business skills, marketing skills,” Horovitz said. “They may not have even set up a business yet. The accelerator and the hub, because we are mostly a hub, help them grow.”
She added, “Our idea is to build a wellness community. We believe this is growing exponentially. It’s the next big trend.” Indeed, in the past month, the company has hosted a variety of big-name players including Nike, Harel (Israel’s third-largest insurance group) and a European premiere league soccer team.
“We believe in wellness and the startup scene in Israel and all the big companies will at some point need wellness and need these technologies,” Horovitz said. “We help them reach investors and we help them create joint ventures.”
The key to Horovitz’s own wellness?
“I love what I do. I like new adventures. I have that creative side to myself. I do ceramics, bake elaborate cakes. I like that I’m doing something new. And suddenly, people are using the term welltech. It’s amazing. You feel like you grew a baby.”
Correction: A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that WellTech1 was mapping 200 startups.