May 8, 2012, category: Investment (Nili)
Last week, international tech and investment writers concentrated on finding the best environments for launching and investing in high-tech startups. On April 28th, Tomer Avital of Calcalist, one of Israel’s leading sources of business news, cited Science Minister Daniel Heshkovitz, who declared that Israel is “a startup paradise.” Hershkowitz cited cooperation with the Finance Ministry in the most recent budget that resulted in a renewed commitment to developing the Israeli space program and other technology industries. He points out:
Not only has the government stopped cutting budgets, it is now constantly increasing them. From the moment I got the science budget, it has climbed from NIS 70 million to NIS 350 million and it’s still not enough. But you can look at it from a different angle – Israel has the largest R&D investment in the world relative to its GDP – 5%. The Swedish and Americans fall behind with a 3.6% investment of their GDP. This attests to Israel approach – we’re a startup paradise.
This exciting development in the budget, which coincided with a World Wildlife Fund study that ranked Israel as #2 in the world in cleantech innovation (behind Denmark), indicates that the high-tech revolution in Israel will continue to thrive.
6,000 miles away, on May 5th, Alex Fitzpatrick of Mashable.com attempted to uncover the factors that made New York City a “paradise for tech startups.” Just like Minister Hershkowitz, Fitzpatrick notices a noteworthy increase in financing:
Over the past four years, there’s been a 40% spike in startup financing in “Silicon Alley”- a bigger increase than anywhere else in the U.S.
Fitzpatrick notices an additional major factor that contributed to NYC’s development into a startup Shangri-La: policy-making. He cites the literal and emotional investment by state and city officials in nurturing the tech-startup community, specifically the integration of existing structural and cultural institutions, such as geography, transportation and universities. It would be interesting to hear Minister Hershkowitz’s opinion how these factors, namely the local infrastructure, localized geography and cooperation with universities nurture Israeli startups in a similar manner. Perhaps Fitzpatrick could conduct the interview…
In any case, both New York City’s “Silicon Alley” and Israel have distinguished themselves as prime locations for developing high-tech startups, with the enthusiastic support of their local governments. Perhaps no other story better captures the synergy of these two great locations, both zealously committed to supporting high-tech R&D, than the Cornell-Technion Campus to be located on Roosevelt Island: