- POSTED: 30 Dec 2013 16:33
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Israel is very successful when it comes to start-ups - even more so, in creating mobile phone apps, which in today's iPhone and Android-obsessed society are very much in demand.
TEL AVIV: Israel is very successful when it comes to start-ups - even more so, in creating mobile phone apps, which in today's iPhone and Android-obsessed society are very much in demand.
Many Israeli-created apps are becoming household names and are routinely winning awards for their innovation and creativity.
Channel NewsAsia takes a look at some of these Israeli apps and why the country is getting the nickname, the 'app start-up nation'.
The days of map-reading and asking for directions are long gone.
Today, millions of people would not dream of switching on their car engines without clicking onto it.
It's the largest community-based traffic app on the globe, and it's revolutionising the world of navigation - one click at a time.
This year Israeli-made Waze was sold to Google for more than US$1 billion.
It showcases why a small country, that is home to just seven million people, has earned itself the reputation of "app start-up nation".
But Waze is not the only a home-grown mobile app making waves.
Viber, Onavo, Gettaxi and Tirecheck have all been created in Israel and downloaded by millions around the world.
Mr Avner Warner, Director of Economic Development Tel Aviv, said: "The mobile phone apps is obviously part of the greater industry, sort of the innovation that we have here in Israel. Israel has been a leader in technology for over three decades."
And most of that innovation comes from the army where new recruits are taught programming skills, teamwork and management.
Entrepreneurship is encouraged.
And after years of solving the nation's major security threats, the challenges of mobile apps are easy to master.
Mr Warner added: "A lot of the Israeli entrepreneurs bring a lot of know-how from their time in the military. This is when a lot of Israeli high-tech is based... one of Israel's primary strengths is big data "Scientists.IT"... sort of mathematical and a lot of those people come from the military."
The figures are staggering.
Tel Aviv has one start-up per 100 people, making it the densest start-up-per-capita city in the world.
But there are challenges.
The Israeli market is a small one - surrounded by unfriendly neighbours.
Mr Jonathan Laor, CEO of Applicaster, said: "We have limitations in manufacturing because our export to surrounding countries is very limited. Unfortunately, the political climate is not as such that we could collaborate as we would like to with our neighbours. Cyber prospects allow us to export to Singapore, to the United States, to Europe, with just a click of a button."
Tel Aviv is ranked as the number two world destination for start-ups - only marginally behind Silicon Valley in the United States.
The city is filled with entrepreneurs.
Like Mr Uri Haramati, he has created Yevvo, a mobile app that allows video to be broadcast from one mobile device to another for free.
Mr Haramati, VP Product and Partner of Yevvo, said: "Israel has an easy eco-system for all apps. If it is mobile apps or web, the community is very supportive of each other."
And it is this support that is helping Israeli app innovators push ahead, ensuring their creations continue to find their 'waze' into social media on every streets across the globe.