Located in the northern city of Nazareth, venture capital firm NGT is interested in finding a niche in the comparatively untapped and under-resourced area of the medical field in Israel; the Arab community.
The new fund
HealthCare II Impact Fund is the newest fund set up by the company that specializes in biotech and medtech ventures.
This year, the fund received funding of about $92 million for funding Arab-Israeli entrepreneurs that are part of the medical field in Israel, which is considered highly lucrative.
In the last two decades, the participation of the Arab Israeli community in the medical field has experienced a surge.
About 11.2% of all new physicians in Israel belonged to the Arab Israeli community back in 2000, but the number increased to almost half by 2020.
This data was provided by the Ministry of Health and the Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS). NGT is interested in tapping this talent.
The VC is focused on breakthrough and early-stage technologies associated with medical and academic institutions and it had been established on Monday.
NGT’s Director of Investor Relations, Tamar Kedar Harris said that they wanted the Arab community to be integrated into the ecosystem of the startup nation.
Even though the field has seen a ton of new entries, there are many difficulties that Arab Israeli medical professionals and physicians have to face when they enter the medical field.
These include discrimination and prejudice. Researchers at Tel Aviv University and the Academic College of Tel Aviv-Yaffo conducted a study back in 2021.
The results of the study showed that Arab Israeli doctors faced bias from Jewish Israelis and were suspicious of them, thereby giving these practitioners negative evaluations.
The researchers said that the study highlighted the existence of bias in the Israeli health system against Arab Israeli physicians, which could have an impact on the physician-patient relationship, particularly if there is a doubt about malpractice.
Overcoming the divide
Nizar Mishael, the managing partner at NGT, said that their goal is to bridge the divide by putting in capital in the Arab community and developing a network for assisting entrepreneurs.
The fund has invested in a number of portfolio companies, which include a health tech company based in Nazareth called Plas-Free and it specializes in blood-related products.
There is also another Nazareth-based company called Intragel that is focused on finding oncological solutions to address brain tumors.
A Haifa-based company is also part of the list named Nurami Medical, which focuses on biomaterials and nanofibers for making repairs to soft tissues.
According to NGT, they were able to help 23 companies establish themselves via their first fund and a second fund worth $100 million wants to invest in about 25 startups that are in early stages and 16 projects that are in academic stage.
The CEO and managing partner of NGT, Zohar Gendler said that while they valued the social agenda, they also want to provide a return on investment to their investors, due to which portfolio diversification is necessary.