Israel is home to one of the most vibrant startup ecosystems in the world. Israel has the highest number of tech startups per capita in the world; the second highest number of non-U.S. companies listed on Nasdaq; and, according to the World Bank, spends the highest percentage of its GDP than any other country on scientific R&D.
At the same time, some Israeli startups that attempt to grow their businesses in the U.S. market have difficulty achieving product/market fit and becoming a global company. With hopes of scaling their businesses and achieving the coveted “unicorn” status, almost all ambitious Israeli startups venture overseas. In a recent article “How Israeli Startups Can Scale” featured in Harvard Business Review, Jeff Bussgang and Omri Stern stressed the importance of Israeli startups’ need to “pack their bags” as early as possible. That begs the question where, exactly, in the U.S. should Israeli startups settle?
Although many considerations factor into a location decision and different cities have distinct advantages, New York City is a popular choice and it has become a hot destination for Israeli startups to establish a U.S. presence. New York City has added over 200 Israeli startups in the past two years. According to Israeli Mapped in NY, an app that tracks Israeli startups in New York City, there are currently over 250 Israeli startups in New York City as well as accelerators geared toward providing Israeli companies with the mentorship and resources needed to succeed in the U.S. market.
Although a bit late to the startup scene compared to Silicon Valley and some other U.S. locales, New York City has recently proven to be a top destination for many tech startups. In the 2015 Compass Global Startup Ecosystem Ranking, New York City is ranked among the strongest startup ecosystems in the world. Years ago, nearly all tech startups were created in Boston and Silicon Valley. Today, according to Compass, New York City is home to approximately 7,100 to 9,600 active startups and the second greatest amount of venture capital investments in the world.
The New York City and Tel Aviv markets complement each other. Due to the heavy presence of many business sectors including media, finance, and healthcare, as well as the presence of numerous Fortune 500 companies, Israeli startups can find amazing access to capital and a market for their products by establishing a presence in New York City. The market reach in New York is the strongest in the world. New York City also has a local GDP of approximately $1.5 trillion, making it an ideal location to test and market all kinds of products in order to achieve product/market fit. In addition, there is a thriving venture capital ecosystem in New York City that Israeli startups can tap into, which can provide the necessary funding, mentorship, and connections to grow its business.