• Sun. Jul 3rd, 2022
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MIFF has previously provided input from Innovation Center Denmark, Tel Aviv. Read HERE: Danish innovation center in Tel Aviv: – Danish companies could learn something from Israel.

Read more about the Danish center HERE.

On January 27, Lasse Vinther-Grønning, Adm. Director, Innovation Center Denmark, Tel Aviv below in the newspaper Altinget:

By Lasse Vinther-Grønning,
Adm. Director, Innovation Center Denmark, Tel Aviv

Global crises, as the world is now, are a challenge for all companies and especially startups. Uncertainty and disruption make it harder to keep sales stable, harder to attract investment and harder to maintain the momentum of innovation. It increases the risk of failure, not least for start-ups.

Although it almost violates the laws of nature we usually abide by, Israeli tech companies managed to attract $ 16 billion in foreign investment in the first place alone. half of 2020 (the statement for the second half of the year is long overdue).

Foreign investment continued at a time when the global corona crisis was growing stronger by the day – in fact, it was growing rapidly. By comparison, Israeli companies attracted $ 19 billion throughout 2019.

What is the Israeli startup miracle cure? If we take a look back a few decades, we see that the Israeli startup environment is growing and expanding, whether it is the dotcom crash in 2000, the financial crisis in 2008, the oil crisis in 2014 or more local crises like the other Gaza war in 2014.

A popular explanation is that Israeli entrepreneurs learn to deal with crises and operate under very high stress during their military service, which is three years for men and two years for women.
< From the Danish Innovation Center, we can see that the key to resisting crises is something more complex than that. But the formula can be summed up quite simply: It is about good business development.

At the Innovation Center, we have launched a study of what the Israelis actually do.

We can see that the success is based, among other things, on , that Israeli startups consistently have a clear international perspective and ambitions for internationalization, an extremely expansionist commercial mindset from day one.

And then there is typically great creativity in terms of daring to rethink its company’s innovation when the crisis reports

We can also see a number of other elements recurring in the way Israeli startups deal with the challenges of the crisis:

– Let’s start with the completely banal. Having a solid product is essential. The core of your business must be a product that is relevant despite the times: crisis or not. It requires a global product that users love and will not give up.

– If the crisis hits, focus on the customer’s new needs through data collection. In fact, building relationships with customers in times of crisis is especially important, as this is where you can build customer trust and show the value of your product or service. It requires accurate data collection to understand the customer’s changing needs and behaviors during the crisis, thereby adapting its startup to the new global conditions. It requires an understanding of the different effects of the global crisis locally and how the effects affect customers differently from market to market.

– A flexible mindset plays a big role for startups’ resilience to crises. Compared to more experienced companies, new entrepreneurs often have the advantage that they have a freer framework for thinking out of the box and quickly developing new solutions based on urgent needs spun by the crisis.
Therefore, do not lock yourself in but always see your service or product as a step on a path that can lead to many unforeseen places and allow you to change priorities based on demand.

– Flexible pricing in times of crisis facilitates the customer’s decision to try, keep or leave the product.

– Keep costs down and go for the big investments right now. In times of crisis, cost savings are important as the funds saved increase the likelihood of riding the storm off

But you have to save in the right places. Cut only in the fat – not in the muscle. This means that development activities must be maintained, in fact intensified. It often requires investment. Having adapted its costs to the challenges of the crisis, one must therefore go for the large investments. The crisis must be used as a starting point for biting after large international investments. There will never be a better time.

– Never waste when it comes to networking, neither when it comes to potential global strategic partners like multinationals, governments, universities and the like, nor when it comes to competitors. The crisis could be an opportunity to find a mode for new collaboration and a new division of roles in the market.

All in all, the above elements are a mindset that Danish startups and companies can learn from to great advantage.

From the Innovation Center’s side, we have therefore started a new project that will equip Danish entrepreneurs to be able to withstand crises by inspiring them to dare to think and act more “Israeli”. Together with Industriens Fond, ICDK in Tel Aviv has launched a new project to bring Israeli survival methods into Danish startups and the Danish startup environment.

We have developed a “survival toolbox” with best practice startup methods that give start-ups better competencies to withstand global crises. You can read more about the project and the methods here.

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