You know Silicon Valley, but have you heard of Silicon Wadi? As a Business Development Manager for Leaseweb, I have traveled to many countries, strengthening relationships with existing customers and building new ones. In December, I will embark on the mission of nurturing business relationships in Israel, together with other Leaseweb team members. Here are three reasons why this country is so attractive to tech companies around the world.
1) Startup Nation
Israel’s tech boom rivals that of Silicon Valley – kudos to the combined benefit of Israel’s culture, environment, and keen strategy. As of today, Israel boasts over 4,800 startups (including many high-tech companies) and is often referred to as the “startup nation“. And it doesn’t stop there – the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange lists 616 companies, suggesting that Israel has one public company for every 12,500 citizens (Israel has a population of 7.7 million, smaller than some large cities). To compare, the U.S. has one public company for every 47,000 people.
2) Innovation Nation
Do you use USB sticks? Ever heard of Kinect? That’s right: Israeli innovation. Wireless charging, medical robotics, solar energy generating windows; the list of exciting new Israeli technology goes on and on. During the past 12 years, Israel has spent at least 4% percent of its GPB on R&D, double the world’s average. Some reports even state a number over 5%. The country is a hotbed of innovation. R&D is so popular, Microsoft’s Israel-based R&D department even maintains its own Facebook page.
It’s no wonder that the biggest technology companies in the world are aggressively expanding in Israel, which brings me to my next point.
3) Acquisition Nation
Two week ago, Apple announced the takeover of Kinect-maker Primesense. In 2012, the tech-giant established its presence in Israel through the purchase of the flash memory company Anobit. Last June, Google bought social mapping firm Waze. Two months later, IBM acquired Trusteer, a transaction fraud prevention company. Facebook, Intel, and Cisco have also been involved in recent takeovers. According to Dealogic, nearly $4 billion was spent by U.S. companies acquiring registered Israeli tech companies since 2012. And this is only counting figures from acquisitions that disclosed their financial details – most acquisitions do not announce that kind of information, so the actual number might be much higher.
It is this startup mentality, innovative drive, and tech focus that earns Israel the nickname Silicon Wadi. It creates a magnetic bond between Leaseweb and Israel. Here at Leaseweb, we take pride in having one of the most disciplined approaches to building out and operating a global infrastructure. It plays a significant role in revolutionizing the hosting industry, with automation being at the heart of everything we do.
We will be in Israel from 15-19 December 2013, meeting partners and customers. During our stay we’ll host a Happy Tech Hour on 19 December from 18.30 to 20.30 hours in Tel Aviv. If you would like to join us, be sure to sign up via www.lsw.to/ybr. And if you can’t make it to the happy hour, you can contact me directly through firstname.lastname@example.org to set something up.