With over 6,000 active startups and an economy dominated by industrial high-tech and entrepreneurship, Israel certainly earned its nickname ‘The Startup Nation’.
Disruptive innovation across various industries is rapidly changing the global corporate landscape, creating new challenges and opportunities for businesses. Traditional business models are running the risk of becoming obsolete if they do not evolve at the same pace. Israel’s unique ecosystem are very successful at catering to the needs brought up by these constant changes.
Israel is an entrepreneurial powerhouse and a hotbed for pioneering technologies, profitable business opportunities, and high investment returns. For these reasons, it is no surprise that the world’s leading multinational companies have all choose Israel: Microsoft, Motorola, Google, Apple (three R&D centers), Facebook, Berkshire-Hathaway, Intel, HP, Siemens, GE, IBM, Philips, Lucent, AOL, Cisco, Applied Materials, IBM, J&J, EMC, and Toshiba are just some of the names in a long list of over 200 MNCs who realized that Israel is their Ideal investment opportunity
Furthermore, many multinational corporates such as Tata, Kodak, Citi bank, and many others have established innovation centers in Israel
So how does Israel manage to stay on top of technology in a variety of sectors? Moreover, what makes it so unique that so many international players come and seek the next innovation here?
Israel’s unique society and culture, strong economy, government support, and “global-first” market approach are just a few of the factors that make Israel’s innovation ecosystem one of the most successful in the world.
Additional attributes of the Israeli ecosystem include:
Highly innovative – Israel is world renowned as being the “start-up nation” and is the world leader for number of start-ups per capita—with 2,000 startups founded in the past decade, another 3,000 small and medium-sized startup and high-tech companies, 30 growth companies, 50 large technology companies, and 300 multinational corporations R&D centers.
Strong R&D capabilities – Israel ranked second in the world in R&D expenditure per capita. Israel invests about 4.1% of its GDP in R&D, the average among the OECD is 2%.
Educated and skilled workforce – Israel enjoys the highest percentage of engineers and scientists per capita in the world, and one of the highest ratios of university degrees and academic publications per capita.
Government Support -The Israeli government founded the Technology Incubator program in the early 1990s. Today there are over 25 incubators across the country, all of which have been privatized. The incubators offer government funding of up to 85% of early stage project costs for two years. They nurture companies from seed to early stage, thus minimizing the risk to the investor.
Investment Support – The Investment Law enables foreign companies to benefit from a reduced company tax rate and investment grants. Another incentive program offered by the government provides employment grants for R&D centers and large enterprises.
VC Industry – Israel’s thriving start-up industry is complimented by a flourishing venture capital market. Israel’s venture capital industry has approximately 70 active venture capital funds, 14 of which are international VCs with offices in Israel.
A Flexible, Creative Economy – Flexibility and adaptability to change are widely considered primary factors affecting business performance. In fact, IMD’s world competitiveness index places this attribute among the leading indexes of economic competitiveness.
For further information on innovations from Israel and visiting Israel, contact the Economic and Trade Department at the Consulate General of Israel in Mumbai.
Siddhant Gupte; Trade Officer, Mumbai
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