Israel is called the startup nation for a reason. As a small Middle Eastern country, with an unfavorable geopolitical situation, it has built itself to be a hub and can teach other countries valuable lessons about the development of ecosystems. Above all, Israel is a fine example of leveraging your weaknesses to become your strengths.
Your country is at war? Make your military the biggest startup accelerator. Your country is not popular globally? Make the world use your apps and life-saving innovations to become popular. Are there security threats in every direction? Develop the solutions yourself. Does your young population have to spend 3 years of their most productive time in the army? Use it to create a melting pot which allows co-founders to wisely pick their co-founders based on real-life experience. Nothing is certain and risk always eminent? Good, now your population is not risk-averse and goes full speed at building businesses with low chances of success.
Israel is a determined nation with an inborn mentality of solving problems and always looking for innovation. Most of the developments have been stimulated by the necessity and the aspect of survival due to being in an isolated country.
Israel startup ecosystem is reputed to have the most startups per capita. Due to a comparably small population and lack of natural resources, the country’s biggest asset is hard-working and creative humans who use their skills to advance such fields as technology and security. Israel’s startup ecosystem is unprecedented — the country has entirely rebranded itself and created some of the world’s biggest startup successes out of thin air.
Today, more than 300 global tech companies operate in this tiny land, including IBM, Intel, Microsoft, Motorola, and Cisco. Those join over 100 companies that have been running their R&D centers in Israel since 2014, which is already a noteworthy achievement.
However, nothing comes without challenges. The high cost of living and increasing gaps inside Israel and from its Arab neighbors create a relatively unstable situation, which can deteriorate if policymakers get their eye off the ball. It’s time for the Israeli ecosystem to connect to the Arab ecosystem across the Middle East and enjoy mutual synergies.
We, at StartupBlink, would like to thank our extraordinary partners at LeumiTech and their CEO Yifat Oron for supporting our research in Israel. LeumiTech provides financial support to Israeli high-tech companies both in Israel and abroad and we are proud to work with them.