Abigail Klein Leichman
May 21, 2020

Ahead of Jerusalem Day, celebrated this year on May 22, Start-Up Nation Central released the newest data on Jerusalem’s technology ecosystem landscape — and the picture is rosy.

Start-Up Nation Central’s Finder innovation tracking platform shows 405 active companies in the capital city, up 102 percent since 2012.

In 2019 alone, $233.5 million was invested in Jerusalem-based companies and startups, a 21% increase from the year prior.

The city’s tech companies have had 22 exits and total investments worth $1.6 billion. In 2019, Jerusalem-based Lightricks became Israel’s latest “unicorn” with a $1 billion valuation.

Life sciences (130 companies) and artificial intelligence (80) are the two most prominent sectors in Jerusalem. In 2019, over 60% of known investments in the city were in companies developing products or technologies using AI and machine learning.

“There are several factors that help prosper a culture of innovation and success in Jerusalem. First, is the city’s diverse population – secular and religious, Jews and non-Jews, men and women, Israeli-born and new immigrants,” commented the report’s authors, which include the Jerusalem Development Authority, the Ministry for Jerusalem and the Jerusalem Institute for Policy Research.

The second factor is academic institutions including the Hebrew University, Bezalel Academy for Arts and Design, Hadassah College, Azrieli College of Engineering and Jerusalem College of Technology.

The third factor is “the coalition of government, NGOs and academic players committed to supporting and strengthening Jerusalem’s tech sector … such as innovation hubs, entrepreneurship programs and accelerators.”

On the eve of the holiday marking 53 years since the city’s reunification, the Jerusalem Institute for Policy Research released statistics for 2019.

The report highlights that Jerusalem is both the largest Jewish city in Israel with approximately 569,900 Jewish residents, and the largest Arab city in Israel with 349,600 Arab residents.

Jerusalem is the second-biggest financial center in Israel, with 349,000 employees (9% of all employees in Israel), compared to 425,000 in Tel Aviv (11%). Jerusalem has the highest business survival rate in Israel: 57% of high-tech companies founded in 2013 survived five years, as opposed to 48% in Tel Aviv.

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