* Guest post by Aaron Dubin and Juriaan Bensoussan in a series
International visitors at the HTIA 2012 conference got much more than what they came for. It wasn’t just your typical roundtable sessions and panel discussions – it was a showcase of some of the finest innovation and human ingenuity in the world, and enough to inspire the entrepreneur in all of us.
The concept of “innovation at its best” was a recurring theme throughout the entire conference. Foreigners were truly amazed to learn about how much Israel is literally booming with startup activity – in Q2 of 2012 there were 200 new Israeli startups, up from just 119 new startups in Q1 of the same year. In fact, the entire entrepreneurial ecosystem is thriving. Investors are continuing to get returns on their investments in Israeli companies, and accelerators are popping up all around the country, with about 15 that are currently active.
Throughout the conference, time and again, we were exposed to topics, people, and companies that reminded us of how great Israeli engineers are, and how Israel is the ultimate place to develop next generation products. This is why multinational corporations are clamoring to open R&D and design centers throughout the country. In fact, some of the biggest international high-tech firms, including Microsoft, Samsung and Google to name a few, have design centers in Israel because of the access to such a talented workforce. Apple has been scouring the globe looking for an appropriate place to open a new design center, and recently decided to open it in Haifa, Israel.
But what is it that Israeli’s have that lets them get so far ahead? What is the proverbial “special sauce”? It’s “chutzpah”, or the Hebrew word for the quality of audacity. Yes, it’s generally used to describe something negative – someone who has “overstepped” the boundaries of accepted behavior. But there’s something deeper that goes beyond its meaning in the traditional sense. Chutzpah is not just about overstepping behavioral boundaries, but other boundaries as well. It is the unwillingness to accept the limitations of what is humanly possible, especially technologically. This is what is so compelling about Israel, and is the fuel that drives the Israeli “entrepreneurial spirit”. This is what gives Israel the ability to constantly accomplish that which the rest of the world thinks simply cannot be done.
* Aaron Dubin (Philadelphia, USA) and Juriaan Bensoussan (Netherlands) are the co-founders of www.ebrain.com, a new online English editing service for correcting English mistakes in your documents, presentations, CVs, and more. They are graduates of the Raphael Recanati International School at the IDC Herzliya, and have degrees in Business Management, Finance, and Entrepreneurship.