Israel At 67: The Startup Nation Sensation
Israel At 67: The Startup Nation Sensation

Israel is known, at least in the hi-tech world, as ‘the startup nation’ after the much-read book of that name. In fact, Israel now has more high-tech start-ups and a larger venture capital industry per capita than any other country in the world.

So, in honor of Israel’s 67th birthday this week, here is my list of 6-7 Israeli startups that exemplify Israeli pride and are making a difference, not just in Israel but worldwide:

1StoreDot is a privately owned nanotechnology startup, incorporated in Israel in 2012, which develops technologies that apply organic compounds to mobile smartphones, electric vehicles, and display devices. Additional target products of StoreDot technology include flash memory, image sensors and semiconductor materials. The company’s technology created a huge buzz by demoing to the world how they can fully charge a smartphone battery in just 30 seconds!

2. Israel-US company Applause knows that App testing is an essential, but also one of the most difficult, parts of app development, because there is no way for a developer to test an app in every single environment. Applause has built a crowdsourced community of app testers located almost everywhere in the world. With over 150,000 testers in over 200 countries and territories, Applause really has all the networks, devices, and platforms covered. Plus the company is providing jobs as testers for people all over the globe. 

3While many advancements have been made in the field of Augmented Reality (AR), it has still remained out of reach for many industries, due to the high cost of the technology. InfinityAR, however, has developed a software-based engine that enables the use of two simple cameras and 1/10 of the energy to make AR accessible to almost anyone. The company's revolutionary technology will be a part of the integration of AR in many aspects of our lives.

4.Another Israeli company dealing in augmented reality is Cimagine, the creator of  AR technology for integrating computer-generated 3D objects in a real environment. The company has announced that it is rolling out the world’s first large-scale implementation of AR in eCommerce as part of a partnership with Shop Direct. Starting this week, some 1,000 pieces of furniture can be instantly viewed in users’ homes in high-poly resolution, using Cimagine’s groundbreaking AR technology, which is markerless and processed in real time at 30 fps.  

5Sling, a Tel-Aviv based FinTech startup, aims to empower micro-merchants (the babysitter, dog-sitter, private tutor, manicurist, etc.), by enabling them to accept payments from any consumer owning a smartphone, a much easier way to pay than having to walk around with cash. The company is aiming to launch its service in Asia and Europe during mid 2015.   

6.  With 50 percent of the world's population living in cities and many large cities banning personal cars, The Small Electric Vehicle segment is the fastest growing in the automotive industry. A new need has arisen, for a portable, durable and stylish electric vehicle, and that is what Green Ride has created. INU, Green Ride's vehicle, is a two-wheeled personal urban transport solution, that has all the latest tech on board and was designed by a designer that used to work for Pininfarina, which designs cars for Ferrari and Lamborghini.

7.. One of my favorite startups was founded by Kobi Bodek, a cheerful young Israeli entrepreneur who had been backpacking through Thailand when he met some other tourists there and started chatting them up. They told him how what started out as a short holiday had turned into a much longer extended stay because they were able to find a local work-exchange solution by doing seasonal jobs (helping out on a farm, bartending, being a nanny, etc.) in exchange for room and board. The idea immediately reminded Kobi of the kibbutz volunteer system that existed in his native Israel. When he returned home, Kobi set up a website platform, which he cleverly called KeyBoots, where both ‘Keys’, local businesses looking to hire seasonal workers, and ‘Boots’, young people on holiday willing to ‘strap on their boots’ and work in exchange for lodging, could find each other. The slogan of his platform, “Don’t Just Visit, Live It!,” makes clear that the only way you can really get to know a culture is not to be a tourist, but to experience it from the inside.

And perhaps that’s the real secret of the Israel’s success as The Startup Nation. In Israel entrepreneurs don’t just talk, they do! And the same holds true when it comes to experiencing Israel as a country. It’s not enough to just come tour it, you have to experience it. In fact, maybe that should be the new motto to encourage Aliya: Israel: Don’t Just Visit, Live It!

The writer has an MA in Creative Writing from Bar-Ilan University and works at Blonde 2.0.