A Guide to One of the World’s Most Dynamic Tech Landscapes in the World
Welcome to the guide to the Israeli innovation ecosystem. We will explore the factors that have made Israel a global leader in innovation and technology for several decades – and where Israel can contribute to tackling shared challenges.
Necessity as a Driver of Creativity and Connectivity
Israel’s innovation ecosystem is one of the most dynamic in the world, with a rich history of groundbreaking innovations that have revolutionized many industries. Since its founding in 1948, Israel has had to contend with limited natural resources and hostile neighbors, spurring creative solutions to meet these challenges.
As a result of this innovative national DNA, Israel is home to the world’s largest number of startups per capita. Israel is five times more startup-dense than any other country, with one startup or tech company for every 1,400 people. And with over 100 companies listed on NASDAQ – more than any other country besides the US, China, and India – Israel attracts more venture capital per capita than any other country, with over $27 billion in 2021 and over $15 billion in 2022.
Israel also invests more in R&D than any other country as a percentage of its GDP, excluding military and defense R&D. Approximately 5% of Israel’s GDP is invested in R&D, far more than other countries, with South Korea the only other country to spend more than 4%. You can explore more recent insights and trends in our Israeli Tech Ecosystem 2022 Report, available for free in both Hebrew and English.
Israeli technology has become ubiquitous in many aspects of our daily lives, often without us even realizing it. For example, Israel’s contributions to the field of cybersecurity are widely used to protect online transactions, financial information, and personal data. Many of the world’s largest tech companies, such as Microsoft and IBM, have acquired Israeli cybersecurity startups in recent years to integrate their technologies into their own products and services.
One of the most famous and impactful examples of Israeli innovation has nothing to do with cybersecurity, microchips, or anything considered “high-tech” at all: drip irrigation. In the 1950s, Israeli engineer Simcha Blass noticed that trees growing near a leaky water pipe were thriving despite the arid conditions. He realized that by perforating a plastic pipe, water could be delivered directly to the roots of plants, reducing waste and increasing crop yields. Today, drip irrigation is used in many parts of the world and has helped to increase food production while conserving water resources.
Another area where Israel has made significant contributions is in the field of medical technology. In 2001, Israeli company Given Imaging introduced the PillCam, a swallowable capsule that can take images of the digestive tract, and revolutionized how doctors diagnose gastrointestinal conditions and improved patient outcomes. Israeli companies have also made significant strides in digital health in recent years, mainly to meet the demand for remote care and other services spurred by the pandemic.
Israeli technology has also made a significant impact on the transportation industry. Mobileye, an Israeli company that was acquired by Intel in 2017, has developed a suite of advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) that are now used in millions of vehicles worldwide. Mobileye’s technology helps to improve road safety by providing real-time alerts to drivers, detecting pedestrians and other vehicles, and even enabling autonomous driving in some situations.
And for those of us still operating our own vehicles, Waze has been invaluable. The app uses crowd-sourced data to identify traffic jams, accidents, and road closures and suggests alternate routes to help drivers avoid delays. Waze was acquired by Google in 2013 and has since been integrated into Google Maps, so there’s a good chance you’ve been using Israeli technology regularly without even realizing it.
In the field of renewable energy, Israeli companies have developed innovative solutions for everything from solar power to wind energy. One notable example is SolarEdge, an Israeli company that has developed a suite of products that optimize the performance of solar panels. By improving the efficiency of solar energy systems, SolarEdge is helping to make renewable energy more accessible and cost-effective.
Synergies and Collaboration: The Secret Sauce of Israeli Innovation
Israel’s innovation ecosystem thrives on interconnectivity and collaboration between different sectors of society. The country’s small size and cultural norms of close personal relationships make it easy for professionals from various fields to connect with each other, forming a network of talented individuals who can collaborate on innovative projects.
This network of connections and collaborations has led to the creation of many groundbreaking technologies and innovations and is further strengthened by the country’s advanced academic and research institutions, which work closely with startups and commercial companies. Universities, research institutions, and incubators work together to support entrepreneurs and provide them with the resources they need to develop their ideas into successful ventures.
This interconnectivity creates tremendous opportunities for synergies and cross-sector collaborations within Israel, and those network effects help Israeli startups build relationships with international corporations and investors, allowing them to expand their operations globally.
Teaming Up with Israeli Startups: How Foreign Entities Can Benefit from the Israeli Innovation Ecosystem
Foreign corporations and governments can benefit from several ways of working with Israeli innovation companies.
One approach is investing in local startups for strategic or financial purposes – or both. Israel has a vibrant startup ecosystem, with thousands of companies developing cutting-edge technologies in various industries. By investing in these startups, foreign entities can gain access to the latest innovations and potentially earn significant returns on their investment.
Another approach is to work with Israeli innovation companies as R&D clients. Israeli companies are known for their ability to develop groundbreaking technologies, and many are eager to partner with foreign entities to help them solve complex problems. Working with Israeli R&D teams will help tap into a deep talent pool and expertise and accelerate the development of new products and technologies.
Finally, foreign entities can benefit from partnering with Israeli startups. By collaborating with innovative Israeli companies, foreign entities can gain access to cutting-edge technologies and develop new solutions that meet the needs of their customers. Israeli companies are known for their agility and flexibility and can often pivot quickly in response to changing market conditions, allowing them and their partners to stay ahead of the curve and remain competitive in their respective industries.
Discover the Israeli Innovation Ecosystem with Start-Up Nation Finder
Start-Up Nation Finder is an online platform that showcases Israel’s innovation ecosystem, providing users with easy access to information about thousands of Israeli startups, investors, and companies across a range of sectors. The platform serves as a one-stop shop for those looking to engage with Israeli innovation. It provides tools for companies and investors to connect with Israeli startups and technology, with a comprehensive database of companies, technologies, and key players in the Israeli innovation ecosystem.
Finder’s user-friendly interface allows users to filter results by industry, stage, location, and more, making it easy to find relevant companies and startups. Users can also create custom lists, save their searches, and receive alerts on new relevant matches. Whether you are a startup looking for investors, a company seeking new technologies, or an investor interested in Israeli innovation, Start-Up Nation Finder is an invaluable tool for engaging with Israel’s vibrant innovation ecosystem.
We are committed to promoting the Israeli innovation ecosystem to the world. Start-Up Nation Central is a non-profit organization that strengthens Israel’s innovation ecosystem and forges global partnerships to help address shared challenges. We believe that Israeli innovation can benefit everyone and create positive change worldwide.
Our team comprises experts in technology, business, and research, who are passionate about promoting Israeli innovation and helping startups succeed. We are proud to be a part of the Israeli innovation ecosystem and to play a role in connecting entrepreneurs, investors, and corporations with the most innovative and dynamic startups in Israel.