When you think of Israel you think of warm Mediterranean waters, yellow sands of the desert, dynamic nightlife of Tel Aviv, and nowadays also a technology empire.
Today, Israel is a leading, if not ‘the’ leading, innovation nation in the world with one of the highest numbers of startup companies per capita globally.
Israel has earned the nickname of ‘Startup Nation’.
How did this happen? Well, it’s not by chance. The culture for innovation may have spurred from several different reasons one of which is due to military training. When in the military you are forced to be creative and to find speedy yet elegant solutions to various problems with limited resources. Also, at 18 or 19 years old you are already put in decision-making positions overseeing a large number of people.
More specifically, the Israel Defense Force’s cyber-intelligence units, train young Israeli recruits in cyber-espionage and coding. This is considered the most technical intelligence agency in the world and some even look upon it as the equivalent of a law degree from Harvard or Yale.
Another reason, not to be taken lightly, is the fact that over 24% of the labor force is dominated by highly qualified, well-trained people with university degrees. These are people that have braved the rigorous Technion, Israel’s Technology Institute, Tel Aviv University, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and other institutions highly regarded and well-known worldwide. Also, due to the 1990s immigration of over a million people from the former Soviet Union, many who were high-level engine and scientists, Israel has gained quality workers for its workforce.
Israel’s government has not let this phenomenon gone unnoticed and has become a vital player in bringing forward the country’s technological advantage. The government established the Office of Chief Scientist under the Ministry of Industry and has launched various programs with its $300 million R&D fund.
Aside from the government, other companies and institutions have realized the potential here and have also created funds to support companies, mainly during their early stages, some of which:
- $30 million Technology Incubator to cover up to 85% of the R&D costs.
- Country backed funds of ‘Tnufa’ and ‘Heznek’ are for seed and pre-see company funding stages.
- Gategroup, the venture arm of ElAl, supports, among others, airline innovations.
Israel is an ideal country to visit and enjoy, however, nowadays it is one to consider experiencing also its professional and technological sides from full-time work opportunities to internships – you should check it out.