Hidden Valleys

After Silicon Valley, Tel Aviv Ranks Best for Tech Startups: Study

Photographer: Jeremy Woodhouse

Tel Aviv, pictured here, was ranked the No. 2 startup ecosystem in a new study. Close

Tel Aviv, pictured here, was ranked the No. 2 startup ecosystem in a new study.

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Photographer: Jeremy Woodhouse

Tel Aviv, pictured here, was ranked the No. 2 startup ecosystem in a new study.

For Silicon Valley entrepreneurs seeking the next-best tech hub, plan to spend at least 17 hours on planes. Eventually, you'll make your way to Tel Aviv, which was ranked the No. 2 startup ecosystem in the world by researcher Startup Genome.

Israel's Silicon Wadi beat out the places commonly thought of as startup hotbeds, such as Los Angeles (Silicon Beach), New York (Silicon Alley) and Seattle (Silicon Rainy?). In the study published yesterday, which happened to coincide with renewed hostilities in the Middle East, cities were evaluated based on eight criteria including the performance of companies located there as well as their access to funding.

So why Tel Aviv? The city is overflowing with software developers and venture capital. Larger companies, including Google, have set up offices there. Facebook is now there, too, after acquiring facial-recognition developer Face.com in June.

But Tel Aviv isn't a shrunken Silicon Valley. Distance aside, there's a wide cultural gap between the two. Only 13 percent of founders there have lived in Northern California at one time, according to the report. That's much lower than many others on the list. For example, in London or Paris, the rate is one out of every four founders. Another thing: Israeli entrepreneurs tend to have a lower appetite for risk than their counterparts in other top regions, the report said.

Besides Tel Aviv and London at No. 7, North American cities dominated the top 10. Here's the full ranking from the study, which was funded by Spain's Telefonica:

  1. Silicon Valley
  2. Tel Aviv
  3. Los Angeles
  4. Seattle
  5. New York
  6. Boston
  7. London
  8. Toronto
  9. Vancouver
  10. Chicago
  11. Paris
  12. Sydney
  13. Sao Paulo
  14. Moscow
  15. Berlin
  16. Waterloo
  17. Singapore
  18. Melbourne
  19. Bangalore
  20. Santiago
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