Why is Israel referred to as the startup nation?
What is the formula for Israel to creating world-class technology companies?
several of which have been acquired by Apple, Google, Facebook, and other US tech giants for hundreds of millions?
Mark Tluszcz, ceo of mangrove capital partners, a Vc firm that has raised $650m – who invested $2m in Skype and made $290m says
“You have an entrepreneur culture that’s extremely present in Israel,” said
It’s about CONNECTION and COLLABORATION
Tluszcz also thinks the compulsory national service that Israeli citizens go through is another contributing factor.
The normal length of compulsory service in the Israeli Defence Force (IDF) is three years for men and around half that for women. “They all go through the military where they learn a lot of skills,” said Tluszcz.
“When they’re there, they interact with a lot of great technology people. So there’s a force in function to get tech people together.”
Tluszcz also said the most intelligent people in Israel tend to go to one of three top-tier universities so the smartest entrepreneurs all get to know each other as they study.
There is a “very vibrant financing community” for startups in Israel, who can now access Silicon Valley investors easily thanks to direct flights between Tel Aviv and San Francisco, in California.
Tluszcz has backed a number of Israeli companies, including web development platform Wix, which became Israel’s largest tech IPO when it listed on New York’s Nasdaq market at $650 million (£465 million) in 2013.
Google, Apple, and Facebook have all set up engineering operations in Israel in a bid to hire technically talented Israelis that aren’t interested in running their own startup.
The US tech giants have also acquired a number of Israeli startups. Navigation service Waze, for example, was acquired by Google for $996 million (£693 million) in 2013, while Facebook bought Face.com, an Israeli company with face recognition technology, for $100 million (£69 million) in 2012.