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Israeli Data Startups Driving New York Ecosystem

by Touchpoint Israel
Israeli Data Startups Driving NY Ecosystem

Amir Orad is a big-data technology thought leader and go-to guy for reporters from Forbes, Business Week, Washington Post, and USA Today seeking perspectives on how companies are meeting the demand for data analysis.

It is well known that New York City is securing its position as a data-driven powerhouse, but less well known that Israeli startups in the Big Apple, like Orad’s Sisense, are leading the development of this ecosystem, according to ICONYC Labs cofounder and partner Eyal Bino.

“I see more Israeli companies than their relative share in these areas,” Orad stated. “All of the Israeli companies in data have one thing in common: they took very advanced technologies, lots of data analytics, into focused sites to help businesses, doctors, banks…this and that. The Israelis are really good at taking hardcore science and a pragmatic approach to getting results quickly.”

“The entire ecosystem of data is strong in the Israeli tech scene,” says Pini Yakuel, founder and CEO of Optimove, founded in 2009 and now helping more than 250 brands grow through their existing customers with predictive technologies. “But Israel is a small country. So, in order to build a business and expand, you need to go outside and the US is known as the biggest IT market on the planet.”

Yakuel, 39, moved his family from Israel to the US last year as his Tel Aviv-based company opened a New York City office. “New York is a good place for an Israeli tech startup,” he says. “There is a good feeling here about Israeli tech. I don’t think there was a specific plan that Israeli companies said ‘Let’s design the data ecosystem of New York.’ But rather it just happens because there are a lot of data companies in Israel, a lot of them come to New York.”

Find the Needle in the Haystack

The ability to interpret big data and find the needle in the haystack of information to help in decision-making is crucial. Orad says the military’s elite intelligence unit, 8200, and others, produce a lot of graduates good at mining data for valuable nuggets. “Data is a natural resource. Data by itself is like bricks. It’s all about what you do with it.”

Other examples of Israeli companies disrupting the data-analytics and big-data sphere in New York are Taykey, a real-time audience data company; NICE Actimize, using data for financial-crime prevention; Signals Group data analytics for product development; Zebra Medical Vision deep-learning platform for medical imaging; Via analytics to solve transportation problems; and Taboola and Outbrain content-discovery platforms.

“In the world of decision-making, our technology challenges the traditional consulting approach,” says Gil Sadeh, CEO and founder of Signals Group, about his company’s platform based on military intelligence methods to analyze external data, connect faint signals, and provide valuable insights for new product development.

From cybersecurity to advertising, health to education, fintech and beyond, Orad predicts Israeli companies in New York will continue making a mark in the data-analytics arena. “New York-based Israeli companies that use analytics on big data have substantially changed the market,” he says. “There’s no arena that won’t be affected. All companies will use analytics or die.”

Originally posted at Israel21c.

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