Tel Aviv has a long history of tech innovation, and by any measure, its GovTech ecosystem is booming.
Israel is a bona fide technology hub. In total last year, tech companies in Israel raised $5.24 billion across 620 deals. Of that, just under $4bn was from venture funding. This places Israel second in Europe, behind the UK, and ahead of France and Germany. 2017 was also a record year for exits: $23 billion in total, including its largest of all time – Mobileye’s mammoth $15 billion exit to Intel.
The government has traditionally played a key role in fostering innovation. In 1991, the Technology Incubators programme was formed, aimed at providing Russian immigrants with capital and resources to become entrepreneurs. Today, it has sprouted into 24 programmes – and provides up to $800k in grants , as well as two years of startup support and incubation.
Within Israel, Tel Aviv is leading the way. The city has a truly ubiquitous culture of technology and entrepreneurship, with the highest concentration of tech startups per capita outside of Silicon Valley (1 for every 290 residents).
The municipal government is proving to be equally as innovative. Arguably most significant has been the launch of DigiTel Resident’s Card – providing citizens with tailored live updates of what is happening in the city, discounts in sports and arts facilities, and traffic and roadworks information. As of 2018, over 60% of the eligible population uses it. More recently, the city launched two new CivTech apps, allowing residents to rent bikes, locate leisure activities and report hazards.
Constant innovation is at the heart of the city’s strategy. In the words of Tel Aviv Mayor, Ron Huldai:
‘Tel Aviv’s goal is to constantly be a smarter city – or more simply, a better city.’
There are also increasing numbers of opportunities for GovTech startups. 4 years ago, Digital Israel, with offices in Tel Aviv was formed to bridge the gap between startups and government. Among its extensive portfolio of work (including currently piloting a national platform for online courses – SAT preparation, teacher & doctor training and beyond) it has sponsored paid pilots in health bodies for startups. Similarly, CREATORS Pad, also based in the city, bring startups to local municipalities through a challenge based process. The city is becoming smarter: both from within, and partnering with the hugely successful existing ecosystem. With a longstanding technical strength, often from individuals coming from elite intelligence units in the IDF (for example, 8200 & Talpiot), the city has a particularly exceptional ecosystem of HealthTech, security and Deep Tech companies.
Top 10 GovTech Startups
Zebra Medical Vision uses computer vision to provide automated, accurate, and timely medical image diagnosis for just $1 per scan.
Medigate is a dedicated medical device cybersecurity platform that enables IT, IS and BioMed teams to identify, monitor and secure every medical device on the clinical network.
Claroty is a cyber security company, using sophisticated algorithms to protect electric grids, steel mills, offshore rigs and other industrial assets.
Valerann has developed a wireless, sensory, IoT smart road system that provides real-time, high resolution information about everything that takes place on the road.
MoovIt maps public transport routes and monitors them in real time, alerting users if subway line are closed or if buses are delayed, providing alternate routes.
Windward is an AI-powered maritime risk assessment platform, helping intelligence, security and law enforcement agencies to monitor maritime threats and disasters in real-time.
Zencity is a city analytics platform that collects millions of data points from resident interactions to provide a visualised dashboard of city-scale resident feedback.
Taranis applies learning to multiple datasets, including aerial imagery, field sensors, satellite imagery and weather forecasts, to monitor and prevent crop disease and pest infestations, helping farms to increase their yields.
Airobotics has developed a pilotless drone solution and offers an end-to-end, fully automated platform for collecting aerial data and gaining valuable insights.
Carbyne has developed a national emergency communication ecosystem that allows citizens to share real-time encrypted video, voice, images, chat and location information from their phones to first response centres.