Israel is the world’s second-largest destination for hi-tech venture capital, after Silicon Valley. Often called the “Start-up Nation,” part of Israel’s economic strategy has always been to sell start-ups to foreign companies. According to a recent Jerusalem Post article, over 95 percent of Israeli start-ups sell to foreign businesses. Traditionally, these acquisitions have required the start-up to move most of its operations overseas, often while keeping a small R&D center in Israel. This creates a complex dynamic: a large number of talented Israeli science and engineering professionals move abroad for economic opportunities, and many never come back. Fourteen percent of Israelis with doctorates in science and engineering have left Israel for at least three years, compared with 3.8 percent of those with degrees in the humanities and social sciences, and 17.7 percent of Israelis with a PhD in engineering choose overseas employment.
But Waze, an Israeli traffic navigation application that was bought by Google for approximately $1 billion last month, bucks the trend by staying put: One of its key demands was that its Israeli employees remain in Israel. Google agreed to this requirement while other interested buyers, including Facebook, did not. Waze’s exit was the fourth-largest buyout in Google’s history.
Read more. [Image: Nir Elias/Reuters]
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