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Tech Analyst: Striving for Startup Success, Australia Should Emulate Israel

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The Matam high-tech park at the southern entrance to Haifa. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

The Matam high-tech park at the southern entrance to Haifa. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

As it seeks to bolster its startup scene, Australia should look to Israel as a model to emulate, an Israel-based Geektime technology reporter wrote on Monday.

According to Gedalyah Reback, Australia is “behind the curve on startups” and a changing economy has forced the “federal government and its state governments to launch a multi-billion-dollar, multi-fund effort to get the country up to speed.”

Reback wrote that despite the differences between the two countries, there is much Australia could learn from the Jewish state.

“While certain sources of Israeli hi-tech prowess aren’t applicable to Australia’s situation — the military for instance — there are tactics worth borrowing that can accelerate Australia’s rise as a fully-fledged tech juggernaut in several industries,” Reback wrote.

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Reback went on to highlight four components of Israel’s startup scene that Australia should study — the government-created Technological Incubators Program; the Jerusalem Venture Partners (JVP) venture capital firm; the Office of the Chief Scientist and its matching grant program; and the “chutzpah” of the Israeli people.

Regarding “chutzpah,” Reback wrote, “Being a ‘chutzpan’ means you are more aggressive and not afraid to take risks (it also means some negative things, but those are less critical). It is inherent in the Israeli mindset that pushes people to found businesses, fail, and then regroup. That sort of audacity has to be encouraged in Australia, and it is likely that in a culture where people are far less accustomed to that attitude, it will be a select few personalities who will be able to utilize it.”

Since 2009, with the release of the international best-seller Start-Up Nation: The Story of Israel’s Economic Miracle — co-authored by New York-based investment fund executive Dan Senor and former Jerusalem Post editorial page editor Saul Singer — the Jewish state has been dubbed world-wide as “the startup nation.”

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