Why Israel Is a Hub of Innovation and Entrepreneurship
Discover the secret behind how Israel, a tiny country with the highest concentration of start-ups per capita worldwide, is raising generations of entrepreneurs who are disrupting markets around the globe and bringing change to the world.
Dubbed “Silicon Wadi,” Israel ranks third in the World Economic Forum Innovation Rating. Despite its small size, it attracts more venture capital per capita than any other country on the planet. What factors have led to these remarkable achievements, and what secrets do Israeli tech entrepreneurs know that others can learn?
Tech insider Inbal Arieli goes against the common belief that Israel’s outstanding economic accomplishments are the byproduct of its technologically advanced military or the result of long-standing Jewish traditions of study and questioning. Rather, Arieli gives credit to the unique way Israelis are raised in a culture that supports creative thinking and risk taking. Growing up within a tribal-like community, Israelis experience childhoods purposely shaped by challenges and risks—in a culture that encourages and rewards chutzpah. This has helped Israelis develop the courage to pursue unorthodox, and often revolutionary, approaches to change and innovation and is the secret behind the country’s economic success.
While chutzpah has given generations of Israelis the courage to break away from conventional thinking, the Israeli concept balagan—messiness in Hebrew—is at the root of how Israelis are taught to interact with the world. Instead of following strict rules, balagan fosters ambiguity, encouraging the development of the skills necessary for dealing with the unpredictability of life and business. Living with balagan provides Israelis with the opportunity to constantly practice the soft skills defined by the World Economic Forum as the Skills for the Future, as balagan promotes creativity, problem-solving, and independence—key characteristics of successful entrepreneurs.
By revealing the unique ways in which Israelis parent, educate and acculturate, Chutzpah offers invaluable insights and proven strategies for success to aspiring entrepreneurs, parents, executives, innovators, and policymakers.
Born and raised in Israel on hummus and chutzpah, Inbal garnered her entrepreneurial skills during her mandatory military service where she was a Lieutenant in the elite IDF intelligence 8200 unit.
In her professional career following the military, she served as General Counsel to several start-ups and leading Israeli hi-tech companies. For the past 20 years she took leading roles in the flourishing Israeli Hi-Tech sector, also known as Start-Up Nation, and founded a series of programs for innovators, led the Strategic Partnerships for Start-Up Nation Central and currently is CO-CEO of Synthesis, a Leadership Assessment & Development company, providing products and services jointly developed by veteran experts in the Israeli Defense Force, executive coaches, and one of the foremost talent search companies in the world.
In addition, Inbal serves as a Board Member and Senior Advisor to various programs and organizations such as Start-Up Nation Central, Birthright Israel Excel, Wise of the Weizmann Institute of Science, SCOLA – Startup Comprehensive Learning and the 8200 EISP.
Inbal is a force to be reckoned with having been featured as one of the 100 most influential people in Israeli hi-tech and as one of the 100-tech-business-women-speakers in the world. She lectures worldwide on Israeli innovation and its start-up ecosystem to business and government leaders. Among her most popular lectures is “The Roots of Entrepreneurship,” which analyzes how Israeli culture breeds entrepreneurship at a very young age.
She holds an LL.B. in Law, B.A in Economics and MBA in Entrepreneurship and Strategy, from Tel Aviv University. She currently lives in Tel Aviv with her husband and their three rambunctious boys.