The Impact Tech Startup: Initial Findings on a New, SDG-Focused Organizational Category †

Benjamin Gidron, Kfir Bar, Maya Finger Keren, Dalit Gafni, Yaari Hodara, Irina Krasnopolskaya, Alon Mannor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study sheds light on the prevalence, focus, and key structural dimensions of the Impact Tech Startup—a new organizational category of enterprise whose technologically innovative products or services are aimed at creating social or environmental impact. After tracing the Impact Tech Startup’s conceptual roots and the features it shares with startups and social enterprises, we examine the context of Israel as a particularly supportive environment for startup entrepreneurship. We then present the initial findings from our empirical study conducted in Israel, in which we examined 1657 startups, developed a machine learning algorithm to identify which of these can be classified as an Impact Tech Startup, and clustered the results within the framework of the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals. Our findings indicate that approximately one third of Israel’s startups can be classified as an Impact Tech Startup. Of these, almost a third are producing products or services relevant to Sustainable Development Goal 3 (Good Health and Well-being). Furthermore, we find that the technologies deployed by ITSs can help optimize decisions by professionals and, in doing so, substantially contribute to tackling social and environmental challenges. This study aimed to give the Impact Tech Startup an initial “face” and to invite further, more detailed studies in the future.

Original languageEnglish
Article number12419
Issue number16
StatePublished - 1 Aug 2023


  • entrepreneurship
  • environment
  • high-tech
  • impact
  • impact tech startup
  • Israel
  • social enterprise
  • startup
  • sustainable development goals

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science (miscellaneous)
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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