Embracing the Local Power of Innovation

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Bruce Aust
Vice Chairman, NASDAQ

This post is part of a series produced by The Huffington Post in conjunction with the Israel Dealmakers Summit 2016, the premier Israel-focused business event of the year representing a meticulously curated gathering of global corporations, investors, dealmakers and technology entrepreneurs converging from around the world during this exclusive two-day event in Silicon Valley. You may learn more at www.IsraelDealmakers.com.

I had the opportunity to move back to San Francisco in late 2014 when I was appointed Vice Chairman of Nasdaq. It was a great homecoming since this was where I had started with the company more than 15 years ago.

The entrepreneurial spirit of the Bay Area and Silicon Valley region is palpable. Aspiring company founders visit or set up operations here to be closer to the innovation ecosystem – be it to attract engineering talent or engage with venture capitalists who can help to nurture a company from an idea to reality.

Silicon Valley has also played a vital role in the substantial progress of innovation and entrepreneurship within the global economic landscape.

When I travel abroad to visit companies in a country like Israel – known affectionately as the “Start-Up Nation” – many are at various stages in their life cycle and are often seeking strategic advice on where to best achieve growth. They have reached that pivotal moment in their company’s evolution and are considering a substantial capital-raising event via an initial public offering or a sale of their business. Undoubtedly, however, these companies are looking at options beyond their own borders.

More than 100 Israeli technology companies saw exits in 2015, totaling over $9 billion in combined proceeds as M&A activity rose to new highs, up 52 percent from the prior year. This follows a steady trend over the last two decades, as Israeli entrepreneurs seek foreign buyers, diminishing the value they provide to the local economy as jobs are shifted away from Israel.

So why are promising growth companies seeking capital outside their home market?

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