Gemini, Lightspeed form lab

Gemini Israel Funds and Lightspeed Venture Partners announced that they have partnered to form a new lab in Israel to pour up to $1 million each into new Internet companies over the next year-and-a-half to two years. The two firms expect to support from seven to 10 emerging companies over that time span.

General Partners Danny Cohen and Tali Aben of Gemini are leading the effort, called Lightspeed-Gemini Internet Lab, with Lightspeed General Partners Ravi Mhatre and Jake Said.

The concept of nurturing startups in labs is not new to Israel. The country has a technology incubator program, started by the government and still partially government-run, that has been investing in new technology ventures for the past decade. The technology incubator program held its annual conference recently, where it was announced that 2005 had seen near-record government investment in the technology incubators – $30 million.