What is the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the word: “Israel”?
This is a question I’ve been asking people I meet when I visit places outside of Israel and although the answers are varied, in a way they all come from the same connotation: The Middle East, desert, camels, and war.
Hello, my name is Revital. I’m an Israeli living and working in Silicon Valley. Even here in the Valley: Heterogeneous, multicultural, highly educated population, the responses are similar.
Soooo, I invite you to come visit the Start-Up Nation Fair, on Feb 20th at Stanford University to meet the real Israel, the part that doesn't show up in the news: Israel in Jeans!
In this fair, numerous Israeli Start-up companies will present their products and ideas on the Expo floor and there will be a panel of innovators discussing their experiences and answering questions from the audience. These companies also have some open positions for interns. The entrance is free and open to the public.
In the meantime, I have gathered for you some fun facts about Israel and Israelis:
It is the second year for Quali to participate in the Start-up nation fair. I’ll be at the booth, come say hello and hear all about CloudShell: A sandbox automation platform that provides self-service access to on-demand application and IT infrastructure environments across private, public, and hybrid-cloud.
Get a glance on the event and what you can expect to see:
Looking forward to seeing you!
As an Israeli living in the Bay Area and working in a high-tech company, I’d like to share my perspective of the concept of “start-up nation.” Quali will present at the upcoming Start-Up Nation Tech Fair and our CEO, Lior Koriat, will speak on the panel of experts. Quali has a story that is very similar to other Israeli companies in the Bay Area: founded in Israel, keeps R&D center in Israel and moves the headquarters to the Silicon Valley. You see, it is essential for the success of the company and for its exposure to be here rather than there and yet, Israel is the start-up nation.
Why Israel? Why now?
Israel was founded in 1948 and is the only democracy in the Middle East, but it wasn’t always a tech state:
Nowadays, Israel ranks 1st in number of start-ups per capita.
Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs: “Maslow's theory suggests that the most basic level of needs must be met before the individual will strongly desire (or focus motivation upon) the secondary or higher level needs.”
What is the force behind Israel becoming the start-up nation?
In a nutshell: Israel’s only resource is its Sabras.
I’d like to suggest that on top of the establishment of the state and its progress up Malslow’s pyramid of needs, which allowed its citizens to focus and develop things that are beyond merely existence, lay cultural reasons.
“Due to its lack of natural resources and raw materials, Israel's one advantage is its highly-qualified labor force, scientific institutes, and R&D centers”.
Sabras are raised on a system of values, some of which are:
These values shape a person that always thinks for himself, never takes things for granted, isn’t afraid to challenge authority and always looks for a better way—an easier way—around.
These are only my two cents of interpretation, but while searching the web I found some supporting articles that claim there is a strong positive connection between criticism and innovation.
What’s between criticism and innovation?
According to the Harvard Business Review, “In order to find and exploit the opportunities made possible by big changes in technology or society, we need to explicitly question existing assumptions about what is good or valuable and what is not—and then, through reflection, come up with a new lens to examine innovation ideas. Such questioning and reflection characterize the art of criticism.”
As Jonathan Bendor, Professor of Political Economics and Organizations at Stanford says, “Criticism and creativity have to live together.” Next time your child asks “WHY?” try and be more patient. She might be a tech innovator someday!
In some aspects, there are a lot of similarities between Israel, the start-up nation, and Silicon Valley, the start-up center of the world: high rate of educated population, encouragement of critical thinking, creativity and individualism.
Come visit Israel to learn more and to have some good food, good conversations and make some friends!
Where: San Jose State University, Student Union Ballroom
When: Tuesday, March 14th at 5:00 PM - 9:00 PM.
The event is open to the public.