If people want to see the future of the world economy they should look to Tel Aviv, home to hundreds of startups and research centres,” Barack Obama, president of the US, said in March. For more on Obama’s views, expressed in his lucid and inspirational style, it is worth watching part of this linked video of his speech in Israel, starting around minute 44. The photo is of Tel Aviv’s Rothschild Boulevard, widely regarded as its start-up epicentre. There are more than 700 early-stage start-ups and some 1,200 high-tech firms in the city, according to recent figures from news provider Washington Post. These figures are flatteringly contrasted with Tel Aviv’s population of 440,000. Greater London has a population of 7.8 million, according to the Office of National Statistics, and has 2,200 start-ups, according to information website AreaStartups.com. The high-tech industries that spread out from Tel Aviv have been nicknamed by locals “Silicon Wadi” – wadi is Arabic for valley. This success now has a poster child exit to boast of – traffic navigation company Waze, which agreed a sale to Google last month for a reported $1.3bn, which has been billed by Israel’s press as the largest exit in Israel’s venture capital history. For more on Israel’s development go to page 39 of our July magazine pdf.

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