Israel, the Amazing Startup Nation

2 min read


Israel, the country with ~8m population and ~20,000km2 (wikepedia) really impressed me in past 4 days. I know Jews have done great works in many areas but what I learned, seen and felt during my stay in this country is still beyond my imagination. It’s called the Startup Nation, now I will never doubt that and I think no one should..

Some facts to share here, thanks to the presentation given by Reinhold Cohn Group, the Israel’s leading IP firm.

  • No. 1 in number of startups per capita: ~1 startup per 1,800 Israelis
  • No. 2 in absolute number of startups. (U.S.) is No.1. You may check out this the Israel Startup Map to have a visual sense of the startups, incubators and R&D etc in Israel.
  • No. 3 in number of companies traded on NASDAQ after U.S. and Canada.
  • Venture capital investment per capital in Israel is 2.5 times over the U.S. and 30 times than Europe. The absolute amount is the sum of Germany and France.
  • Israel is the world leader in No. of patents per capita, and it’s also No. 1 in R&D spending per capita;

There are quite a few fascinating technology/products invented in Israel, including: Cell phone technology, top of the line Intel processors, USB flash drivers, ICQ instant messaging system, drip irrigation, firewall technology, ingestible pill video camera (PillCam), voice-over-IP, electric car network system (Better Place), community-based navigation (Waze) and iron dome. And one third of all new ‘game-changing’ medical technology are orginated in Israel such as Oridion, InSightec;

Jews are smart and well-educated, have only 0.2% of world population, but they have 54% of Chess champions, 27% of Nobel Laureates in physics, 31% of Nobel Laureates in medicine, 6 Nobel Prize in recent years: 4 in Chemistry and 2 in Economy.

The consequence of all the achievement above is that it has become a growing trend for establishing major R&D centers of multinational companies in Israel. Right now, the big players include IBM, Cisco, Microsoft, Google, SanDisk. Therefore, we have no surprise to see that Israel is the NO.1 export country in Intellectual Property (IP) which is the greatest value that Israeli bring to the global industry.

Regarding the hot spots of Israeli innovation, we’ve been told they are Communication, Digital printing, Internet & Media, Green technology, Waste management, Water technology, Solar energy, Nanotechnology, Biotechnology, Medical devices.

Israel is small and lacking of all sorts of resources, and it’s surrounded by the sea and those so-called enemies. The only way to survive and become stronger is to innovate, said the officials from Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Well, if you have read about the history of Jerusalem and are also aware that the war sometime still takes place only ~80km away from Tel Aviv, the startup ecosystem this country is building is surely amazing.