Tel Aviv’s startup scene is booming

If you were to ask pretty much any entrepreneur for a list of the best startup cities in the world, you can be pretty confident that list will not only feature Silicon Valley, Stockholm and London, but also Tel Aviv. So why is it that the Israeli city has become a viable destination for companies looking to join the startup revolution?

The best aspects of operating in Tel Aviv

With its growing tech scene and reputation, Tel Aviv has become a bit of a success story. That’s partly down to the fact it has a strong startup ecosystem. Companies and individuals can benefit from easy access to plenty of angel investors as well as capital firms and mentors, and there’s no shortage of talent. In particular, the tech scene has benefited from the large number of highly skilled tech-based individuals within Tel Aviv. Employees tend to know what to do, and don’t require micro-management, which is key for allowing business leaders to focus on growing their company.

The business culture

The business culture in Tel Aviv is one that has become known for its focused and high energy approach, but that doesn’t mean the city fails to embrace fun. In Tel Aviv, the tech scene is looked upon with respect and young people in particular look up to the leaders within it. An important aspect of the business culture in Tel Aviv is that most people are interlinked, meaning it feels that everyone is almost a second-degree friend, or perhaps a colleague of someone you know. Due to the fact Israel is a small country, and most people serve in the army before going to university, the social and professional networks are very much interwoven.

For those looking at Tel Aviv as a possible destination for their own technology startup or expansion, you should be aware that there isn’t really much of a focus on politeness. Instead, people work to overcome a challenge and get tasks done quickly and professionally. Whilst some people find this off-putting, after a while of working within Tel Aviv, many people start to realise the benefits of doing business the Israeli way.

If you need any help with your company expansion plans, whether you want to open a UK office or look somewhere further afield, our extensive support services can help. Talk to Goodwille today about your business plans to get that expansion started.

Edtech – the next big thing?

Fintech has taken the world by storm and revolutionised how we bank.

Its spectacular success is not difficult to explain. Fintech start-ups identified a shift in society, led by consumer demand for innovative digital services. We want things to be easier, more accessible and instant. Fintech start-ups recognised this and took traditional financial services, added a pinch of innovation and a dash of technology, and the future of banking changed forever.

So, what is next?

Just as digitalisation has transformed the financial services industry, it is already beginning to revolutionise education.

Learning models have barely changed since schools began. A teacher stands at the front of the classroom, while students sit and listen, with learning materials being mostly physical textbooks. However, digital technologies are transforming this model. Students are increasingly using computers or tablets, and more and more teachers are using screens to deliver their lessons. Textbooks are being replaced by interactive online services, which are more up to date and in-depth, and which enable students to explore and learn at their own pace, often via distance learning.

Two main factors are driving this change.

Firstly, today’s students are children of the digital revolution and have come to expect the same digital capabilities within their learning environments.

Secondly, digital will soon be the nucleus of every industry, from human resources to healthcare and fashion. Four years from now, the U.K. alone will require 2.3 million digitally skilled workers, while only 10% of schools offer any kind of computer science class. Unless we start exposing learners to technology in the classroom, our skills gap will soon become a chasm.

There are now more than 1,000 edtech startups in Britain, contributing more than £1 billion to the U.K. economy each year. But this is just the tip of the iceberg. Edtech is poised to be the biggest and most profitable digitalised sector yet.

Edtech is also a safe bet for investors. Unlike the ups and downs of the financial markets, education remains constant, sheltered from many of the pressures of the broader geopolitical landscape, and offering a safe haven for smart money from smart investors.

The soaring value of Bitcoin drives interest in FinTech

Bitcoin’s value soared in recent weeks to well over $2,000 per coin, making it the most valuable commodity on the planet. For those who mined or acquired Bitcoins early in the currency’s digital life, large fortunes have been made with minimal effort. While Bitcoin’s volatility might not be for all investors, for businesses, it is the technology behind these cryptocurrencies, called blockchain, that is driving much of the investment in FinTech, and making jobs in the sector highly desirable.

With interest across the financial services, accountancy, banking and other sectors, blockchain technology creates a secure ledger or records and value that can be used to transcend borders, industries and currencies. With the UK and London still at the heart of global banking, much interest is centred on FinTech and many startups are looking at ways to leverage blockchain. Use cases are being sought for particular vertical markets, or to create new solutions that could be the next PayPal, or to create whole new types of business transaction models.

