Smart Starts

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With the second-largest number of start ups in the world, Israel has built its reputation by treating all potential businesses equally. By Kannan Chandran

Many of the names are familiar to global users in their respective industries.  Wix.com has been an easy start point for people building their own websites. Outbrain, when it works, helps to promote content via the Internet. Max Brenner’s chocolate is a sweet addiction. And communities have been using Waze to outsmart traffic congestion and money-hungry transportation authorities.

These are all businesses that have been started in Israel or by its citizens, which have contributed to the country’s position as a start-up haven. It is second only to the USA when it comes to having start ups.

While technology tends to lead the way among start ups, Israel adopts an open approach to the formation of start ups. Amit Lang, Director General of the Ministry of Economy & Industry notes that it doesn’t pay to focus on any particular area.

Apart from security, where Israel is invested heavily, Lang says it’s about building an ecosystem.

“It grows in clusters; nurturing each other. They are also fighting for human capital. Engineers working with one company and moves to another bring knowledge across. That’s how the eco-system is created.”

Lang says that all possibilities are treated equally. “It’s hard to say where success will come from, so we have to be open to anything.”

He adds that success begets success. “When there are a lot of success stories, it encourages the youngsters to do the same. It encourages them to be entrepreneurs. Every year we see a growth in the number of start ups.”

He talks to STORM about Israel’s successful start up culture.

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