Israeli entrepreneurs streamed into London this week to meet potential investors from world-renowned high-tech companies, at the second annual Innovate Israel conference.
The one-day event provides a forum for representatives from the likes of Google, Facebook and Microsoft to view the best new ideas coming out of Israel’s technology start-ups.
Eze Vidra, an Israeli himself and head of Google Campus in London explained that it made sense for Israeli companies to set up partnerships and open new offices in the UK.
“Israeli start-ups have a very small domestic market so instantly they look abroad,” said Mr Vidra. “Until recently it tended to be New York or Silicon Valley without exception. But the beauty of London is its all concentrated in one area. In the US you have politicians in DC, media in New York, Entertainment in LA so you have to be on the plane all the time. Here on the same tube line you have everything.”
Julien Cordorniou, regional director for Facebook in Europe and the Middle East, paid tribute to the success and vitality of the Israeli start-up scene.
“If you just look at gaming – out of the top 10 partners we have in Europe, five of them are in Tel Aviv. We have a super-concentration of partners in that one city. I’m there all the time – at least every two months.”
Stephanie Hospital, executive vice president of Orange Digital said she was particularly impressed by the Israelis’ “spirit”.
“Every time I go to Israel, I take a bunch of positive energy from seeing how innovative the people are. This is refreshing,” she said.
Innovate Israel was first held in 2012. According to chief organiser and founder Daniel Seal, in one year the event has grown from “200 to 500” participants.
A wide variety of Israeli companies were displaying their products at the Hilton, Park Lane, on Wednesday — with firms specialising in cybersecurity and online fraud detection to interactive mobile advertising and e-commerce.
Ohad Golud, developer of the Paparazit photograpy app, said :“In the beginning I was sure I would launch in Los Angeles. But then I started to realise all the big things start in London.”
Israeli ambassador Daniel Taub, who opened the conference, described the possibilities of Israeli technology as “infinite” in contrast to a world of “finite” resources and political possibilities.