According to the IVC, Israel has:
4,563 High-Tech Companies, 166 VC Funds and 34 Incubators
Country PR aside, it’s serious that Israeli VC funds have raised $1.2 billion in 2005, and are projected to raise another $1b in 2006. Therefore, it should not be surprising to see events like KinnerNet conference, pulling in about 150 thinkers and innovators to:
discuss topics and concepts that are of interest
to them,in fields such as Software development, internet culture, site
building, blogs, forums, social networks, chat rooms, instant messages,
P2P, search engines, web services, Wi-Fi, open source, Email,
Infrastructure services, Cellular services, Computer games, Interactive
T.V, VOIP, technological trends, Gadgets, Security and more, to share
their thoughts , work-in-progress, show off the latest tech toys and
hardware hacks, and tackle challenging problems. together we will try
to figure where the internet is going and what are the prevailing
I am jealous as I read Mark, Tom and Loic blog about it. In contrast to the Israeli numbers, the Turkish VC raised in 2005 was $0. In 2006, we expect it to be $0 again. And, we will not have an event like this next year in Istanbul.
A few months ago, on a panel, Yigal Ehrlich had attributed Israel’s VC (and innovation) success to government action – resulting in Yozma. As much as I hate looking towards the government (especially the Turkish government), I suspect early stage VC asset class can only be kick-started with a strong nod from the government.