Last week in Israel was a busy time for innovation. Many international guests were in town for a variety of tech conferences taking place. Add to that the elections being held in Israel and the atmosphere was one of anticipation. If there was one idea which ran through this month’s conferences it was diversity. Major conferences such as DLD and EY Journey showcased the best of the Startup Nation, while conferences such as the Ethereal Summit and the Startup Nation Central organized AgriFood Week focused on specific verticals. The Clearview Partners team attended the conferences which took place during what we’d like to dub “Tel Aviv Innovation Week” and we’ll share our thoughts below on what we encountered.
Global blockchain giant ConsenSys chose Israel as the first international location for its Ethereal Summit which brought the worldwide blockchain community together. Israel is many times the first to embrace new technologies, and blockchain and decentralized tech is another example of this. Israeli entrepreneurs have been first to market in the blockchain space, not just in the noisy ICO space but also in creating blockchain technologies which are helping society. It is a vote of confidence for the global blockchain community that this conference was held in Tel Aviv. Additionally, Israeli entrepreneurs are great ecosystem builders, and that has worked well with the blockchain community which has developed a strong ethos around transparency and decentralization.
Whether the conference’s organizers chose to make this yearly conference the go to for VCs, or if it was something that happened naturally, it has become the place to network. Investors from all parts of the Israeli tech ecosystem congregate and it has become a bit of a scene. With a focus on investors many professionals in the ecosystem attend in order to rub shoulders with this audience. And what’s a tech event without startups; The Pitch competition has become one of the most notable demo day competitions for startups looking to pitch in front of an array of investors.
It’s also a testament to the growth of the Israeli ecosystem in how firms which would normally audit and prepare a company’s taxes are taking the lead in creating content. Cities and countries looking to build their own tech ecosystems should take note on how Israel is doing it. They’re providing valuable opportunities for members of the ecosystem and here at Clearview Partners we take pride in the content we produce.
The original tech conference that is now a worldwide phenomenon in locations all over Western Europe and Asia. The conference took over parts of southern Tel Aviv and hosted numerous international delegations all interested in the Startup Nation. One of the largest conference/festivals of its kind this conference has inspired many in the Israeli ecosystem to host their own conferences.
DLD or Digital Life Design has become the anchor event that the previous two events (and the popular Israel EdTech Week conference) followed on. International visitors come into town for DLD and stay on for the other conferences, many times getting a year’s worth of networking done in a few days This past week’s big conference was Agrifood Week, a conference and week of innovation events centered around agritech and foodtech. Israeli tech ecosystem partner Startup Nation Central organized this conference as Israel has embraced the idea of parlaying the country’s legacy of agriculture into finding tech solutions. Global interest in Israeli foodtech companies is only growing thanks to ecosystem partners such as the The Kitchen who have been active in the space.
As the Startup Nation grows, not only are the traditional conferences that served as pillars of the ecosystem growing but conferences are emerging that are focused on new technologies. Conference season is ending as we enter the Jewish holidays in Israel, but that doesn’t mean things will necessarily slow down.