Afternoon Tea in Jerusalem Blog

In addition to my work as a business coach, one of my interests is blogging about life in Israel. This is a country full of contrasts – over eight million citizens living in an area the size of Wales. You can see snow and the lowest place on the globe in the same day. Although surrounded by geopolitical extremes, Israel has achieved a decade of high economic growth. My work brings me in contact with an array of new companies, exciting technologies and dynamic characters. Sitting back with a relaxing cup of strong tea (with milk), you realise just how much there is to appreciate in the Holyland. Large or small operations, private sector or non profit, my clients provide experiences from which others can learn and benefit.

Yesterday, the NGO, Start Up Nation Central, issued a report, which detailed how the Israeli hightech sector came through the 2020 corona scare – not just in survival mode, but stronger than ever.

Despite, and perhaps because of the coronavirus pandemic, 2020 was, in retrospect, one of Israeli high-tech’s most successful years – a trend that has continued into the first quarter of 2021. More than $10 billion in venture capital investment indicates that the demand for Israeli technology is at its peak and that Israeli companies and entrepreneurs have once again succeeded in turning a crisis into an opportunity. This is also the place to commend the Innovation Authority’s quick and determined response to the crisis, which led to a reduction in the extent of the damage to the high-tech ecosystem.

The success story has carried on into 2021. For example, the average there were around 150 deals every quarter last year, valued in total at about US$2.5 billion. In the first three months of 2021, there were 172 recorded deals worth US$5.4 billion.

In news highlighted over the past week:

  • Google Cloud region is coming to Israel to make it easier for customers to serve their own users faster, more reliably and securely.
  • Intel is to build a new campus in Israel, which will employ 1,000 additional techies. In total, over 4,000 new jobs have been announced in the past few days.
  • US investment giant Blackstone is opening an Israel office.
  • Etc, etc, etc.

Jon Medved, the CEO of Our Crowd, Israel’s leading investment house summed up matters yesterday in an interview. “Last year, we thought things couldn’t get any better….. Now, we are counting a total of 63 Israeli unicorns [private companies valued at more than $1b.] founded here in Israel or founded abroad by Israelis, and already 12 new unicorns this year.”

So where next?

Let me add a personal note. I was recently appointed the country manager in Israel for Vintro, a virtual market place, enabling investors and entrepreneurs to come together, eliminating the hassles and fees of middlemen. Their site is worth a visit, as it is populated by leaders of the international investment community.

For example, have a look at Martin Roll , who is an experienced global business strategist, senior advisor and facilitator to Fortune 500 companies, Asian firms, family-owned businesses and family offices. He advises clients on strategy, transformation, leadership & family business topics. He has just joined the platform.

In one of Vintro’s first moves, they have set up a “deal flow for Israel”, where Israelis start-ups / scale-ups can look for funding. 10 minutes to register your pitch and you are done. You can test for yourselves via this link.

To show the significance of Israel to the Vintro community, there are close to 100 investors, specifically looking for the “next thing” from the Israeli start up nation.

Care to investigate further?

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