February 4, 2018
Start-Up Nation just got a new moniker: Start-Up Cities.
More than eighty municipal delegations from around the world will converge on Tel Aviv later this month for the Muni-Expo Urban Innovation conference – meant to highlight smart-city technologies.
It is a sign that foreign investors and mayors are increasingly clamoring for Israeli-developed technologies in urban waste, water and traffic management; from using smartphone app Waze for navigating traffic to relying on local cybersecurity tools.
“It’s exciting to see the amount of Israeli tech around smart cities,” said Eyal Feder-Levy, ZenCity CEO and co-founder, a start-up which helps aggregate and analyzes public feedback via artificial intelligence.
“It’s not a traditional Israeli market. We don’t have major cities here, no mega-metropolises. But I think this is becoming one of the most technological trends of the decade and Israel is fast becoming a leader in this. We’re leveraging our infrastructure and security technology,” he said.
The market for smart-city technologies could be worth more than $1.5 trillion by 2020, according to a study by business consulting firm Frost & Sullivan.
That could provide Israeli smart city start-ups with lucrative opportunities, such as installing sensors on streetlights – to turn them off when not in use – or collect garbage based on when the bin gets full.
“We save more than NIS 2 million a year on the new system with collecting garbage,” said Haim Bibas, mayor of Modi’in and the Federation of Local Authorities in Israel chairman.