Mr. Giora Yaron the Chairman and Founder of Itamar welcomed us to the company office. He had Engineering and management background with a PhD in Physics (Flash Memory). Mr. Yaron talked about the possible reasons for Israeli going hi-tech and sighted Israeli military as a primary reason. The companies which develop technologies for the Israeli military also look for ways to commercialize it. Thus he got the idea of the non-invasive “Pill cam”.
Mr. Yaron also pointed out to the importance of academic infrastructure as a launch pad for Israel hi-tech industry. He noted with satisfaction that the Government support through Yissum was important and massive. He also complemented the government in Israel for jump starting the Venture Capital (VC) industry. Government matched every dollar to dollar of VC investment with its own money.
There was one important deficiency in the Israeli and that was of management due to the commanding style of management gained by most of the Israelis from their military careers. This gap or deficiency was filled by the multinationals. Most of the Israeli companies are registered in Delaware because of similarities of law.
According to him, Israel main industry focus had changed several times over the years. In the 1980s, the main industry changed from Communications to Data Center. In the 1990s, the main industry was Internet Applications industry and 2000s the Software Industry. Some of the important outcomes were companies like Check Point and Galileo.
Finally, Mr. Yaron talked about the rise of Chindia (China & India) which provide low-cost highly educated work force. This brought a lot of competition to the Israeli companies but the high-end focus has helped Israel stay afloat and in some cases on top.