UCR Israel Residency
Start Up Nation
Dates TBA; Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, Israel
Remarkably for a small economically isolated country of only 8 million people, the economy of Israel is technologically advanced by global standards. A Global Competitiveness Report (2016 to 2017), for example, ranked Israel as having the World's second most innovative economy.
Israel’s strong educational infrastructure and a high-quality incubation system to help develop new cutting-edge ideas for value driven goods and services, has allowed the country to create a high concentration of high-tech companies backed financially by a strong venture capital industry.
Flash drives, cardiac stents, instant messaging are only a few of Israeli-bred innovations that have emerged allowing the high-tech sector to account for almost 50% of total industrial exports in 2018, according to the OECD.
Smart Policies Mean Smart Companies
There is no doubt that smart government policies played a key role in spurring innovation. The Israeli government made a crucial strategic decision to jump start a science-based sector by providing financial support for commercializing research and development. A technological incubator program was set up in 1991, in part to provide skilled immigrants to Israel with funding and know-how to become successful entrepreneurs. Since the first companies emerged from the incubator program in 1993, 61% have secured follow-on funding and 40% are active to this day.
The private sector has since invested over $2.5 billion in incubator graduates, according to the OECD. Between 1995 and 2004, the Israeli government increased spending on R&D, calculated as a percentage of GDP, from 2.7% to 4.6%, a rate higher than any other OECD country.
Hunting Unicorns (Unicorn, a company with a market valuation of $1 billion)
The unicorn craze started in 2013, when Google bought Israeli GPS-based geographical navigation app Waze for just over $1 billon. Other Israeli start-up unicorns include marketing platforms Taboola and Outbrain, software delivery system IronSource and app developers Como. Public tech companies worth $1 billion or more (which aren’t technically called unicorns, as they aren’t privately held) include collision-avoidance tech provider Mobileye, enterprise security firm CyberArk, and the one we are all familiar with, the web development platform Wix.
Do not miss out on this amazing program that explores the entrepreneurial ecosystem and start-up scene in Israel. Selected site visits include the the entrepreneurial ecosystems or `Silicon Wadi` of Israel while exploring Tel Aviv, Haifa, and Jerusalem.
For more information, contact Dr. Sean Jasso.