Yaffa a big rule in Israel’s innovative

Yaffa
Kornsgold

Jonathan
Kaplan

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Issues
in Israeli Society- 48203

29
November 2017

 

What
are the reasons for the entrepreneurial culture in Israel? How has this
benefitted Israeli society and what are the problems that it has created?

 

Start-Up Culture in Israel: Is it Really
Helping?

 

Israel’s economic success has come as a
result of the large number of start ups that have emerged there.

A start-up is “a firm formed by an
entrepreneur who tries to promote a new technology or a new business initiative
in order to command a new large market in the future” (Lipshitz, 21). The small, Jewish state of Israel
located in the Middle East is known by many as Start-Up Nation. There are many reasons for the
entrepreneurial culture in Israel as to why Israel is known as Start-Up Nation. A main reason for the entrepreneurial
culture in Israel is because Israelis are not just selling their products, they
are selling the country as a whole. Alex Vieux, CEO of Red
Herring magazine, says that Israelis are always making a pitch for Israel
while all other countries are making a pitch for their specific company (Senor
and Singer, 66).

Another reason that Israeli’s start-up culture is so strong is because
companies go to Israel looking for diversity and to expand their innovation strategies
(Lessons from the Start-Up Nation, 3). The other reasons include immigration, the Israel Defense
Forces and the ability to accept failure.

The first reason as to why Israel has so
many start-up companies and products is due to the fact that Israel is a
country of immigrants.

Immigrants from seventy different nationalities and cultures have come to
Israel to start over and make a new name for themselves. “a nation of immigrants is a nation of
entrepreneurs” (Senor and Singer, 129). Many immigrants that came from the Soviet Union were
scientists and engineers.

They played a big rule in Israel’s innovative economy. Each immigrant brings something
different to the new country that they are moving to. They all have different ideas that when
put together can create many amazing things, such as start-up companies. In addition to immigrants bringing new
ideas, they also are awarded text benefits. “Israeli law defines and Israeli resident for tax purposes
by using the “center of life” test which examines the individual’s family,
economic and social ties” (Doing Business in Israel, 30). This law offers some benefits to people
who became Israeli tax residents for the first time. The benefits are that they get a ten year exemption of taxes, only applies to what they benefit
out of the nation and assets (Doing Business in Israel, 32).

The second reason as to why Israel has so
many start-up companies is because service in the Israel Defense Forces is
mandatory for all non-Arab Israeli citizens. While in the military, soldiers are taught many skills and
values. Many soldiers in the Israel Defense
Forces work with technology which leads many soldiers to work for start-up
companies that are surrounded by technology. While in the military, soldiers are trained in teamwork,
mission orientation, leadership and they come out with the desire to continue
to serve their country (Senor and Singer, 47). People continue to serve their country
by continuing to serve in the military or some go to work on start-up companies
that the goal of the start-ups are to make Israel the best country it can be. By the age of 25, most Israelis not only
have military experience but they also have a university degree, which means
that the Israelis are even more mature and knowledgeable than many other people
in other countries.

An example of someone continuing to serve their country is with Gavriel Iddan. Iddan is a former scientist who
specialized in missile optics in the Israel Defense Forces. After the army he invented a pill with a
built-in camera.

He used the same technology that he used in the army to make this product. With the built-in camera, doctors can
see a patients bowel without putting them under sedation. It is an easier and faster process than
getting surgery.

            (NEED MORE) The third reason as to why Israel has
so many successful start-up companies is because those starting these start-up
companies are willing to take risks and these risks can lead to failure. Failure is seen as a cultural trait in
Israel (Lessons from the Start-Up Nation, 12).

            Aside from all of the positive
reasons start-up culture is so strong in Israel, there are also negative
aspects to it. The
main negative reason is taxes.

The State of Israel puts heavy taxes on start-up companies that are based in
Israel. Because of this, many start-up companies
in Israel are relocating their businesses to places like Delaware to avoid paying
these taxes (Kipnis, 69).

            Israel has developed technologies in
fields ranging from health care to technology (AIPAC, 10).  Israel
has developed technology in the fields of energy and water, disaster response
and agricultural techniques.

