We travel to the Israel Science and Technology Pole

Marcelo Pinheiro
Marcelo Pinheiro

Global Tech Lead

Visit to Israel

Why is Israel a hub of Science and Technology?

From October 22 to 29, I had the great experience of participating in a convoy, organized by the Caldeira Institute, to get to know Israel's technology ecosystem. We were able to understand what makes it one of the biggest innovation poles in the world. All this in an environment as harsh as the one that comes to mind when you think of deserts.   

Believe me when I say that one article is not enough to talk about all the aspects to which anyone visiting the country will attribute such prosperity and disruption. But today, I want to talk about one of them that, for me, is the foundation of all the others: The sense of community of the Israelis.  

Trip to Israel

How does the Israeli sense of community influence the country's success?

While traveling, you interact with the people' culture and values. From the people who provided support services for our convoy to the speakers who traveled 16 hours to be heard, one thing is a consensus: Israel is a country that is very supportive towards its citizens.  

You can see all the time how a strong community exists within that context. This can be seen in many sectors of society. I will try to list here what drew my attention in some of these sectors.  

Trip to Israel

Education in Israel

Visiting the Technion, The Israeli Institute of Technology, was one of the highlights of the trip, and for the sake of comparison it is to Israel what MIT is to the USA. The university, which is in the city of Haifa, north of Tel Aviv, is very impressive. Several buildings of different academic disciplines, with an integration to the nature inside the campus that makes you forget you are in a desert, and a very modern architecture.  

Several initiatives were born inside the university, such as startups with solutions like lab-grown meat, exoskeletons to enable people with no movement in their legs to walk, and nanotechnology, among many others. It was a true lesson in how investment in research and development brings results of significant added value.  

There were many different technologies, but all of them, in their presentation pitch, had something in common: the focus on the value that such solution returns to society. How can something that I have worked on, that I have spent my own time, dedicating resources to develop, help society and solve a real problem in my community?  

Very little is heard about the numbers of these companies compared to their benefits, even in startups that are already worth more than $1 billion. The message is: Money is important, and very welcome, but the purpose of the company's existence is nothing less than to make life better.  

The Technion is a private institute. As one of the best universities when it comes to technology, studying in a course from this ecosystem is almost a certainty of good placement in the market.  

One concept that is promoted from the moment you become a student at the institute is this: You are here because of someone else's help. Someone from the community created the content that you are going to study, someone from the community invested in the structure that you are using, and someone from the community will look for talents like you at the university and give you a job opportunity. In the case of scholarships (which are plentiful), someone from the community has literally invested money in you.  

So what to expect from people who studied at the institute and are well-positioned in the market? Help the students as you have been helped. Also be someone in the community that helps the students and keeps the wheels turning. And you can do this in many ways: with mentoring, referrals, guidance, and even by funding student scholarships.  

The Israeli Army

In Israel, is mandatory for all the population (with the exception of some specific groups) to enlist. It is 3 years for men and 2 years for women.  

We had the opportunity to visit a military training college, where we attended a lecture by the principal of the college. He talked about how the army was present in the lives of the population, bringing a sense of belonging and recognition to society. For example, just like your place of birth and the college where you study, the sector where you serve in the army becomes a milestone in the life of a citizen.  

This generates a very strong feeling in society that "we are all responsible for making our lives easier/secure". This is how initiatives like Team8, an investment and company building venture, which was founded by a soldier who served in the army's 8002 squad, came about.  

Caldeira Institute

Entrepreneurship

Once again, following the example of companies that were founded at university, the vast majority of companies in their presentation sell a very clear purpose: to generate real value to the society.  

From the recruitment policies, through the internal culture, to the interaction with customers (the value generated itself), one message is very clear: We are doing business together to improve our community. To move income, generate jobs, help sectors of society, and make life better.  

wix israel

The Wix case

In the pitch presentation to potential investors, most companies focused on solid cases of value generated for society. This says a lot about the corporate culture in the country.   

The team from Wix, an Israeli website creation startup, told the case where they received thousands of requests originating from a developing country and immediately assumed it was an attack. When they contacted the Israeli embassy, they found out that in fact, to try to solve the problem of remote classes during the pandemic, the Israeli education officials created a booklet that taught schools to create their own websites to make content available to students.  

Lessons from the trip to Israel

Living this experience has brought me the vision of how a purpose that connects people for a common purpose can make a certain context transform and be very successful.  

And what does this teach my company? First of all, results need to be based on purpose, and not the other way around, with the purpose being generated from the results. The moment a well-defined purpose is spread in the community, the sense of collaboration makes people feel part of a team.  

There is only one way to spread a purpose in such an organic and intrinsic way: through culture. Investing in culture and integration initiatives are the keys to a company moving forward in a united and consistent way.  

careers

Working here is different, only those on the inside know what it is like, and the outsiders are nuts to know all about it. In order to build a great business you need great people.

Want to be part of an amazing team? Explore our jobs spots.

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