Lessons from Israel on taking your business global

Jacob Moore (second from right) exploring Jerusalem with UQ Idea Hub students

Jacob Moore (second from right) exploring Jerusalem with UQ Idea Hub students

Jacob Moore (second from right) exploring Jerusalem with UQ Idea Hub students

An internship in Israel has inspired a University of Queensland student to help Australian business launch high-tech ideas on the world stage.

UQ’s Idea Hub startup pre-incubation program sponsored Jacob Moore to travel to Tel Aviv over the summer holidays. The Politics, Philosophy and Economics Honours student said a month in Israel – home to many of the world’s biggest companies and development labs – gave him first-hand experience in thinking and innovating like an entrepreneur.

“I was lucky enough to be taken on by EcoMotion, a community non-profit that’s working to improve Tel Aviv’s transportation sector,” he said.

Amid a backdrop of extremely complex geopolitical issues, this startup understands the importance of collaboration, bringing together entrepreneurs, academics, government, locals, investors and more to provide a support platform for knowledge-sharing and networking.”

Despite being a third the size of Tasmania, Israel has a larger global technology market than Australia.

There are more than 50 accelerators and incubators in Tel Aviv alone, with more than 1000 startups calling the city home.

 

Jacob at EcoMotion's "advanced hackathon" Adaptathon.

Jacob at EcoMotion's "advanced hackathon" Adaptathon.

Jacob at EcoMotion's "advanced hackathon" Adaptathon.

“The Tel Aviv Startup Adventure program provides entrepreneurs with a truly global experience. I’ve learnt more about the global financial market in Tel Aviv than in any other international city I’ve visited,” Jacob said. 

Due to Israel’s geographic position, they can’t limit themselves to neighbouring countries. So they’re forced to think globally straight away. And their smart technology supports it. Israel is one of the biggest tech hubs in the world, second to Silicon Valley.

“What Israel can teach us, as the hub of the high-tech revolution, is that the international network is one of the most important assets for Australian entrepreneurship.”

Israeli Ambassador to Israel, His Excellency Chris Cannon shaking Jacob's hand

Israeli Ambassador to Israel, His Excellency Chris Cannon shaking Jacob's hand

Israeli Ambassador to Israel, His Excellency Chris Cannon shaking Jacob's hand

Jacob said Australia had the fundamentals in place to support a flourishing startup ecosystem, but challenges remain, including talent shortages and constrained research and development support.

“The Australian market has so much potential and we are located in the most beautiful country in the world. With the Tel Aviv scene to compete with – not to mention what’s going on in the rest of the world – Australian startups can’t overlook the market potential of being globally facing,” he said.

“With billion dollar buy-outs occurring every year, you’d be crazy not to consider taking your company global – and Tel Aviv is a great place to start.”

Jacob believes the Australian Government’s three-month residency and networking Landing Pads program is a great opportunity to test the Israeli market. In turn, he said Israelis could learn from Australian strengths in people skills and business management.

“The pace and style of Israeli business is fast and hierarchical. You may be in your office and your boss says I need this done now. There are fewer pleasantries, more results and certainly more direct language used."

The Brisbane-Tel Aviv stopover in Hong Kong.

The Brisbane-Tel Aviv stopover in Hong Kong.

The Brisbane-Tel Aviv stopover in Hong Kong.

With two years left of his bachelor’s degree, Jacob hopes to hone his skills in business management consulting so he can better understand the fields of health, infrastructure and banking. Then he wants to launch his own startup into the emerging technology and banking market, known as FinTech.

ABC Radio Brisbane’s Terri Begley spoke with Jacob and two others from his cohort, Mahealani Delaney and Sam Barton, one week after they stepped off the plane from Tel Aviv. The full interview is available online.

Idea Hub Director Nimrod Klayman said the 18 students in the December 2018 Tel Aviv Startup Adventure cohort engaged with startups in sustainable urban agriculture, cyber security, drones, Fintech, marketing automation, agritech, coworking spaces, and the technology and banking industries.

“The UQ students had a fantastic opportunity to discover about entrepreneurship and innovation first-hand from the startup nation,” he said.

UQ’s entrepreneurial community has a suite of programs on offer for students, staff and alumni. UQ’s Startup Academy helps shape an idea into a business model. Entrepreneurs in Residence at ilab can then help turn early-stage business into an early-stage product that earns money.

UQ also offers hands-on learning courses and degrees.

  Startup Adventures will take place in Tel Aviv, Shanghai, San Francisco and Singapore in 2019.

Visit Idea Hub for more information.

Jacob in Israel.

Jacob in Israel.