Who is going to be Europe's main technology hub? While London and Berlin both see themselves as claimants to the title, if you look at the numbers (and you take a Eurovision Song Contest view of the Continent) arguably neither can challenge Tel Aviv.Those damn Zionists, going through an elaborate charade to make Tel Aviv a tech-friendly city in order to cover up their crimes!
It was Ron Huldai, Tel Aviv's 13-year mayor and a former combat pilot, who, while London's Tech City was not even the subject of an interdepartmental memo, had got on with building a tech center second only to Silicon Valley. He did it not by installing high-speed fiber or hosting conferences. His approach, as he said in a recent interview with The Wall Street Journal, was much simpler.
"Tel Aviv had become a city that people used, not a city they lived in," he said. "We are creating a good place for hi-tech people to live in—I am doing it for the people working in hi-tech," he said.
It is the ''Field of Dreams'' model. If you build it, they will come. It is no coincidence that Tel Aviv was recently named the world¹s best gay city.
"It is about building an environment that is supportive," he said. Young digital entrepreneurs tend to be counter-cultural— attracted to cities that are vibrant, diverse and international. One third of the city is under the age of 35, and there is one bar for every 200 residents.
His bottom-up model—worry about the people—has proved successful.
According to a report commissioned by the city, Tel Aviv and its surrounding area, hosts more than 600 early stage companies. Access to venture capital is, per capita, 20-fold greater in Israel than in the rest of Europe. "If you take the amount of VC per capita, in Europe, it is $7. In the U.S. it is $72. In Israel it is double that," Jan Müehlfeit, Microsoft's European chairman asserted last year.
Thursday, February 02, 2012