Israeli Startup (Scale-up) Nation in the UK

As I am the on the commute — The Kav as Israelis call it, I spend a bit of time in the UK.

During my last visit, I attended Innovate’19 which is the annual conference of UK Israel Business https://ukisrael.biz  who as per their Website “is the UK’s Israel business connector, nurturing the dynamic growth of business and investment between the two countries”.

The Conference consisted of 2 parts – the first part of Innovate’19 was the British Israeli Business Awards with The Rt. Hon. Michael Gove MP as their keynote speaker, who gave a very strong Zionistic talk in praise of Israel. It was refreshing to hear this, especially given a lot of negativity in the UK Press and Labour party about Israel and Jews. Besides the good Israel wine, it was a good place to bump into old University friends from the old Country – South Africa who are very active in creating ties to Israel (and UK Israel Business).

The next day, I attended the main event held at Amazon HQ in London. The offices were like a big Wework. There were quite a few Israeli Companies presenting. Some Looking to get into the UK, some looking for contacts and investors, Besides, meeting the usual batch of Lawyers, not so many Accountants (excluding myself) there were quite an interesting bunch of people there.

The first chap I bumped into described the Israeli- UK initiatives as an interaction between a mouse and an elephant. Was not quite sure of the mouse part, but having attended an interesting tour of the British Natural Museum where there was an exhibit that asked – Can elephants fly? Without going into this in detail or the exception of dumbo, the simple answer is no. Elephants by definition are slow, clumsy, while mice are fast and energetic. So, there is hope for the Little Mouse, Israel in this relationship.

There were Israeli Entrepreneurs / Companies active the UK Space Industry, Blockchain, Security, Fintech etc. and I met quite a few players in the Food Industry, FoodTech is now a hot dish on the Israeli innovation menu. One Company attracting at the conference was Future Meat https://www.future-meat.com/. with all the hype surrounding the listing of Beyond Meat who saw it $25 IPO price of the stock tripled within three days, for a value of 4.4 billion. I am not so sure why all the hype – they claim to replicate the taste of meat in a vegan product, but in Israel and other Counties, there has been a range of vegetarian products for many years. “Future Meat Technologies is a Jerusalem-based biotechnology company aiming to transform global meat production through distributive manufacturing of fat and muscle cells, increasing food safety and reducing ecological impact worldwide. We aim to turn the timeless vision of animal-free meat production into a reality. Our cutting edge cellular agriculture technology was developed by award-winning biologists and bioengineers and brought into reality by world-renowned innovative chefs at Jerusalem’s singular culinary scene.” In today’s, Environmental aware world, where there are huge resources going into the grazing of animals, and inhumane treatment of Animals –  this is really the future frontier.

One of the more entertaining and interesting talks was given by Alan Feld, who highlighted current thoughts in the great The industrial disruption of the 21st Century. We have already seen Amazon change the face of Retail, Challenger Banks are threatening the traditional bank Industry,. Our shopping patterns are changing.. We have the rise the Omni Channel i.e seamless shopping experience between online and stores, buy online, collect and return in store, and hopefully seamless payments.

Disruptor no 1 — Artifical intelligence —  The biggest disruption is in on the employment jobs are under threat. Law industry is a prime example. Banking another.

Disruptor no 2 — Smart mobility — Example Autonomous vehicles ie on highways, not so much in cities, Car Sharing is another area. In addition to this put into the mix – Electric Cars, restrictions arising from new Regulations in car Pollution, which means we are going to see the phase-out Fuel based cars fasting than we realise.

Disruptor no 3 — The millennial economy. The gig economy eg Fivver. People working from home, youngsters renting instead of buying with a lower focus on materialistic goods.

So, in order to survive these changes. We are seeing large multinationals interested in companies/start-ups with disruptive technologies. We see this in Israel,  with Our Crowd, Axis Innovation to name just a few platforms which connect Large multinational to Israel Companies, This is a real opportunity for the mouse – little Israel to not only be a startup Nation but a scale-up Nation.

Traditionally, Israeli Companies have looked to the US, but the UK is an attractive easy option as well. It is close, they are open to new Technology and collaborations, speak a type of English, are a gateway to both Europe and the Commonwealth of countries which Australia, India and South Africa etc.

So, if you are considering either Investing in the UK (either in Real Estate or Technology), entering into the UK, or looking to maintain your operations. investments, or are in the need of Accounting, Tax representation, Legal services, Company Administration or an address or office in UK, we are able to provide fully serviced offices and support services in London helping International Companies gain a foothold in the UK while controlling costs and minimising risk. To find out more about this, I can be contacted at jeffrey@persofi.com

About the Author
Jeffrey is a Blogger, Entrepreneur and Philanthropist (we can only dream) living in Jerusalem. He has five kids and three grandchildren. He is looking to spread the message of Ahavat Yisrael and Jewish Unity through the music and teachings of Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach and connecting our lost Jewish brothers and sisters to Israel. God and themselves.
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