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Thursday, October 16, 2014

War? What war? Israeli high tech near a new record

Some of you may have heard that there was a war in Israel this summer. Well, that didn't stop our high tech industry which broke financing records in the third quarter of this year.
Investments in Israeli startups climbed to near record highs in the third quarter, even as the country was in the throes of the worst violence it has seen in years.
Venture investments in Israel-based companies have not only increased in number of deals – with a near 40% rise this quarter over last- but more than tripled the total amount invested in Q1 of 2014. And this doesn’t account for the hundreds of venture-backed Israeli startups headquartered in New York or the Silicon Valley.
“Basically it did not create any disruption,” says Chemi Peres, managing partner at Pitango Venture Capital, of the recent violence. “The high-tech industry continued to be vibrant, and we never delayed a product or missed a milestone,” Peres attests, adding that the single time he has feared for the safety of a team was in 2001, when one of Pitango’s New York-based companies survived the World Trade Center attacks.
While it seems plausible that regional instability would hinder deals or deter investors, “the bottom line is that it comes with the turf,” says Hillel Fuld, Israeli entrepreneur and startup mentor. “Even when it’s quote-unquote peaceful here there’s always violence – we’re surrounded by enemies – but there are more entrepreneurs per capita in Israel than in any other country, and the innovation is really off the charts.”
Much of the rest of the article complains about why the 'Palestinians' don't benefit from Israeli high tech (because much of it comes from the army). But no one is stopping them from setting up their own high tech industry like we set up ours. Oh wait... that would mean spending money on anti-terrorism inventions instead of terrorism.

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