The Startup Ecosystem in a Startup City
   2013-10-18 16:52:45      Web Editor: Mao Yaqing

Ami Daniel, co-founder and CEO of Windward, a startup in the Rothschild Boulevard area, introduces his company's maritime analytics system in Tel Aviv on Tuesday, October 15, 2013. [Photo: / Zhang Jin]

By Jerusalem correspondent Zhang Jin


A growing number of international firms are now setting their eyes on Israel as a location to expand into.

As CRI's Lucy Du reports, this is helping fuel a rush on start-up operations in Israel hoping to catch the attention of the larger, international firms.

The Rothschild Boulevard area, where the city of Tel Aviv was born, is now home to a concentration of mostly startups.

Ami Daniel, co-founder and CEO of a startup in this area, says the area is considered the Silicon Valley of Israel.

"We think that a company is more than just a building or room. You need to create something which is bigger than the people. And here we create a special vibe of spirituality, the character we want a company to have, creating a DNA, creating something which is more than code and sales and numbers on the spread sheet. A vision, a meaning, is something bigger."

Avner Warner, Director of Economic Affairs at Tel Aviv Global & Tourism, says entrepreneurship is the DNA of the city.

"(It's) a city that embraces people who take risk, embraces people who say they have a vision. It's considered a sign of respect to be an entrepreneur. In many countries failure is considered as negative thing, while in Israel, in Tel Aviv specifically, it's considered a sign that you're willing to take a risk and even if you fail, it's a question of how fast you gonna stand up again and try something else."

Authorities in Tel Aviv have turned part of a public library into a working space where entrepreneurs can develop their startups for a period of 4 months.

Avner Warner says it's a good solution for entrepreneurs who have a lack of money and experience in their early stages.

"Co-working space provides on the one hand a place to sit. They come here, they pay a cheap rent per month, and they get all the office facilities they need. And most importantly is that they have all the other standups sitting with them. So they are with people, they connect with them, and they become friends, and then they support each other, they help each other, and that raises the chances for them to succeed."

Many world-leading hi-tech companies are now looking toward Israel, and have been using mergers and acquisitions of Israeli start-ups to get a foot-hold in the country.

Israeli entrepreneur Yossi Vardi says the growing international attention can only help breed more innovation.

"We are very good in the first stage. We are good in coming with ideas, deploying them very quickly, not being afraid of failure,  then most Israeli companies are facing difficulty because there is no local market, you need more finance in order to grow up, etc. This is where the international companies are coming."

Tel Aviv is now home to over 700 startups and hundreds of multinational high-tech companies and R&D centers.

For CRI, I'm Lucy Du. 

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