A lot of the companies that I will talk about were founded in Silicon Valley because of its ever-growing startup population.
However, many people don’t know that the country of Israel has more high-tech start-ups and a larger VC industry per capita than any other nation in the world, which is why it’s coined the “Startup Nation!”
(There’s a great book that examines the “why” behind this called Start-Up Nation by Dan Senor and Saul Singer. The book makes a strong effort to understand the question “how is it that Israel—a country of 7.1 million people, only sixty years old, surrounded by enemies, in a constant state of war since its founding, with no natural resources—produces more start-up companies than large, peaceful, and stable nations like Japan, China, India, Korea, Canada, and the United Kingdom?”)
…Because of this phenomenon, I chose to dedicate one of my weekly themes to Israel during my Create98 project.
This was the first post, and I decided to dedicate it to a company that I was fortunate enough to intern with past summer in Tel Aviv, StarTAU.
StarTAU is Israel’s largest and most active entrepreneurship center. It was founded as a nonprofit in 2009 out of Tel Aviv University to provide resources and assistance to early-stage startups.
Their mission is “to provide entrepreneurs and students of entrepreneurship with the practical and professional guidance they need to start a successful business venture.”
They have a wide array of resources offered through all 5 departments; the Founder School, Events and Community, International Affairs, Incubation and Acceleration, and a direct resource for students of entrepreneurship.
I worked in events and operations, which hosted events such as Pitch Nights, CEO series, Demo Day, and their most popular, TAU Innovation Day. All offer different perks ranging from investor relations, networking, competing, and learning the tricks of the trade.
The Founder School offers workshops in marketing, media, user experience, and other topics for entrepreneurs with everything from just an idea to early-stage development.
The International department hosts a huge annual conference called International Business Week. Attendees come from all over the world to have the opportunity to explore and strengthen their connection to the entrepreneurial and business culture of the Israeli Eco-System.
…This is just some of what they do too, and they do a ton!
Nonetheless, what will really stand out to anyone that comes to StarTAU is the culture – that is, both the people and environment.
The workplace combines both playful and serious aspects with innovativeness.
There are inspiring quotes and dry erase boards all over the walls with things written in multiple languages on multiple projects, ideas, and thoughts. People come in and out all day, and everyone is hardworking and always busy.
The team is comprised of unique people that compliment each other’s personality so well that they can laugh and joke all while keeping a persistent work pace.
And lastly, everyone is given equal trust and respect. Interns are assigned tasks with little direction and told to just wing it and give the best they can. It’s a lot different than most work cultures by the high level of responsibility placed on entry-level roles, but it’s definitely an encouraging and refreshing change!