An Inside Look Into Israel’s Startup Culture
Within the past thirty years, there is no doubt that Israel has quickly transformed into the type of economy that has been strongly focused on reinventing and challenging the generic definition of what tech innovation actually means. In 2013 alone, studies have shown that the Israeli economy has in fact produced around one thousand high tech startups amidst a nation that maintains a 7.7 million population.
As of today, this number exceeds over forty-eight hundred startups and the company growth in the country is further rising. On a global scale, this puts Israel on the map as the second highest high tech boom to even Silicon Valley.
Many sources have confirmed that Israel’s startup growth is based on the close relationship between the military and the private sector. Specifically, military personnel eventually implement their individualistic mentality to excel and succeed in the business sector as a hope to make a name for themselves as entrepreneurs.
As a result of Israel’s multiculturalism, innovation is seen as an essential component of societal development due to the various different viewpoints that generate an atmosphere of free flowing ideas.
Also, it is common in Israeli culture to not necessarily view an unsuccessful business venture as a failure, but more so a valuable learning experience that would indeed make your next company or tech startup function better. Interestingly enough, both of these qualities are actually strong similarity in both U.S. and Israeli cultures.
One major structural factor that has aided this process is the many government programs that have both initiated and funded the development of Israel’s startup scene. In other words, the government implemented programs have created an environment in which tech entrepreneurs are not only given opportunities to capitalize their ideas or products, but to also grow as productive thought leaders within society.
Along with this structural factor, it is clear that cultural attitudes and social norms play a pivotal part in shaping the growth, development and overall cultivation of the Israeli startup scene. Generally speaking, the Israeli population feels very strongly about simultaneously contributing to the welfare of the state and its advancements on both the micro and macro levels. The intense political situation also gives Israeli entrepreneurs the feeling that they must accomplish today due to the uncertainty that tomorrow can bring.
A concept deep rooted in Judaism’s charitable principles, “Tikkun Olam” is based on the notion that each individual is responsible to positively contribute to the greater good of society as a whole.
If you’re interested to read more about the Israeli tech startup culture and its growth in the past few years, be sure to take a look at the book Startup Nation: The Story of Israel’s Economic Miracle by Dan Senor and Saul Singer.