As a journalist I was at the DLD Festival for Innovation in Tel Aviv, Israel this week to understand the secret of the Start-ups Nation. Here is my first impression from the mechanism of the Israeli Economy.
First of all, Tel Aviv is the city of paradox: a place to chill it out and a rough business environment. Indeed entrepreneurs have an amazing way to pitch here I never heard before.
Although the economy is largely liberal, the incubators financed by the Government are offering many opportunities into R&D. 50% of the R&D cost could be granted by the Israeli Innovation Authority for national companies.
But I was surprised the most by visiting the Coca Cola incubator financing the start-ups creativity without any links to the multinational activities, and without any efficiency requirement. Perhaps the complexity of the banking system in the country that is not so liberal when it is about money inputs from outside, could be a key of understanding. The Google campus for example offers the opportunity to anyone with a project in his hand to come freely and work on. This is something that the government has promoted as well by opening libraries and working spaces in Tel Aviv for project carriers.
The originality of Tel Aviv business is also a philosophy of sharing experiences and projects between start-ups. This is all about an incubator: not only working there, but to know your neighbourhood, talking to them in a daily basis, and creating together ideas and partnerships. This is the case of Drive an incubator specialised into smart cars technologies.
In Israel I must say people are not waiting for the green light to start a project, they are working with an idea and then they will see what is going to happen. The social system in Israel does not offer social benefit as we can see in Europe for example. Except from the healthcare system, social benefits like allocations for unemployment are almost inexistent. Start uppers takes risks. The state is not going to assist them in any way -maybe except from having a quite low taxation policy-, but the private sector will if the idea is looking interesting to them.
Anyway travelling to Israel was an exciting adventure where I found out many paradoxs. Follow up my videos up there !
Ecomnews Med Project Manager
Discover out our latest videos about our travel in Israel :
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