Yair Seroussi
Yair SeroussiGideon Markowicz/Flash 90

Israel must take steps to maintain its “Start-Up Nation” status as young technology companies increasingly opt to move abroad, Bank Hapoalim Chairman Yair Seroussi told Bloomberg Business News Thursday.

“For Israel’s continued success in technology, we need to think about how to guarantee there is an uninterrupted advantage here,” Seroussi said. “We need to figure out how to help these companies grow in size and stay in Israel.”

Seroussi’s comments come after the IVC Research Center, which monitors Israel’s technology industry, said 16% more Israeli startups are now in New York compared to a year ago, while the number of young Israeli technology companies in California, New Jersey and Massachusetts is up 9%.

Israel was labeled the “Start-Up Nation” in the title of a 2009 book by Dan Senor and Saul Singer that said the country was the foremost creator of new companies per capita in the world. Technology makes up about 40% of Israel’s industrial exports. About a quarter of Israeli technology companies operate globally, IVC said.

“This issue is also the most important for Israel economically going forward, because there is nothing that will replace technology and you need to maintain a certain rate of growth,” Seroussi told Business News.