            Netafim is a start-up company in
Israel that is the perfect example of green technology. Netafim is an Israeli company that is
the largest provider of drip irrigation systems in the world. Netafim was founded in 1965 by Simcha
Blass. Blass got the idea for drip irrigation
from a tree growing in someone’s backyard without any water. It turns out that the tree was being
watered by a slow leak from an underground water pipe. Blass then decided to approach Hatzerim,
a kibbutz that was founded one night when the Haganah, the pre-state Jewish
militia, decided to have a presence at specific places in the Negev desert
(Senor and Singer, 109).

He approached them about the idea of drip irrigation. Once the kibbutz accepted the idea, it
took the group about a year to lay a six-inch pipe that would supply  water from areas that were forty miles away
(Senor and Singer, 110).

Drip irrigation allowed the northern parts of the Negev desert to have planted
forests (Senor and Singer, 111).

 Kibbutz Hatzerim was not the only
kibbutz to take part in getting water and using water to the most of its
ability. Kibbutz Mashabbe Sade, also in the Negev
desert, reused useless water twice. They dug a well and discovered water that was warm and
salty. They found that this water would be
great to raise warm-water fish in the desert. This water would then be used in the fishponds but after it
was used there it would make a great fertilizer (Senor and Singer, 111). Drip irrigation is one of the first
kibbutz-based industries and it operates in 110 countries and counting. Since Netafim’s technology was so good,
foreign governments that previously did not like Israel, began to open up their
diplomatic channels.

Since Netafim began to work with former Soviet bloc Muslim states, these
relationships led to warmer relations with Israel’s government. Israel is not the only country
benefiting from Netafim’s technology, so many other countries are, countries
that did not have the strongest relationship with Israel before they started working
with Netafim. Netafim’s
drip irrigation system is helping out Israel in the long run because it is
strengthening its relationships with those that could have been its enemy and
it is making Israel’s agriculture stronger than it was before.

            An example of a disaster response start-up
company in Israel is the company Micro BVM. The company was founded in 2007. Within Micro BVM, a product called
Pocket BVM was created.

Pocket BVM was created by Dov Maisel, an American immigrant to Israel, and
Akiva Pollack, a United Hatzalah volunteer. The reason the Pocket BVM was created was because typical
bag valve masks were way too big to carry around in many scenarios. Soldiers have to carry all of their
supplies on their back and typical bag valve masks were too heavy and it took
too much time to set it up to save someone’s life. Maisel said that medics would be using
precious time to set up the equipment when they could have been saving
someone’s life. “We
would get to the scene of a bombing or shooting attack and try to help the
victims, spending precious second gathering up our ventilator equipment and
moving from victim to victim” (Times of Israel, Maisel). During one of these instances is when
Maisel thought of a portable and storable bag valve mask that could be
collapsed easily and set up within seconds. The Pocket BVM essentially is a manual mini-ventilator
which saves precious seconds that one did not have with a typical bag valve
mask (AIPAC, 2).

At the end of 2013, Maisel started showing off his product. In 2014 an army representative saw the
Pocket BVM and started to work with Maisel to get the project running. The Pocket BVM is now used in 27
countries in addition to Israel.

The Pocket BVM is saving lives faster and easier all around the world.

            An
example of a start-up company that helps those with disabilities in Israel and
around the world is the company Sesame.

Sesame is a company that created an app that allows people who were born with
or got injured with certain disabilities/diseases to have access to a
smartphone.

Those born with CP and muscular dystrophy never really knew what a smartphone
was and Sesame opened up a door they never knew could be opened. Sesame also
reopened the door for those with spinal cord injuries. They once had
access to smartphones and they grew up during the smartphone revolution but due
to their injuries they could no longer use smartphones and they felt
disconnected form the world.

Sesame is an app that allows the user to use their phone by saying “Open
Sesame” and they can control their phone by using just their voice. As a company,
Sesame believes that all people have the right to connect and benefit from the
communication/smartphone revolution.

They are the bridge for their users capabilities and technology (Goldshmid,
Interview).

Sesame is helping Israel by allowing everyone to have access to the outside
world, not just those who have access to their hands.

            Netafim,
Pocket BVM and Sesame are just of few example of products that are helping
Israel’s economy.

