Israel is well known as a startup nation and engine for creating technology-centric innovation on a global scale. It has the most NASDAQ listed companies after USA and China, one in ten jobs are a tech job, 1/4 of the countries tech workforce are employed in international R&D centres. As a global hub it attracts corporations and investment groups from around the world looking for tech-centric solutions.
Austrade's Landing Pad Manager in Israel, Omri Wislizki shared some of his experience at the Atomic Sky Innovation Leadership Breakfast in Perth. A Tel Aviv native, Omri plays a key role in connecting Australian growth companies into the Israel ecosystem.
Some take-always included;
With little domestic market, all Israeli companies think global from day one. They look to use technology to solve big problems and create international businesses.
In Israel startups you start as fast as you can, then you go faster, so it is a place you can go to change your mindset about innovation.
Connecting and collaborating is far more impactful in a local innovation culture of openness to meet and help other entrepreneurs.
Israel's outstanding investor market accelerated itself on a baseline of Founders who have exited well and now invest and mentor the next iteration of startups.
Cultural diversity adds to the richness of the culture and to the ecosystem.
Omri Wislizki; "It was great to see so many passionate people today at Atomic Sky. The W.A. start-up scene seems to be growing fast. I see great complementarity between Western Australia and Israel, particularly in Agtech and Cyber.
The Tel Aviv Landing Pad facilitates connections to potential collaborators, clients and activities via Israel. It is a fantastic opportunity for Australian companies to connect to global markets"
Dr Natasha Ayers spoke about the state-wide HARVEST agri-tech accelerator for SME's during Omri's visit. The initiative includes a combination of inclusive activities to accelerate the agribusiness and agritech sector in Western Australia. The holistic approach aims to grow collaboration, jobs and SME exports in the sector.
As relatively small, isolated populations Israel and Australia share the need for their knowledge industries to be successful and continue to grow on a global scale. The platforms of innovation, entrepreneurship and technology enable that outcome so are crucial to the economic development of both countries.
Israel is too small to provide a meaningful global market for Australian companies but we can learn from its technology startup success and leverage its ecosystem as a pathway to internationalise high growth companies. Australia itself has excellence in research, talent and potential sectors in which to pilot and strengthen Israeli innovations.
Director of Innovation at the University of Western Australia, Mark Stickells, recently returned from a business mission to Israel. He commented in the panel session that “Israelis argue that entrepreneurship is their national sport, whereas Australia prides itself as a sporting nation. We can learn a lot from Israel's innovation ecosystem and how it turned the challenges of geography and geopolitics into drivers for innovation and growth. Australia needs to embrace the advantages of its proximity to Asia and exploit competitive advantages in sectors such as agriculture, resources, and med-tech.".
The Israel, Innovation and Australia event brought together growth minded leaders from SME, Startup, Universities, Government and Large Companies. It was kindly supported by Austrade and the Western Australian government Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD).