How Universities in Israel Helped Kick-Start the ‘Start Up Nation’

Universities have laid the foundations for Israeli industry

At a time when many larger nations are struggling to reignite industry in their countries, Israel’s recent economic growth has been nothing short of astonishing. A small nation with a population of just 7.1 million, the country now has more companies listed on the NASDAQ than Europe, Japan, Korea, India, and China combined.

The reason for this success? In recent years, Israel has promoted a unique culture of entrepreneurism, and now has the highest density of tech start ups in the world, attracting more venture capital dollars per person than any other country and earning the nickname ‘The Start Up Nation.’  Education has been a crucial part of this, with universities like Technion leading the way in establishing the country as a hub for technological innovation, forward-thinking research and scientific excellence.

Want to know more about the role of universities in the creation of the ‘Start Up Nation’? Read on to find out.

Technion’s Early Years: How Universities in Israel Laid the Groundwork for Future Success

Throughout the 20th century, the role of universities in Israel has proven crucial in providing future entrepreneurs with the technological and scientific knowledge they needed to bring their ideas to life.

Technion has been at the forefront of this movement, with the establishment of the university’s mechanical engineering faculty in the 1930s helping to form the basis of Israeli industry. The opening of the aeronautical engineering faculty in 1954 was crucial to the development of the aircraft industry, which is one of the largest industrial complexes in Israel today.

Not only that, but the university’s strong commitment to research and development helped establish it as a leader in scientific discovery, providing some of the finest minds in Israel and around the world with perfect environment to grow.

Graduates of Universities in Israel Establish the Country on the International Stage

While Israeli universities may have provided the foundations, it was their graduates who really took this culture of innovation to the wider world. By 2016, over half of the Israeli companies traded on the NASDAQ were founded by Technion graduates, while companies led by alumni accounted for 54% of the country’s industrial exports.

Israel’s rapid rise has won plenty of admiration abroad too. After Technion graduate Dov Frohman established an R&D headquarters for Intel in Haifa, just miles from the university, the company was so impressed by employees in the region that they began running cross-cultural seminars to introduce Isreal’s unique business culture to American employees. As former Intel-Israel president and Technion graduate Mooly Eden said, “From the age of zero we are educated to challenge the obvious, ask questions, debate everything, innovate.”

American companies like Intel have been impressed by the culture of employees in Israel
American companies like Intel have been impressed by the culture of employees in Israel

Why the Future is Bright for Students in Undergraduate Programs in Israel

Today, universities continue to work hard to ensure the future is just as bright for students currently enrolled in undergraduate programs in Israel. Technion, for instance, continues to invest in cutting edge research and innovative technology, while the previous successes of alumni and the university’s world-renowned professors provide the perfect inspiration for a new generation of entrepreneurs.

“I believe that presenting the students with role models of both the success and the failures, will provide them with some idea regarding what is entrepreneurship and how to proceed”, said Technion President Professor Peretz Lavie while speaking to Forbes in 2011, “So we do a lot to provide the students with the experience and the excitement of being able to build your own ideas based on the experience of others.  This is very important.”

Universities like Technion continue to provide a great environment for students to develop
Universities like Technion continue to provide a great environment for students to develop

Want to experience the Start Up Nation for yourself?

Contact Technion to find out more about applying to study in Israel for international students.