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Small Country, big ideas – The "Chutzpah" that is Israeli Innovation

Innovation Center April 17th, 2018

Small Country, big ideas – The "Chutzpah" that is Israeli Innovation

Israeli Innovations have been making the rounds in the last few decades; the Israeli Ecosystem's many inventions and breakthroughs are prized in the country with its well-known moniker – "Start-up Nation".

Since its turmoil-ridden establishment in 1948, Israeli has grown to be one of the leading innovative countries in the world – through a unique combination of great "can-do" attitude, a constant need for out-of-the-box problem solving, and bringing in great immigrant minds from various corners of the globe.

In this blog, I'll try and give you a little flavor of the look & feel of the Israeli entrepreneurial environment, and help you navigate the Israeli entrepreneur mindset, in order to best tap into its innovative capabilities.

So, on to the question you probably have in your mind: what's it like to work in this Mediterranean passionate climate? Honestly, while it could sometimes be challenging – it is a promising and exciting environment unlike any other. To be fully engrained in Israeli innovation culture, you must recognize that while the big picture shows a typical "dreamer" kind of entrepreneur, there are several key components to the local ecosystem that set the tone to the wonderful mix of ideas we see on a day to day basis, be it from serial entrepreneurs, academia, startups, and sometimes even big corporates:

  • "Chuztpah" – while the literal translation is "audacity", and the general meaning of this Hebrew word corresponds with the translation, the Yiddish meaning is basically being ‘presumptuous + arrogant’;, in the Middle East, Chuzpah gets things done – and we all have a bit of that! We are very direct and blunt.


  • Immigrant Melting Pot –Israel is an immigrant country – bringing in people from all corners of the globe means different backgrounds and thus – different views to the same problem, providing more creative solutions.


  • One degree of separation – despite bringing in people from all around the world, one will quickly find that there is only one link separating them from their target contact; Israel is still a small country, and upon coming here, you'll realize that "everybody knows everybody" – so getting an connection to the right person is not that far away…


  • Military Service as a profession provider – serving 2-3 years in the military – which is compulsory for men and women - means you deal with a specific subject (programming, safety, engineering, etc) on a day-to-day basis from day one, which makes you an expert at the end of your service.The IDF also includes several high-end technological units that are at the bleeding edge of cyber/software/hardware innovation – those units end up pumping out the brilliant engineers and CEOs of multi-billion dollar companies (CheckPoint, Waze and others you may know).


  • The Startup-ist - if you manage to sit down with an average individual between the ages of 15-65, you will find out he has at least 2-3 ideas for a startup at any given moment. This is due to startup culture being a sought after "behavior" here; you are encouraged to find a solution to any problem you run into. If you haven't had at least one failed startup in your resume, you are not really considered a "startup-ist"…


  • Failure is not a con – it's a pro! While most of us dread failure (especially as an entrepreneur), Israelis see failure as part of the journey.  Once you fail, a big burden is taken off your shoulders, and Israeli generally are good at accepting it, learning from it, and using it to their advantage in the next endeavor.

All of the above ingredients created a thriving soup of an ecosystem, which made all the big global corporations want to get a part of the action – Israel has more than 250+ R&D and innovation centers of the largest multi-national companies, encompassing healthcare, software, hardware, e-commerce, security and many more fields. The MNCs identified the strength of Israeli Innovation, and decided to invest in a significant footprint here.

So, the main point I'm trying to make is, that in order to enjoy the benefit of Israeli Innovation – best that you have a meaningful presence here, or at lease come visit a few times a year!

As we gear up towards the MIXiii Biomed conference of 2018 (May 15-17) – the largest life sciences and technology conference in Israel, we would be happy to invite you to attend the conference and learn more about the engine of innovation that is Israel.



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