6 Reasons Israel is Ideal for Startups

The story of Israel is one of tragedy turning into resilience and fortune. It is precisely these two qualities that make Israel a fertile ground for startups and ambitious projects. It’s the silicon wadi of the middle-east.

The complexity of Israel’s infrastructure can be confusing, but we’ve decided to break down all the main reasons. Through each aspect, you will see why Israel is an ideal location for your startup.

  1. Interconnectedness between government and private institutions

Israel is a unique situation and one of the only known cases outside of Silicon Valley, where government and private companies collaborate closely.

Through careful image honing and outreach, the Israeli government has crafted close relationships with entrepreneurs and startups. Unlike most of the world, there is no animosity. This creates a pleasant atmosphere for startups to thrive in.

  1. Office of the Chief Scientist

In 1974, Israel commissioned a unique institution called the Office of the Chief Scientist or OCS. This initiative has been perhaps the main driver of all innovative action in this Middle Eastern country. The OCS runs up to 24 incubator programs each year, where they provide support and advisory services to startups and project. It is currently known as The Israel Innovation Authority.

There is a strong emphasis on both clean and heavy tech, in addition to medical innovations and devices. Each applicant has a chance to receive a grant of up to $700.000. Just last year, the OCS gave away a whopping $3.000.000 to startups. It’s important that your government’s economic policies support you.

  1. Education

Israeli universities and high-schools are highly modernized, offering programs in skills such as digital marketing. Unlike most institutions across the world, they offer practical experiences in modern technologies like AI, ML, FinTech etc.  

The students are stimulated ever since the early middle school days. Contests, promotions and creative work are highly valued in Israeli culture. As a result, be it LinkedIn lead generation or native ads, they know how to master it.

  1. IDF

Israel has a strong military culture, with mandatory conscription for both men and women. Instead of traditional military environments, the Israeli Defense Force provides valuable lessons. This involves teamwork, support and the importance of providing a lending hand to innovators and frontrunners.

The IDF is anything but your classic army. They have a person at the position of Chief Innovation Officer. With this office, startups and domestic companies are urged to participate in the well-being of their own country. Foreign contracts are at a minimum, with an emphasis on rewarding Israelites.

  1. Enormous venture capital

Did you know that Israel’s per capita availability of venture capital is the highest in the world? 2015 saw startups from Israel raise more than $5 billion. In 2016, they raised $3 billion in just the first four months. Out of 4.000 startups in Israel, this number was divided across approximately 700 startups.

In Israel, there are 70 active funds that deal with venture capital. International funds are also happy to invest in Israel, as they’ve seen their investments snowballing. Basically, the more successful startups in Israel grow, the more investments will come in. A chain reaction, if you will.

  1. Coworking spaces

Israel is one of the places in the world with the most coworking spaces per capita. There are also many accelerators run by companies such as Yahoo and Microsoft.

Foreign companies have taken notice of Israel’s prospects and they’re highly willing to stimulate them into even more production. However, it’s important to cite the importance of Tel Aviv. It’s one of the most modern cities in the world.

To conclude

If you’re thinking of creating a startup or making an investment, this land of startups on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea should be your goal. Israel’s values are deeply embedded into their citizens, with the addition of a supportive and engaged government.

About the Author
Rachel Brenner is a Professor of Jewish Studies. Her research focuses on Jewish Literature and has published dozens of scholarly articles and book chapters.