What Does It Mean to Live in a Startup Nation?

This Passover, TheMarker compiled a list of 20 startups that we believe are on their way to great things, and a broader look at the changing face of the industry as a whole.

Every so often, someone I know launches a startup. Maybe he quit his programming job at a large established firm, or maybe she just happened to be between gigs, but ultimately they felt like they had an idea that was worth pursuing. Even my husband worked at a startup for a while – he spent days lounging around the house in sweatpants and long nights at the office, programming until dawn.

Most, if not all, of these startups have fizzled out. No one I know has turned out to be the next Gil Shwed – not yet, at least. But there you have it. In a land where high-tech equals glory (certainly from the outside), it seems nearly everyone with an idea, some gumption and abundant energy takes the plunge at one point or another.

Only a select few make it, of course. This Passover, TheMarker compiled a list of 20 startups that we believe are on their way to great things. Hoping for easier, cheaper breast cancer screening? Vayyar Imaging is working on that. Want a safer driving experience? Autotalks and iOnRoad are making your car smarter. Scared of cyber intruders? LightCyber will defend you.

We’ve also brought you a broader look at the changing face of the industry as a whole. Success stories like Waze and GetTaxi have enticed other Israeli entrepreneurs to go beyond the local high-tech scene’s traditional forte – hard-core computing – and court end users, for better or for worse, as Tali Heruti-Sover tells it. Eytan Avriel explains the real problem facing these flocks of bright-eyed whiz kids – a lack of financing. That might be because the country’s capital market remains stubbornly immune to the high-tech bug; Oren Freund looks into this apparent anomaly.

And just to round things out, we’ve brought you two tales of strangers in a strange land, focusing on the culture shock that foreign executives face when adapting to life in Israel, and the culture shock that trendy Tel Aviv advertising types face after relocating to a dusty town in the Negev. This Passover, some people are actually embracing the desert.

Happy holidays,
Liz Steinberg
Editor, TheMarker Magazine, English Edition