Move over Silicon Valley! The Israeli equivalent, Silicon Wadi, is fast building momentum and is looking to be the next go-to place for tech start-ups.
Over the past few years, Israel has remained at the forefront of global innovation, an exciting hotbed for digital innovation. Israel has produced over 1500 start-ups and this year the region ranked second place, hot on the heels of the US, for its start-up ecosystem, an achievement it has held for four years running.
Last month, Digital Jersey Development and Research Officer – Miguel Zaragoza, Managing Director of IKYC – Raj David and Vice President of Strategy and Innovation at JT – Mark Stuchfield attended the Digital-Life-Design (DLD) Tel Aviv Innovation Festival as ambassadors representing Digital Jersey and our Island as a whole, to learn what’s worked (and what hasn’t worked) from some of the key innovators in Israel and find out more about opportunities that could benefit our own flourishing digital community.
The team promoted Jersey’s potential both as a jurisdiction vying to be at the forefront of innovation and as an ideal test bed for start-up businesses. Jersey already has strong financial connections in the Middle East and is producing some revolutionary developments in financial technology and other areas of digital innovation.
The team established links with public bodies such as the Daiwa Institute of Research in Japan and the Economic and Commercial Office of the Embassy of Spain, who recognised the value of the ambitious project established by Digital Jersey, the quality of Jersey’s Digital Industry and the Island’s potential as a global digital centre. The conference also presented the opportunity to make connections with start-up companies from across the world including, eToro (Israel), Nomits (Korea) and Promptwave (Spain).
As well as networking, our delegates had the opportunity to attend fascinating lectures including:
- A talk on how to pitch – IBM
- A lecture on IoT technologies – Cisco
- A showcase on developments in new wireless technology including WiGi, LTE-A and Wifi Convergence
Israel is an influential start-up nation having adopted a culture that rewards innovation and encourages entrepreneurship. To build on our own local success as a centre for digital excellence, key areas for us to invest effort include:
- Access to VC capital – In Jersey we have access to forward thinking individuals who are willing to invest in new ideas, this is always something we are building towards at Digital Jersey by facilitating relationships between the digital community and VCs
- Education and Skills – We have a number of digital learning programmes in place to build on our community’s digital skills and ensure our future as a digitally enabled society
- Women in Tech – Moshe Friedman from KamaTech brought to light the increasing number of female accelerators. Something that Digital Jersey is also encouraging
- International Mindset – We understand the value of creating relationships internationally and we aspire to deliver innovation to a global market
- Banks Involvement in Tech Development – Leumi Group, one of Israel’s leading banks supports start-ups through LeumiTech, with our Island’s focus on fintech, this is something we could also work towards
While economic viability is the ultimate endgame, true and meaningful innovation is driven by the need to inspire, provide solutions and create a positive impact. All of which are encapsulated in Jewish concept called ‘Tikkun Olam’, a work mentality that has allowed Israel to flourish.
By nurturing new ideas and encouraging risk to grow, Israel continue to develop and succeed as a digital leader. If we adopt this forward thinking mindset and continue to develop relationships on an international scale, we will soon make our own mark on the digital map.