Imagine you driving down an unfamiliar stretch of highway, trying to locate the right exit to find the company for which you have to give an important presentation. You need proper directions, but you also need to get there fast. Getting there fast is risky, driving into a speed trap is costly and will all but end your chances of arriving on time. Getting into an accident has much greater costs.
Luckily, you are able to get there safely, on time and with no traffic infractions thanks to a handy navigation app. Presentation time! You plug the saved presentation into your laptop and give a tremendous demonstration to those assembled. Afterwards, you take a moment to check if a driver has delivered some key products to your client site.
There were several technologies used to achieve this scenario, all originating from the entrepreneurs of a single country. China? No. USA? Nope. Germany? Nice try. These life and business enhancing technologies were all developed and perfected in Israel.
Israel, a country that’s slightly larger than the state of New Jersey, has built a reputation in recent years for being a hub for technologies that are as innovative as they are practical. Its roughly 7.6 million people have created nearly 4,800 startups. The spirit of innovation is rooted in a culture of fierce determination and fostered by a government that provides early stage funding for many startups. The combination has allowed this small country to develop a number of innovations that have drawn millions from investors and has become a part of our daily lives.
Here’s a few the innovations that you will likely be familiar with use on a daily basis:
- USB Drives: M-Systems invented this storage device in 1999. An advancement of the floppy disk, USB drives are capable of carrying large amounts of data in a small package. They also have become a popular item for trade show booth giveaways.
- Waze: Waze is a navigation app that pulls crowdsourced data to alert drivers of accidents, speed traps and other items that may inhibit their drive. Google purchased Waze for $1 billion and now uses its data for their own navigation app.
- Bringg: Bringg takes the power and convenience of on-demand concepts like Uber and brings it to delivery management. It allows companies to track shipped items and drivers, customers to more accurately see when their packages will be delivered, and drivers to keep assignments organized.
- iOnRoad: iOnRoad is a mobile app that warns drivers when they are getting too close to the car in front of them. The app also adds a number of safety features to your daily commute.
These are a few of the innovations brought to you by Israeli companies with many more on the way. Israelis have an indomitable spirit that leads them to eagerly take on challenges that others find daunting. They’ve also shown, by in large part, a willingness to think outside the box and embrace risk in order to achieve innovation. These qualities plus a government that financially supports innovation (Israel is the world’s leader in research and development spending) ensures that Israel will continue to produce technology that will shape how we function in today’s world.