It’s a well known fact that part of the reason Israel has such a successful startup and innovation economy is because of the training and disciplines our young men and women receive in the IDF – Israel Defense Forces.
They not only learn about technology, but teamwork, collaboration, improvisation, and simply making doing more with a whole lot less.
Friendships and bonds that are formed in the IDF become ones of a lifetime, and often extend into the startup world.
There is another group of team builders and collaborators that merits paying attention to – that of the alumni from Tel Aviv University, which, according to Henry Chen Weinstein, founder of the TLV Startup Challenge, has the largest global alumni of startup and serial entrepreneurs of any university or college in Israel.
Globally, Tel Aviv University ranks #9 in the world for producing VC-backed entrepreneurial companies, right in between the University of Michigan and The University of Texas at Austin. (Source: Pitchbook)
Other universities in Israel are also part of the the Pitchbook Report, including Hebrew University and Technion-Machon Technologi Le’ Israel , which made the list of the top 50 institutions in the world – #37 and #19 respectively.
May 7 – 10, an army of 3,500 people will gather in Tel Aviv for the third annual and largest-ever, TAU Innovation Day (which is actually a four-day event) for a series of exhibitions, a startup competition – TLV Startup Challenge, lectures from speakers from around the world, and a special evening on Rothchild Blvd.
As I travel, and people ask me about my role as the Brand Ambassador to Israel for the Rackspace Startups Program, what’s the secret to Israel’s success, and more importantly, how can it be replicated?
My answer is simple: we can learn a lot from what happens in Israel, but I don’t believe it can be replicated.
You can, however, experience and be inspired from what goes on here.
And the best way to accomplish that goal is to get on a plane, take a few days off from your daily routine, and go out into the front lines of the startup world and what comes from this wonderful institution of very higher learning, doing, and creating something new.