Start-Up Nation Institute to connect Israel with innovators worldwide


The message from Israel is it can be done.

The other message is do it with Israel.



Saul Singer, who famously coauthored the book that branded Israel as the “Startup Nation,” is working on a nonprofit organization to connect the country with innovation centers around the world.


SAUL SINGER – Photo: Ariel Jerozolimski

“Countries, just like people, are good at different things,” Singer told The Jerusalem Post.

“We’re not good at everything. We have certain strengths. It so happens that the strengths we have tend to match nicely with the weaknesses of other countries, and the strengths of those countries are things that we’re lacking.”

The same way people work in teams to combine their best strengths, he said, nations must work together as they build businesses.

“We need to innovate together. That’s what this new organization, Start-Up Nation, will try to catalyze.”

The nonprofit, to be called the Start-Up Nation Institute, has already secured private funding.

While Israel already has a robust working relationship with Silicon Valley and the United States, he said, it is essential to look into markets in Africa, South America and Asia as they pour billions into building infrastructure to spur innovation. “I think the best way for these countries to become innovation leaders is to join us. For us to innovate together,” he said.

Joining Singer, former Post editorial page editor, in his venture will be his wife, Wendy Singer, who stepped down from her long-time position heading the American Israel Public Affairs Committee’s operations in Israel late last year to fill the role of executive director at the institute. Wendy Singer’s brother Dan Senor coauthored Start-Up Nation with Saul Singer.

The book’s runaway success – it has been translated into more than 20 languages, and its title has caught on among global CEO’s and international politicians in describing Israel – was based in part on the premise that Israel’s model of innovation can be replicated, but Singer said it’s not so simple.

“I would say that there are things that can be done like Israel, but the more important message that I speak about in different places like Chile, or India, is: ‘Don’t do it like Israel, do it like Chile, do it like India.’ “Every country has its own strengths, its own history, its own culture, and has to build their innovation on those specific issues.

“The message from Israel is it can be done. The other message is do it with Israel, because I think the huge untapped potential is synergies between countries,” Singer said.


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