Israel may be small, but the country packs a mighty technology punch.
The “startup nation” is recognized for not just brimming with tech innovation, but also harboring more high-tech startups and a larger venture capital industry per capita than any other place in the world.
Despite its reputation as being one of the top ranked global tech centers, the country can still be overlooked by bigger nations as they look to expand their own global tech aspirations.
Ayelet Mavor, Acting Director of U.K. Israel Tech Hub at the British Embassy Israel, told PYMNTS that the initiative she runs was designed to help U.K. businesses find partners in Israel to drive their innovation agenda forward. The U.K. Israel Tech Hub uses collaboration and business partnerships as a foundation to fuel a unique bi-lateral trade model between the two nations.
“The underlying rationale of the model is that international partnerships in technology and innovation can drive economic growth in the U.K., primarily by helping U.K. companies partner with innovation from Israel that will give them a global competitive edge,” Mavor explained.
That edge can come in many forms – increased revenue, profits, jobs, etc. – and also helps to establish the U.K. as a prime partner and destination for Israeli companies that are also seeking to expand their global footprint, she added.
Though Israel’s tech market offers many advantages, one of the best may just be its people.
Mavor described the country as a “constant hackathon,” where everyone is not only looking to solve issues, but also make a business out of those solutions.
“Several generations of army graduates, who at the age of 21-25, are fearless and eager to make a difference in the world. That’s pretty incredible energy,” she explained.
That desire for change has essentially become woven into the fabric of how Israel approaches technology.
Many Israeli businesses have become quite well-known for unique capabilities and an expertise in big data analytics, cybersecurity and business intelligence, but that's not all the country has to offer.
“As brilliantly described in the book ‘Start-Up Nation,’ there is a unique combination of conditions which make Israel a global leader in entrepreneurship, and particularly in technology.” — Ayelet Mavor, Acting Director of U.K. Israel Tech Hub at the British Embassy Israel
There are a wide range of industries whose futures depend on innovation and Israel is answering the call, Mavor said, including financial institutions, insurance, retail, real estate, automotive, agriculture, advertising, education and government.
“As brilliantly described in the book ‘Start-Up Nation,’ there is a unique combination of conditions which make Israel a global leader in entrepreneurship, and particularly in technology,” Mavor explained, citing the country’s young age, drive for entrepreneurship and compulsory army service as just a few of these factors. It’s easy to see these circumstances can contribute heavily to both educating and providing real-life experiences to Israelis while still at a very young age, she noted.
Over the last 4.5 years, the U.K. Israel Tech Hub has established 80 innovation partnerships, with the potential impact to the U.K. economy of more than £600 million.
By continuously exploring the key sectors in the U.K., as well as the significant trends and strengths coming out of Israel, the initiative aims to continue connecting U.K. businesses with the right Israeli solutions based on their innovation strategies.
The model must be working, as Mavor revealed plans of initiative expansions that are in the works.
“Today the U.K. Government has recognized the value of having a team like this in an innovation hotspot, working for the benefit of U.K. companies, and is looking to replicate this model to further territories,” she said.
To learn more about the global tech centers and the impact their innovation is having across the world, check out PYMNTS’ Weekly Tech Center Roundup, which highlights tech innovations, key initiatives and recent news from players and innovators within a particular nation.