For Silicon Valley entrepreneurs seeking the next-best tech hub, plan to spend at least 17 hours on planes. Eventually, you’ll make your way to Tel Aviv, which was ranked the No. 2 startup ecosystem in the world by researcher Startup Genome.
Israel’s Silicon Wadi beat out the places commonly thought of as startup hotbeds, such as Los Angeles (Silicon Beach), New York (Silicon Alley) and Seattle (Silicon Rainy?). In a study recently published, which happened to coincide with renewed hostilities in the Middle East, cities were evaluated based on eight criteria including the performance of companies located there as well as their access to funding.
So why Tel Aviv? The city is overflowing with software developers and venture capital. Larger companies, including Google, have set up offices there. Facebook is now there, too, after acquiring facial-recognition developer Face.com in June.
But Tel Aviv isn’t a shrunken Silicon Valley. Distance aside, there’s a wide cultural gap between the two. Only 13 percent of founders there have lived in Northern California at one time, according to the report. That’s much lower than many others on the list. For example, in London or Paris, the rate is one out of every four founders. Another thing: Israeli entrepreneurs tend to have a lower appetite for risk than their counterparts in other top regions, the report said.
Besides Tel Aviv and London at No. 7, North American cities dominated the top 10. Here’s the full ranking from the study, which was funded by Spain’s Telefonica:
1. Silicon Valley
2. Tel Aviv
3. Los Angeles
5. New York
13. Sao Paulo