Is Israel the new playground for startup companies?
The State of Israel has become one of the disruptive industry’s greatest phenomenons. It has built an empire of startup companies, with a focus in the technology sector, and has well earned the title of “Startup Nation”. One may ask, though, how is it that Israel has built this hub of such innovation and progression?
The answer is simply: its military service. In the State of Israel it is mandatory to serve a minimum of two years (for women, and 2 years and eight months for men) in the Israel Defence Forces (IDF). Here they develop the skills of leadership, improvisation and thinking outside the box – crucial assets to starting your own business. More importantly, they develop technological experience while performing their military service which is what drives these people to such tech ingenuity. These skills go beyond anything taught at university level, with graduates from Unit 8200 gaining the equivalently prestigious title as someone graduating from Harvard or Yale with a law degree.
With most of their startup companies revolving around the tech industry, it’s developed into its own version of Silicon Valley, naming itself Silicon Wadi, a term used to symbolise the location of its tech business hub. Senior Contributor Adrian Bridgwater stated in his Forbes article, How Israel Became A Technology Startup Nation, that Israel has in fact, “become a software-centric startup nation of young companies vying for a place on the global tech map”. He also narrows down Israel’s tech startup successes to the quality of their combined supply of human resources, higher education, their widespread use of English, and their steadfast ‘grasp the nettle’ attitude (being their ability to force themselves to be brave in doing something deemed unpleasant or difficult) that typifies the local culture. This stereotypical Israeli mentality that leans towards risk acceptance is the key to what makes Israel the booming startup nation it is today. Without these risks being taken these startup companies would probably cease to exist. It is this brave culture that leads Israel’s citizens to turn an idea into a reality.
I think it is clear to us all now as to how Israel has achieved having the largest number of startups per capita, with a population of 8.5 million they have around one startup per 1,400 people. These staggering figures perfectly match Israel’s entrepreneurial aura and are evident to Israel’s outbreak into the world of disruptive industries.