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The Israeli technology ecosystem maintains its global leadership position. A comprehensive global survey held by Startup Genome maps the global startup industry in over 150 cities worldwide, has ranked Tel Aviv and Jerusalem together as the sixth most attractive ecosystem for startups and innovation.

The Startup Genome Ecosystem report, which is published annually since 2012, is the most comprehensive research of the global startup scene. This year’s report was issued as 40% of the startups across the globe report disruptions to their operations due to the COVID-19 spread.

In addition to reviews and ratings of the global cities, the report provides insights and tools to leaders of publicly-traded companies who seek to nurture a thriving urban ecosystem, as well as leveraging the existing resources for the day after COVID-19.

For the first time, Tel Aviv and Jerusalem have been ranked together due to their geographical proximity. However, the report provides separate reviews of the specific advantages and strengths of each.

California’s Silicon Valley ranks first in this year’s report, followed by New York City and London in the 2nd and 3rd places. Beijing and Boston rank fourth and fifth, respectively. The top ten list concludes with Los Angeles, Shanghai, Seattle, and Stockholm.

The section devoted to Tel-Aviv – Jaffa points out that the city continues to lead the global and Israel high tech and innovation industry. Tel Aviv’s main strengths include AI, Big Data, and cloud technologies, which account for over 40% of the startup companies. The report highlights recent successful acquisitions such as Habana Labs’ acquisition by Intel for $2 billion.

Cybersecurity is another jewel in Tel Aviv’s crown, with $3.4 billion in cumulative value in 2019. The report points out that over 100 multinationals chose to open their development and innovation centers in Tel Aviv for human resources considerations. Some of the multinationals attracted to the talents of Tel Aviv in 2019 include the Ford Motor Company, Yandex, and SAP, which established its innovation lab in Tel Aviv.

The report also features Tel Aviv as the city with the highest number of growth companies with approx. 100 scale-ups. These companies grew up in Tel Aviv, made it the home of their campus, and are employing hundreds of employees today.

The city of Tel Aviv operates municipal entrepreneurship and innovation centers that provide accelerator programs, support, and mentoring from the earliest stages, as well as opportunities to implement their developments in the City Hall or municipal companies. Examples include the “Ratzif” Innovation Center at Naveh Sha’anan in the south of Tel Aviv, and CityZone in Kiryat Atidim, which specializes in technologies that address urban and smart city challenges.

The Jerusalem section of the report highlights the life science, biotech, and AI strengths of Israel's capital. Some 150 life science companies in Jerusalem benefit from an extensive municipal support net. Examples include the BioHouse work compound at the Hadassah Medical Center Campus in Ein Kerem, and BioGiv, a lab compound for young companies in the Givat Ram Campus of the Hebrew University.

Jerusalem also boasts some 80 AI companies, including Mobileye and Lightricks. Jerusalem’s technological edge in general and biotech and AI, in particular, relies heavily on its world-class academic institutes, such as the Hebrew University and the Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design, as well as a growing local community and significant State and municipal support.

Recent years have seen the Jerusalem high-tech scene developing at an unprecedented pace. Within a few years, Israel's capital has become a startup and innovation incubator. The growth is credited to well-considered, joint efforts of the Jerusalem Development Authority, the Ministry of Jerusalem and Heritage, and the Municipality of Jerusalem. Approx. 500 technology companies are headquartered in Jerusalem today, including some of Israel's outstanding success stories.

The Minister of Jerusalem and Heritage, Mr. Rafi Peretz, said: “It is no coincidence that Jerusalem is evolving into a life-science and startup superpower. Extensive government investment in high-tech, biotech, the academy, AI, tourism, and more has placed the city on a par with the world’s most innovative cities.

The Ministry, the City of Jerusalem, and the Jerusalem Development authority continue to nurture the high tech industry to sustain the ongoing progress of Jerusalem’s global rating and provide high-quality employments to the Capital’s citizens. I congratulate our partners on this significant accomplishment. I am confident Jerusalem’s future will be as glorious as its remarkable history. We are here to make it happen.”

Jerusalem Mayor, Mr. Moshe Leon, commented: “Jerusalem has been making big strides in the high tech industry and will soon claim its status as the capital of the technology industry too. Over the next five years, we will invest NIS 300 million in the City’s knowledge industry with new offices and related industries. With a population of scientists, intellectuals, and determined entrepreneurs, Jerusalem has what it takes to succeed. Its rough character gives it an edge over the competition. There are currently 550 technology companies, 12 accelerators and hubs, and 18 investment funds in Jerusalem. Some 350 technology-related events are held in Jerusalem every year, and growing.”

The Mayor of Tel Aviv – Jaffa, Mr. Ron Huldai, said: “Tel Aviv is the Startup City of the Startup Nation with the world’s largest concentration of startups per capita and square kilometer. The technology ecosystem helps not only the local economy but also the city’s international appeal. The strength of the technology companies is even more fundamental today, with one of every ten employees in Tel Aviv in 2019 worked in the technology industry. Thousands of other businesses provide services to this sector. We will persist in helping our entrepreneurial ecosystem emerge strongly from the tough time to protect Tel Aviv’s status as a global technology hub.”