Popular FinTech startups have created mortgage lending banks, a digital-only consumer bank, peer-to-peer payment platforms that do away with the charges that most banks impose, and global money services that empower world travellers with a single digital wallet, whatever country they are in. These are just some of the examples of consumer FinTech that we could all be using within the next few years, challenging our banks and bureau de change to adapt.

Those changes will also rapidly apply to business, with contracts being created and managed online through blockchain technologies. One key area of business this could affect is the 30-day waiting period for payment that many smaller businesses suffer from. Any enterprise or SMB product that makes instant payments for completion of a milestone, project or task could see many departments, like accounting and sales, rapidly have to adopt such technology. If they don’t their company could soon lose business to those willing to move with the times and adopt such products.

Whatever market you are in, keep an eye on FinTech business developments around blockchain, and ensure you are ready to move when the time comes.

Is EdTech the next FinTech?

There is no doubting the fact FinTech has taken the world by storm. It has revolutionised the way we bank and it innovated the traditional concepts of financial services. However, with uncertainty surrounding Brexit yet to subside, has EdTech become the bigger and safer investor opportunity?

A huge market

The education market is huge. Yet so far, EdTech has been overshadowed by the opportunities in the FinTech industry. However, the rise of a new education has finally begun, and digitalisation is set to transform education just like it did with the financial industry. According to recent figures, the EdTech market will grow 17 per cent per year by 2020, numbers investors are unlikely to ignore.

A new transformation

For the past 100 years, education models have hardly changed. Mostly, a teacher still stands at the front of a classroom or lecture hall while children and students sit and listen with textbooks and printed documents open on their desks.

However, all of this is set to change. Digital technology is already evident in some classrooms, with more students than ever before using laptops and tablets to enhance their learning experience. Teachers are also using technology to bring their lessons to life and make their classrooms more interactive.

Why is EdTech so important?

The world is quickly becoming more aware of the digital skills gap among society. Soon enough, digital will be at the core of every industry, which is why advances in educational technology have never been more important in order to provide the next generation of students with the skills they need to be successful in any given sector.

EdTech is the next FinTech

There are more than 1,000 EdTech start-ups in Britain alone, and with the financial implications of Brexit still unknown, EdTech is the by far the safest bet for investors. Why? Because it remains constant and is somewhat sheltered from the political landscape. The opportunities it provides are almost endless, and it’s poised to overtake FinTech as the most profitable digitalised sector yet.

For more informationon how Goodwille can support FinTech or EdTech companies starting up in the UK, get in touch.

Sources:
http://techcitynews.com/2016/05/26/report-edtech-spend-will-reach-252bn-2020/

Three unique factors London’s EdTech sector should take advantage of

For any talk of UK tech firms leaving these islands in the wake of the 2016 Brexit referendum, the trend is turning out to be the reverse. Tech firms, and especially EdTech startups, have much to gain from setting up shop in London. This is thanks to a trio of legal, political and social factors unique to Europe’s largest city.

A very, very friendly government
The British government is more often noted for its history than modernity – visiting American politicians have been known to describe the raucous House of Commons as ‘the Pit’. When it comes to Britain’s technology sector, though, ministers know the value of hands-on support. Chancellor Philip Hammond used a recent trade mission to India to fly the flag for British FinTech and EdTech; Business Secretary Sajid Javid has created a Parliamentary Group for Entrepreneurship; and at 2016’s EdTech UK summit, the Department for Education announced plans for a bespoke British EdTech strategy. Opportunities abound for EdTech companies eying expansion to take advantage of ‘UK Plc’.

Global outlook
One of the more popular refrains these days is that Britain is leaving the EU to embrace the world. A dubious claim for many sectors, this may be more true for EdTech. There are a few unique factors that contribute – English is the global language, leading many startups to look to English-speaking countries in the Far East, especially India and Pakistan, as well as in Africa. Also, communities from around the world are well-established in London, giving the city a unique web of connections with the wider world that give the city’s tech scene a global edge. London is the world’s crossroads – what better place to look out for global opportunities and plan international expansion?

Fierce competition between schools
The capital of the UK is also the country’s most competitive educational ecosystem. In part thanks to a drive to raise standards over the last decade or so, London’s schools are a remarkable success story. The legal and political climate is increasingly ‘hands-off’, giving schools the freedom to innovate and compete. This is to say nothing of London’s universities; no city in the world has more top institutions. The competition between these institutions has created a hotbed for EdTech – especially as UK state schools have plenty of freedom to invest in – and experiment with – new technology.

For more information on EdTech, FinTech or how we can support your emerging technology in the UK, contact Goodwille today.