gap year in israel

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Israel is now well known as the ‘Start-up Nation’ and if you are hoping to explore this aspect of the county during your gap year you will most likely be thinking of spending it in Tel Aviv. This is certainly a good idea and there are a huge number of companies in the city, however, Israel is home to a number of high-tech neighbourhoods and you should try to visit a few of them.

The city of Haifa is home to the Technion University, one of the top engineering universities in the world, so it is no surprise that there are also a few high-tech hubs. For example the Technion’s Bronica Entrepreneurship Center is an accelerated program that aims to help students develop their start-up ideas. There is also the Matam neighbourhood which is the oldest and largest high-tech park in Israel. There you will find a number of leading companies such as Microsoft, Intel and Google.

Slightly south of Haifa is Yokneam Illit, a small city which has attracted a huge number of high-tech companies. For instance, Intel has an R&D centre there and it is hope to around 20 start-ups and incubators. Yokneam is part of the Silicon Wadi or the ‘Start-up Village’ due to its fast growing high-tech park and village like appearance.

To the north of Tel Aviv is Herzliya which is divided into Herzliya City and Herzliya Pituach. As well as being home to a number of large houses, beaches and coffee shops, Herzliya Pituach is also a thriving hub for high-tech companies. There are more than 60 start-ups, a WeWork space and a number of large companies established there, such as the newest and second biggest Apple R&D centre. The city is also home to the IDC College which has an Entrepreneurship Club where you can join a start-up accelerator called Zellerator.

In the south of Israel, just outside of Be’er Sheva is the Gav Yam Negev Advanced Technologies Park where more than 35 high-tech firms have established themselves. There is also a WeWork space in the park and more companies are moving there thanks to its relatively low cost. Furthermore, with the Ben Gurion University just down the road the park is ideally situated for students looking for work.
Of course in Tel Aviv you will find a huge number of technology firms around the city. There are around 150 start-ups in Tel Aviv in the north, south and centre of the city. The Azrieli Centre is one of the city’s business centres and there are hundreds of companies located inside it including 50 start-ups. A few minutes’ walk away is the Sarona Market neighbourhood. The neighbourhood is placed in the old Templar German colony which was developed in the 1920s and surrounding it are a number of big companies and smaller start-ups.

In short, Israel is known as the ‘Start-up Nation’ as there really are start-ups the length and breadth of the county and anyone interested in the high-tech industry is sure to find plenty to keep them occupied.