Each product is helping Israeli’s economy prosper in its own way. Some start-up
companies seem to be more important than others from the outside, but each
start-up company is helping out different people, their own target audience.  Many people do not know that so many of the
products that they use in their day to day lives were created by Israelis.

            Israeli
doctors, scientists and researchers have created many medical advances that are
helping save lives not only in Israel but all around the world (AIPAC, 13-14). Some of these
start-up companies include ReWalk and WoundClot. All of these produced treatments
are making Israel’s start-up culture even stronger than it already is.

            ReWalk
is a product that enables wheelchair users with lower-limb disabilities to walk
and drive cars.

The product was created by the Israeli start-up company, ReWalk Robotics,
specifically Amit Goffer, in 2011 (ReWalk Robotics Website). Just like Sesame wants
to allow its users to be connected to the outside world through an app on their
mobile device, ReWalk Robotics mission is to change the quality of life for
individuals with lower-limb disabilities.

ReWalk is helping Israel by allowing those who were born with lower-limb
disabilities and those who were injured, the ability to live a normal life. They are being
granted the ability that many take for granted, walking. One does not know
how great they have it until it is gone.

            WoundClot
is a bandage designed by the Israeli start-up company, Core Scientific
Solutions.

This bandage has potential to save lives.

Its goal is to stop incontrollable bleeding by transforming into a gel state
when it comes into contact with liquids.

The bandage can last up to 24 hours (AIPAC, 2). The CEO of Core Scientific
Solutions, Yuval Yaskil, says that the bandage not only stops the bleeding
within minutes, but it also enhances the blood’s natural process of clotting. The bandages are
currently being used by Israeli police forces and the Israel Defense Forces and
hospitals around Israel and other countries.

WoundClot is helping not only Israel, but many countries around the world, by
making it easier to stop an injured person from bleeding out and it also saves
a lot of money by replacing products that have the same goal but cost thousands
of dollars.

            In
addition to all of the live-saving medical devices that start-up companies in
Israel have created, there are many start-up companies that are creating products
that help with your phone battery life, music networking and helping those with
disabilities speak clearly.

Even though these products are not life-saving products, they help the Israel
economy and people in their own way.

            The
Netanya-based company LucidLogix Technologies is a company the is dedicated to
addressing the challenges placed on mobile devices. LucidLogix
Technologies was founded in 2004 by Offir Remez and Reuven Bakalash. Remez and
Bakalash’s goal was to create a program that would allow one to use their phone
to its full capacity without killing the phones battery life. They then created
a software called Power Xtend software solution. This software extends ones
smartphone battery life while playing or navigating on their phone. Even though
extended ones phone battery life does not seem like the biggest thing that one
can create, it can save someone when they are in a dangerous situation and need
to call for help.

This software is not only used in phones in Israel, but it is already installed
on millions of phones worldwide (AIPAC, 2).

            Haran
Yaffe, a musician and entrepreneur, wanted to create an app that connects both
musicians and fans on a different level than the typical music app. Yaffe teamed up
with Omri Erez and they created the app Fansino.  Within the app there are features that allow
an artist to chat with its listeners and reward them for listening to their
music (AIPAC, 2).

In addition to connecting the musicians and their fans, the app gives the
musicians the ability to see who is listening to their music and what audiences
they are reaching.

The app monitors what the user is listening to and puts it all together so that
the musician can see how many people are listening to their songs and from what
app they are listening to it from.

Fansino helps musicians in Israel grow their audiences and make a name for
themselves. By making a name for themselves, they become bigger which leads
many people to come to Israel to see these artists in concert which ultimately
brings money to Israel.

            The
Israeli start-up company, Voiceitt, invented an app that makes it easier for
people with speech impediments to speak and to be understood more clearly
(AIPAC, 3).

Danny Weissberg and Stas Tiomkin founded Voiceitt in 2012. They created an
app called Talkitt that uses a personalized dictionary to translate words a use
is saying into more understandable speech.

This app can be used by people with ALS or autism. The goal of this start-up is not to
just make money, but to allow those who are different from everyone else to be
able to participate in everyday life without getting frustrated every time they
try to speak.