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Visa Business Plans

Israel: The Startup Nation

Last week, for the third time, we watched Holy Land: Startup Nations, a fascinating documentary on Israel. We all have a lot to learn from a country that, being just 70-years old, is second only to Silicon Valley in terms of start-ups and Venture Capital investment.

The documentary provides a ton of interesting insights. Below is a list of some of the things that resonated with us:

  1. Shimon Peres, prime minister and president of Israel, used to call Israel “the dissatisfaction nation.” For Israelis, the world does not have to be accepted as is.
  2. Attitude towards failure. If you can’t fail, you can’t succeed.
  3. Chutzpah. Although this word has no proper English equivalent, it can be described as supreme self-confidence, nerve, or gall.” But Chutzpah is much more than that. Israelis can be brutally honest. Sometimes, they can come off as brash. This is Chutzpah – and it’s not a bad thing.
  4. Challenge the status quo. Do things differently, do things in a new way. Israelis openly question authority and value debate, which can be vigorous.
  5. Making money is not enough: there’s a shared vision of making society better.
  6. Innovation has been a necessity. For example, the drip irrigation system, which is used worldwide and has made poor communities sustainable, was invented in Israel, where 60% of the land is desert, and the rest is arid.
  7. Lack of hierarchy. The country has learned several key lessons from its defense forces, including the benefits of modifying the typical authoritarian chain of command found in other militaries around the world. This structure change has trickled down to start-ups, where Israelis learn to work in collaborative environments, where they have to control their egos so they can achieve things as a group. A system closer to a meritocracy allows workers to tell their boss that he/she is wrong.

Last year, the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv announced that the United States and Israel had signed a long-awaited treaty agreement allowing Israeli nationals to apply for an E-2 visa. We are excited to see the contributions that Israelis will bring to the United States in areas that include artificial intelligence, biopharma companies, cybersecurity, among many others.

Visa Business Plans is led by Marco Scanu, a certified coach from the University of Miami with a globally-based practice coaching Fortune 1000 company executives, entrepreneurs, as well as professionals in 4 different continents. Mr. Scanu advises clients on turnaround strategies and crisis management.

Mr. Scanu received a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration (Cum Laude) from the University of Florida and an MBA in Management from Bocconi University in Milan, Italy. Mr. Scanu was also a Visiting Scholar at Michigan State University under the prestigious H. Humphrey Fellowship (Fulbright program) with a focus on Entrepreneurship, Venture Capital and high-growth enterprises.

At present, Mr. Scanu is the managing partner and CEO at Visa Business Plans, a Miami-based boutique consulting firm providing attorneys and individuals with business planning services in the areas of immigration and SBA loans.