Elaborations by Doria Ben-Bassat, Head of Research and Strategic Partnerships at Tel Aviv Global
3-Sentence Pitch on the local Startup Ecosystem
Recognized as one of the world’s leading innovative cities, Tel Aviv is at the heart of the global startup scene and is unparalleled in its creative and brilliant energy. The city cultivates a thriving and accessible start-up ecosystem, brimming with venture capital opportunities, seed funds, and innovation hubs. Home to leading international high-tech firms alongside the greatest number of startups per capita in the world, the ecosystem is supported by top talent, leading research and academic institutions, and a culture of creativity – it’s no wonder Tel Aviv was ranked #1 startup ecosystem outside the US according to Compass- the Global Startup Ecosystem Ranking 2015. For more information please see the Startup City Flyer.
Sectoral Focus of the Startup Ecosystem
Tel Aviv’s ecosystem engages in diverse sectors, the most notable are Cyber Security, Fintech and E-commerce.
Local Financing Landscape/Presence of VCs
Tel Aviv is home to 168 VCs, PE’s and Angel groups, and an average investment of 8.5M$ per round of funding per startup. In 2015, annual exit transactions in high-tech companies totaled $4,605,000,000.
Presence and Industrial Focus of Established Industries
Tel Aviv is the leading High Tech city in Israel and home to 28% of all high tech companies in the country, most notably in the sectors of the Internet, Software, Information Systems and Bio-Tech. Almost 50% of total funding in 2016 was raised by companies operating in Tel Aviv.
In addition, Tel Aviv is also the financial center of Israel. Home to the Stock Exchange, Tel Aviv is known for its high number of banks and insurance and financial services.
Presence of Incubators/Accelerators
Tel Aviv has the top accelerator hubs in Europe with 84 co-working spaces, accelerators, and innovation centers. Over the past few years, a noticeable trend has evolved of multinationals building innovation centers in Tel Aviv, which has been of great benefit to local startups. Some prominent names include:
- Microsoft Ventures
- The Entrepreneurship & Innovation Support Program (EISP 8200)
- The Bridge by Coca-Cola
- Nautilus by AOL
Presence of Research Institutes and Universities
Home to some of the world’s leading academic programs in innovation, engineering and technology-related fields, Tel Aviv — the Startup City of the Startup Nation — provides companies, investors and global enterprises with a multitude of talent, developed infrastructure, and business opportunities. In addition to hosting a number of specialized colleges, Tel Aviv University (TAU) and Bar-Ilan University are both world-renowned research institutions, with TAU boasting the #1 MBA program outside the US (PitchBook Universities 2016-2017).
- The DLD Tel Aviv Innovation Festival – More than 4,000 international guests gather in Tel Aviv to take part in the Startup Nation’s most prestigious tech and innovation festival. Comprised of a series of events, meetups, and gatherings focused on digital culture, creativity, and urban innovation, the Festival, which takes place every year in September, features around 100 different events – the ultimate innovation experience.
- Tel Aviv Cities Summit for Urban Innovation – Part of the DLD Tel Aviv Innovation Festival, this annual global summit supports the vision of promoting Tel Aviv’s technology and innovation communities, as well as features Tel Aviv’s innovative municipal policies. The Cities Summit brings together entrepreneurs, city innovators, city makers, senior urban administrators, and visionaries from cities around the world who together experience the booming innovation ecosystem – the spirit of Tel Aviv.
- TAU Innovation Conference – TAU Innovation Conference is a unique, large-scale international event led by StarTAU, Tel Aviv University’s Entrepreneurship Center and RAMOT Technology Transfer Office. For the fourth year in a row, entrepreneurs, industry personnel, diplomats, investors, the university community, and other entrepreneurial parties will come together for a week of education, investment, and networking.
- WATECH – Water Technology & Environment Control Exhibition & Conference – An international professional exhibition that offers a meeting place for manufacturers, researchers, investors, academics, purchasers and decision-makers representing both local and international businesses.
- CyberTech – The most significant conference and exhibition of cyber technologies outside of the United States. It provides attendees with a unique and special opportunity to get acquainted with the latest innovations and solutions featured by the international cyber community. The conference’s main focuses are on networking, strengthening alliances and forming new connections. Cybertech also provides an incredible platform for Business to Business interaction.
In addition, there are multitudes of innovation and startup related events that are open and free to the public. There are over 100 tech-related meetups every month and over 350 tech-related meetup groups.