The Secret to Israel's Startup Success 'Silicon Wadi,' the high-tech startup mecca in Israel offers valuable lessons about what it takes to start and run your own business. Here are three key takeaways.

By Avishai Abrahami

entrepreneur daily

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Countless regions in the world have tried to mimic Silicon Valley's unparalleled tech prowess with varying degrees of success. With more startups per capita than any other country in the world, Israel's "Silicon Wadi" seems to have cracked the code.

The Israeli startup recipe has been well-documented: concentrated tech clusters, a global outlook from the get-go, useful skills gained in mandatory military service, a healthy dose of "chutzpah" and, voila, a tech hub is born.

But there's an oft-missed component that may be even more important to the sustained success of Silicon Wadi. The secret ingredient of the Israeli startup world is "paying it forward."

When my company, Wix, was still in its early stages, it never ceased to amaze me just how helpful colleagues from other Israeli ventures were. Whether offering key introductions, or timely advice, not only were these experienced tech masters willing to make the time, it was always done with a sense of commitment, not just obligation. Whenever I asked why, the answer was invariably the same: "We were helped when we were starting out. Now it's our turn."

Here are three ways that you can help build a thriving community of likeminded entrepreneurs -- a move which will certainly pay you back in spades:

1. Give (and take) advice early and often.
Tips from experienced tech entrepreneurs are priceless. Be generous with offering key introductions or timely advice yourself. Make the time to guide others and do it with a sense of commitment, not obligation.

We get daily visits at our Wix.com offices in which brainstorming and sage advice from entrepreneurs at many startups is passed around over cups of coffee. The time we spend may not always provide a eureka moment, but lessons from the stories of success and failure of other entrepreneurs can serve as a critical resource.

What's more, our years in business have given us a wealth of contacts, which helps us play tech matchmaker.

Related: The 5 Rules for Silicon Valley Success That Can Work Anywhere

2. Do. Not. Poach.
Even with all the talented developers, marketers and engineers out there, there never seems to be enough. So when a startup needs to fill a key role, it's only natural they look at a local rival as a talent base ripe for the picking. But poaching employees is a dangerous strategy that will only lead to animosity and resentment -- the opposite of the camaraderie necessary for developing a thriving tech community.

As I said, the larger number of great companies in your hub, the more likely talented individuals will gravitate there. This doesn't mean you can't hire people who worked for a local company, it just means you shouldn't actively lure them away -- unless they are a major multinational -- in which case, go to town. Sorry Microsoft.

3. Think of your competitors as colleagues.
A tech community operates in a tight sphere, and you're likely to cross paths with fellow entrepreneurs over and over again, so keep that in mind when dealing with other players in your field.

Think of competing entrepreneurs as colleagues, and don't be afraid to publicly sing their praises when deserved. Be respectful of the achievements of others who may be in a position to reciprocate in the future.

Related: LinkedIn's Reid Hoffman: Success Tips from Silicon Valley

4. Get them while they're young.
A successful startup ecosystem is based on creating a supportive community whose members are proud to be involved and are excited about helping others get involved too. It's about creating role models so that high school graduates realize it's cool to major in computer science or engineering.

Speak at local schools and universities about the unrivaled life of what we call in Hebrew, the "Startupist." Making the tech community the place to grow professionally will ensure that you develop a talent pipeline necessary to maintain a powerful tech sphere.

We've seen a rise in successful startups generate a rise in worldwide interest, bringing in critical corporate partnerships as well as an upsurge in media attention for the entire Israeli startup community. This in turn has led to a larger pool of talented people vying for jobs in the high-tech sector.

In short, by respecting and helping each other, we've been helping ourselves. Pay it forward. It always pays back.

Related: 4 Ways to Turn Your Employees Into an All-Star Team


Avishai Abrahami

Co-founder and CEO of Wix

Avishai Abrahami is a serial entrepreneur, co-founder and CEO of Wix, a do-it-yourself web publishing platform based in Tel Aviv, Israel.

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

Editor's Pick

Related Topics

Productivity

6 Habits That Help Successful People Maximize Their Time

There aren't enough hours in the day, but these tips will make them feel slightly more productive.

Resumes & Interviewing

Get Lifetime Access to This AI-Powered Job Application Tool for $60 This Week Only

Let LazyApply do the heavy lifting when it comes to filling out countless job applications.

Franchise

How to Work Less But Bring in More Money — The Value of Blitzscaling Your Business

Contrary to what many might believe, opening multiple units of a franchise business does not result in exponentially more work. By compounding and Blitzscaling, franchise owners actually work less as they open more locations.

Starting a Business

5 Vital Influencer Marketing Metrics You Should Know

By tracking these five metrics, you can identify influencers delivering positive ROI and continually refine your approach for improved results.

Growing a Business

6 Time-Saving Features on Hiring Platforms

Hiring managers and recruiters are constantly seeking ways to streamline their processes and save valuable time. Fortunately, modern hiring platforms come equipped with a range of innovative features designed to simplify the recruitment journey.

Business Ideas

55 Small Business Ideas to Start in 2024

We put together a list of the best, most profitable small business ideas for entrepreneurs to pursue in 2024.