This is the first installment of a multi-part Medium series following “10,000 hours of Upside Coffee” about my experiences in Israel. In my previous post, I outlined the process of getting meetings as well as my initial thoughts about the Israeli tech ecosystem. In the next two posts I’ll give an overview of the spaces I found the most interesting, and which I believe Israel will dominate. I’m going to write this out in basic terms; if for any reason you feel I haven’t explained a concept enough in-depth, please reach out to me directly at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
-IoT (Internet of Things): I’ll start with a standard Webopedia definition of IoT so everyone reading this understands what I’m writing about: “IoT refers to the ever-growing network of physical objects that feature an IP address for internet connectivity, and the communication that occurs between these objects and other Internet-enabled devices and systems.” This was the topic of many conversations I had with people in Israel, as the speed at which this space is growing (as of last count over 300 startups) is quite aggressive. Thischart created by Innovation Endeavors is a very good resource for getting a bird’s eye view of the trend.
I believe one of Israel’s natural strengths is the increasing emphasis on security around IoT, as this article details just how vulnerable a IoT network would be to hacking. Of notable mention is CyberX, a startup offering security for the Industrial Internet (basically the integration of complex physical machinery with networked sensors and software). We can imagine a day in the not so distant future where hackers attempt to hack anything from IoT connected driverless cars, home appliances, or even devices we wear on our bodies.
-Transportation: Aside from Uber and Lyft, many of the transportation and mobility startups making major moves in this space (driver and driverless) are Israeli. The list of well known Israeli companies include Waze, Nexar, Gett, Via, Otto (Israeli founder), Mobileye, and many others. One of the most interesting places I had a chance to visit was the Porter School of Environmental Studies, and the capsula accelerator. capsula is the only accelerator focused on transportation and mobility, not simply committed to the acceleration of Israeli start-ups, but those from all over world. Interestingly enough, Israel tried in the 1950’s to create a car industry for export with help from European manufacturers with a car called the Sabra Sport. Fast forward to the present (beyond Better Place, Israel’s attempt at creating an electric car) to 2016. Much like the model car manufactured by Tesla (which utilizes Mobileye’s technology in the Roadster) has demonstrated, the car of today (the future) will be more microprocessors and algorithms than just metal and energy. Driverless cars are now, and I would have to liked to see an initiative on the part of the Israeli government to make Israel a beta testing ground (as they attempted to do with Better Place’s electric car recharging stations).
-Chatbots: As described in Webopedia a chatbot is “short for chat robot, a computer program that simulates human conversation, or chat through AI (artificial intelligence). Typically, a chatbot will communicate with a real person, but applications are being developed in which two chatbots can communicate with each other.” Not only do I want readers to have a full understanding of what I’m covering, but it seems as though the whole chatbot trend has reached an absurd level of hype. To be clear, a good chatbot simplifies messaging communication and creates a better experience for the user. What’s interesting is not just the complexity in how bots can be programmed to answer, but their interaction with other bots and humans during a chat. Bots are a growing trend worldwide, but like many trends the developers in Israel have proceeded to dive right in head first, creating bots for messaging platforms ranging from Whatsapp, Slack, and of course, Facebook Messenger. The VC community has taken the reins here as well as in helping promote this rapidly growing trend with the Aleph Bot Challengeorganized by prominent Tel Aviv based VC Aleph.
The reason I chose these three area is their direct interaction with the consumer (connecting with, driving with, and chatting with). I’ll expand in a future post how I believe Israeli startups can improve a consumer’s experience; while the technology is in Israel is incredibly strong there is a ways to go with CX (customer experience), but we’re seeing positive steps towards improving this challenge.
Originally published by Jonathan Frankel, a non profit and Israeli tech expert at:https://medium.com/@jonathanyonifrenkel/israel-future-trends-i-a1ccdf8a21bb#.ilgnojia9