From Stars and Stripes to Startup Nation
From Stars and Stripes to Startup Nation
פורסם בתאריך 1/1/70 2:00 AM, ע"י Elli Warsh

Throughout my 20 years living in the United States, I have heard people discuss Israel in association with many characteristics. Some of these are: religion, conflict, war, and politics. Israel as a booming center of innovation, however, is hardly ever included in the dialogue.

 

Since beginning my internship here at Startau, I have been exposed to the validity of Israel’s nickname as the “startup nation”. Working in a such a small, cooperative environment has provided me with a unique experience that I would most likely not gain back in America. Through my time working thus far, I have begun to adjust to the work culture in Israel—a culture that is drastically different than my own. Israelis are very straightforward, whereas at home we tend to worry about being so “professional” at all costs that it is sometimes overkill. The Israeli work culture lends itself to be very hands-on and collaborative between intern and supervisor.

 

For example, my bosses in this office have no problem taking one-on-one time with me to assign me tasks, or even just to have a personal conversation. This makes it possible for a considerable amount of both personal and professional growth, even in eight short weeks. A casual work environment, in terms of both dress code and attitude, allows for a level of comfort between interns and supervisors that is not as prominent in a formal setting. This has led to a more comfortable environment between me, my fellow interns, and our supervisors, which is hard to find in a formal setting. Many other aspects of the culture are new to me as well. There is a Ted Talk that explains some of these cultural differences. It can be viewed by clicking on the hyperlink.

 

By interning in Israel, I have witnessed the growth of startups from the marketing side. While focusing on marketing, I have witnessed the growth and potential of Israelis startups. It takes a lot of dedication to grow something from one single person’s idea into a fully-functioning business. It is rather poetic to hear about many startups coming to fruition from nothing. I see this almost as a metaphor for the State of Israel—a country where the people have struggled for so long to make this great land what it is today, yet have together in a short time worked to create a successful nation.

 

Working in the field of International Development this summer, I have been introduced to just how vital Israel is in the realm of startups all over the world. Startau has this unusual and special opportunity to blend together both Israeli and international startups, each which bring a unique perspective to the business world. Planning for the Global Launchpad, where startups from all over the world will attend an event here at Startau, shows how well-respected Israel is on an international scale.

 

Preparing for an event on as large of a scale as the Global Launchpad has shown me how much responsibility Startau enables us to take on as interns. I have been putting together databases of international accelerator programs, corresponding with CEO’s of important companies via email, and even doing some research and presentations of my own. In America, the stereotype of an intern is “someone who gets the boss coffee,” but this experience has been anything and everything but that. Every day I am on my toes, with a new task to delve into and new knowledge to gain.

 

Besides work, living in Israel, and especially in Tel Aviv, has been the best time of my life. It is a city unlike any other and I have been able to experience much of its character through events like Pride and White Night. The city is so lively all the time and has so much to offer to Jews and non-Jews alike. It is a beautiful concept to be with my “people” and in my land for two months during my college years. Israel has this immense effect on me, introducing me to my roots, but also being able to influence my future. I have Startau to thank for much of this experience.