“The” startup nation? Or, “a” startup nation?
Updated: Jan 7
Is Israel “the” startup nation or “a” startup nation?
I’ve always preferred the term Innovation Nation to Startup Nation.
But then, it doesn’t really matter what I prefer. Israel is known as the Startup Nation thanks to the 2009 book that turned the world’s attention to the phenomenal innovation happening here.
So, I could argue the name but that’s not the point.
The question is simple: is it correct to call Israel “the” startup nation?
On the one hand, this country absolutely deserves its hype.
Just look at the World Economic Forum’s 2019-2020 Global Competitiveness Report – once again, Israel is in 20th place out of 141 economies. As NoCamels writes, Israel also ranked first for its “macroeconomic stability – minimizing its national economy’s vulnerability to the impact of any external shocks – companies’ innovative growth, R&D expenditures, and multi-stakeholder collaboration.” Moreover, in its 71 years, modern-day Israel has done some amazing things.
According to numerous reports, Israel spends the most of any country on R&D (4.3% of GDP).
So, there is no question whether Israelis are innovating.
But it is not the only country innovating. Far from it.
Perhaps then, Israel is “a” startup nation. Or, again, an innovation nation.
It is not just a country of startups but it is a country with many entrepreneurs and idea-makers and innovators. I always explain this position in talks I give to visiting groups, who want to hear more about today’s Israel.
What do you think?