More than fifty Israeli start-ups will travel to Barcelona next week to present their products on the upcoming Mobile World Congress. Ok, it’s an impressing number yet not spectacular news. Though what surprised me is the way they cooperate at the conference. The companies have invested a total of 600,000 euros to build an Israeli lounge. Our WebTipr in Israel Yaniv Solnik emailed me why the start-ups are doing this: “They want to utilize the power of the togetherness in the Israeli mobile scene”.
The Israeli-get-together is organized by the Israel Mobile and Communications Association (IMA). On their site, they invite us all to show up at the lounge where ‘one of the world’s most innovative countries’ presents ‘the most creative companies’.
Sounds like the Israeli mobile scene is not afraid to invest in the image of their country. Smart move, especially since the image of the Israeli start-up culture is likely to get hurt by the rumors about Knocka‘s problems to find funding. Knocka is an Internet television network that was started by the legendary founders of ICQ, who hyped their product to extreme proportions. Last week an article about Knocka employees leaving the company was published on the Israeli news site The Marker. If Israel’s to-watch start-up of 2008 is really going into a quiet death, an image boost for the country wouldn’t hurt.
Aside from the remark that it probably compensates the bad publicity around Knocka, it still might be a good idea to promote your country’s start-up culture. Could European countries learn from this campaign? If you’re able to hype your homeland, investors and users are likely get a positive association with any start-up coming from your country. Just like start-ups from the Valley have some sort of instant credibility. Nationalism 2.0 might actually work.
[WebTipr: Yaniv Solnik, Israel]