Local Tech Series: Tel Aviv, Israel
Despite often finding the Silicon Valley-esque nomenclature attached to other tech-centric locations, the United States is not the exclusive home to technological development. Tel Aviv started attracting hi-tech firms in the 1960’s, and eventually landed a spot among the top startup ecosystems globally, maintaining that status ever since. Israel is well-known as a leader in cybersecurity technology, but has also proven to be a great place to nurture startups and tech companies of all kinds.
Tel Aviv claims the status of largest per capita tech hub in the world, and industry experts attribute the area’s success to a number of factors, from a a strong sense of community to a laser focus on developing military technology. Whatever the reason may be, Tel Aviv provides the ideal environment for new companies trying to find their legs, as well as for attracting potential investors looking to get involved in the next big thing. Numerous companies find success in Tel Aviv every day, so here’s a look at a few who hail from the Startup Nation.
What: Business analytics
How: Here’s the thing: the act of calculating business analytics rarely changes between platforms. What can change, and what will ultimately cause one platform to stand out from another, is how those analytics are delivered and how easily those metrics are understood. Not everyone can look at a spreadsheet of numbers and immediately decipher the message — this is where Sisense shines. Sisense looks at how people absorb information and uses their senses to illustrate what all those charts and graphs really mean.
Something Cool: The Sisense-Enabled Bulb is a wifi-connected light bulb that can be installed in any average desklamp and programmed to shine different colors associated with different KPIs. For instance, if a marketing campaign suddenly hits a set conversion goal, the light changes to green, letting you know immediately that you are now building positive ROI. Want a quick answer about revenue standings? Sisense works with Amazon’s Echo, enabling you to ask Alexa, out loud, with your human voice, where you are on any number of metric-based goals. She’s also always listening, so don’t talk trash.
Who: Argus Cyber Security
What: Automotive cyber security
How: Computers get hacked — that’s a fact. However, it’s now also a fact that cars have computers, making your vehicle the newest place for cyber attacks to reach you. Argus works with an array of companies like car dealerships and commercial OEMs to protect connected car systems against hackers, ensuring they don’t cut your transmission while you’re driving. Or change the radio station. Whichever is worse.
Something Cool: Aside from the fact that this company is literally keeping invisible hackers from using your car to Christine-style terrorize you? Argus has developed multiple software suites designed to detect and protect against cyber threats of all kinds. Knowing that hackers will continue to seek new avenues into your computers, Argus continues to find new roadblocks to throw in front of them. They even offer dongle protection as an aftermarket solution to protect vehicles already in use and that don’t require any sort of hardware alteration.
What: Collaboration software
How: Self-described as if ‘Excel and Facebook had a baby’, DaPulse delivers an application that uses social media-esque interfaces to facilitate effective collaboration. Cat gifs and motivational puppies aside, one of the big reasons social media platforms are popular is that functionality is intuitive. Bringing aspects already proven to be helpful socially into the professional arena means being able to focus on the work instead of figuring out software. Plus, it lets you know if someone has read your posted updates and sent emails, instant validation if you’re the kind of person who needs that sort of thing (read: me).
Something Cool: DaPulse recognized a key social media feature and capitalized on the design by incorporating an ‘@ mention; function within their platform. Using a process most people are already familiar with, teams and individuals can both loop-in and be looped-in on any project that could use their unique talents.
What: Rental property management
How: As I’ve mentioned before, property management is a little more difficult than it would seem at first glance. Guesty was developed through necessity as an answer to an existing problem, meaning the system is based on real-world needs rather than hypothetical ones, and troubleshot through use instead of theory. Geared towards Airbnb management but definitely suited for any short-term property rental company, Guesty is a full-service system that covers everything from booking to listing distribution.
Something Cool: Alongside the typical property management features most platforms come equipped with, Guesty also provides real-person reception services. Upon registration, property rental companies can submit canned responses to any frequently asked questions, which Guesty receptionists then use to answer any customer questions they receive. Questions are assessed by real people and answers are chosen and sent manually, ensuring a relevant and genuinely helpful response.
With such prolific access to angel investors, venture capital firms, incubators and accelerators, it’s no surprise that Tel Aviv plays such a major role in the growth and development of all kinds of technology. In July 2016, Israel announced the Israeli Innovation Center, a space intended to not only preserve and honor Israel’s past technological achievements but also to serve as a community space. The intention behind the center is to create an environment that promotes learning, networking and even hackathons within the entrepreneurial community, ensuring that Tel Aviv continues to provide such strong support for technological advancement.
Photo courtesy of Flikr user Sean McNulty
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