Tech City


Meet our Journalist

Nathan is a freelance writer and content strategist covering tech, sustainability, art, and culture. When he’s not writing, you can find him hanging out in Tel Aviv's galleries, or tucked behind the pages of a book in a cafe.


Tech at the beach

Israel is awash with tech companies and startups. Nowhere more so than Tel Aviv. It's been called the world's startup capital - the city where more new businesses are born per capita than any other. With 170 miles of Mediterranean coastline and an estimated 300 days of sunshine a year, Israel’s tourism industry is booming, with record numbers visiting every year. But in Tel Aviv, it’s the startups that have got the business world talking.

Highest number of startups per capita

According to the 2018 Global Startup Ecosystem Report, Tel Aviv has the highest number of startups per capita in the world, and the highest investment of GDP in research and development (R&D). It’s also one of the top-performing cities for global connections and global market reach and has been highlighted by Compass and Fortune magazine as one of the best places in the world to start a business.

Big-ticket acquisitions by some of the world’s largest companies have given homegrown entrepreneurs the confidence to dream big. Google acquired Waze, a traffic and navigation app, for $1.3bn in 2013, beating off competition from Apple and Facebook. That sale was followed by deals to buy the autonomous-driving startup Mobileye by Intel, for $15.3bn. Tel Aviv is also home to hundreds of venture capital funds, acceleration programs, and co-working spaces, spread across the city’s 20 square miles.

Entrepreneurial education

Entrepreneurial education is also an important part of the infrastructure. IDC Herzliya university has been running the Zell Entrepreneurship Program in Tel Aviv, on which 25 students create a business in the final year of their degrees, for the past 20 years. In 2017, it also launched a BA in entrepreneurship for the first time. Dr. Yossi Maaravi, the vice-dean of Adelson Entrepreneurship School at IDC Herzliya, agrees much of Israel’s entrepreneurial spirit comes down to culture.

Doing business in Tel Aviv

All startup entrepreneurs are going through similar experiences, and the Tel Aviv tech scene has basically adopted an open-door policy, where knowledge sharing is the norm, and you can easily get really great tips from seasoned techies. Another thing that’s important to understand about Tel Aviv is that it’s a young and cool city, with a diverse and creative population. It’s an inspiring place to live and work, with a talented pool of people to recruit from. To top it all, Tel Aviv is a beach city, and a beer by the sea after work is an awesome way to wind down.

Business culture

Focused, high-energy, determined, and fun. In this part of the world, high-tech entrepreneurs are the local heroes that young people respect, look up to, and emulate. An important aspect of the business culture in Tel Aviv is that the people are highly inter-linked: it feels like everyone is, at most, a second-degree friend or colleague of everyone else. Because it is a small country and almost everyone serves in the army and then goes to university, social and professional networks are very closely interwoven.

What are the costs of doing business in Tel Aviv?

The basic rent, salaries and other costs – such as legal and accounting - of having an office in Tel Aviv are significantly lower than operating in Zurich or San Francisco, and the talent in Israel is quite spectacular – you can partner with A-list developers, designers, marketing and finance professionals, at a much lower expense than in many other top cities.

Some cool network organizations

GarargeGeeks is an Israeli based not-profit physical and virtual space for innovative and creative people to introduce, network, expose, create, brainstorm, innovate, and build. People that take part in the activities come from different disciplines such as electronics, software, mechanical, art, design, music, hacking, and gaming. The spirit of GarageGeeks promotes building non-commercial projects that would otherwise not have come to life.

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Based in the center of Tel-Aviv, Re:Tech is an innovation hub for retail & eCommerce related technologies. Under one roof it is all about customer engagement in-store or online. Re:Tech works with some of the largest multinational corporate companies and connects them with startups with disruptive retail tech solutions.

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Start-Up Nation Central is an independent non-profit organization that builds bridges to Israeli innovation and through Start-Up Nation Finder – an easy to use, and free online platform you can discover and connect with thousands of relevant innovators.