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Humanitarian Crises: Ongoing conflicts and natural disasters displacing millions of people worldwide. Calls for international cooperation and increased humanitarian aid to address these crises.
Space Exploration: Successful landing of China’s Zhurong rover on Mars, marking the country’s second successful interplanetary landing. Continued international cooperation in space exploration, with upcoming missions to the Moon and beyond.
Social and Political Movements: Continued protests and activism around the world on issues like racial justice, climate change, and women’s rights. Political and social tensions in various countries, including Peru, Iran, and Israel.
Public Health Developments: Ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic, with new variants and debates over booster shots. Progress in research for treatments and vaccines against other diseases, such as malaria and HIV/AIDS.
The real estate market in Dubai is looking to recover with the search for Israeli investors.
Technological Advancements: Breakthroughs in artificial intelligence, renewable energy, and space exploration. Continued development of ChatGPT and other AI language models, advancements in solar and wind power technology, and successful launch of NASA’s Artemis mission to the Moon.
Economic Uncertainty: Rising inflation and interest rates impacting global economies, leading to concerns about a potential recession. Central banks raising interest rates to combat inflation, with consequences for businesses and consumers.
Global Climate Change: Record-breaking heatwaves and wildfires in Australia, severe storms and flooding in California, highlighting the urgency of climate action. Ongoing international climate negotiations and domestic policies aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
US Supreme Court Ruling on Affirmative Action: Supreme Court hears arguments in two cases challenging affirmative action in college admissions and contracting. Potential for a landmark decision impacting racial equality in education and business.
US Midterm Elections: Democrats narrowly maintain control of the Senate, Republicans win majority in the House of Representatives. Potential for divided government impacting legislation and political discourse.
Russia-Ukraine War: Escalation in eastern Ukraine, with Russia capturing Avdiivka, its biggest gain in nine months. Ongoing international sanctions on Russia and humanitarian efforts for Ukraine.
Ecosystem Review

The strength of the Israeli ecosystem is apparent, especially when considering its success compared to the size of its population

Ranking 3rd globally, Israel has advanced one spot since 2019. Israeli’s central hub continues to be the vibrant Tel Aviv, which remains high in the global city rankings while losing one place to Beijing.

However, there has been a narrowing of the gap between Tel Aviv and the cities ranked behind it, such as Berlin, Moscow, and Shanghai, which may show a minor loss of momentum in the city.

Jerusalem is ranked 2nd in Israel and 55th globally, an increase of 3 spots, and is the only other Israeli city in the top 100. While the gap between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv is still substantial, it is slowly narrowing.

Haifa has increased 35 spots to be ranked 143rd, and Beer Sheva has remained a top 200 city at 199th, although losing momentum and decreasing by 19 places.

In 2020, 3 new Israeli cities entered the rankings: Yokneam, Eilat, and Ashdod.

Yokneam, at 296th, is an incredibly inspiring case study of a small town relatively far from other cities in Israel that have received tax benefits and managed to use them in a cost-efficient way to create

a vital hub. It is a case that should be studied by ecosystem stakeholders in other towns looking to grow.

At 494th, Eilat is primarily focused on agro-tourism and has managed to create an exciting hub in the desert, far away from the other Israeli cities. 

The final new entry is Ashdod, at 517th. Situated relatively close to Tel Aviv, Ashdod is emerging as an alternative location with a lower cost of living.

Startups Ranking

Tel Aviv and Jerusalem are the 1st, and 2nd ranked cities in the Middle East region, distantly followed by Dubai (ranked 99th), the only other Middle Eastern city in the top 100.

Regarding the business score component related to innovation, Israel drops in rank from the top 10 to 16th place, showing the extra distance it could go if only the business conditions were better.

Israel must make sure Tel Aviv remains a global hub in the face of growing competition. If it can do that, and at the same time try to grow Jerusalem and strengthen the rankings of other cities, it will be able to maintain its outstanding rankings in the future.

While the gap between Israel and the 4th place country is vast, its business score is ranked 16th, which shows that it is the business environment if there is anything to work on.

Israel Startup Ecosystem Overview

Israel is known as the “startup nation” for a good reason. It is a relatively small country that makes a substantial impact on the global startup ecosystem.

Israel is a shining example to other countries for several key reasons:

  1. It can become a global hub regardless of a complicated geopolitical situation.
  2. It shows the impact a high-quality ecosystem has on the economy. The Israeli startup ecosystem is a cash cow, generating tax revenue for the country on exits and high salaries.
  3. All this was done without public sector guidance. Fintech is broken in Israel; people still have to swipe their credit cards. Stripe, Revolut, and Transferwise are not operating in Israel, and if you are trying to get an Uber, you will have to wait for a long time since the service does not exist there. The only critical public sector policy which positively

impacted the local ecosystem was not done intentionally to boost the local startup ecosystem: the creation of the world’s biggest startup accelerator. However, that the Israeli public sector has done a commendable job of letting startups run loose early, without limitations and restrictions, in contrast to

many other countries whose ecosystems are riddled with bureaucracy and regulation. During the years, the Israel innovation authority came up with exciting programs to support local entrepreneurs with some success.

Israeli apps like Waze, Wix, Fiverr, and Viber make their mark around the world, but a few like Mobileye are outside the public eye yet are the real powerhouses in the ecosystem (Sold to Intel for $15 Billion).

There are a wide variety of verticals where Israel excels, from autonomous driving (Mobileye, Waze), advertising (Taboola), services (Fiverr), and much more. One vertical maturing and shows the substantial potential is cybersecurity.


Israel is also overperforming with its COVID–19 innovation, ranking globally at number 2. Haifa has overperformed in these specific rankings and is positioned at 39 globally. We take this opportunity to commend the efforts of both Hi-Center and WeWork in doing a great job to help the local startup ecosystem grow in this city. Also, in the COVID–19 rankings, Tel Aviv has slightly increased rankings globally to be ranked at an impressive 5th spot.

Were you interested in building an ecosystem resembling Israel? All you need are entrepreneurs who fit the Israeli profile: talented risk lovers excited about the projects they plan to build.

Recent News & Activity of Israel Startup Ecosystem Review in 2020

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