Israelis call the sprawl of high-tech industries spreading out from the centre of Tel Aviv "Silicon Wadi" -- and depending who you talk to, this could be the second-largest startup centre outside California. Since 1993, young people coming out of military high-tech units with business ideas found support from the Yozma programme, a government-sponsored fund of funds. There's also a steady influx of educated immigrants, especially from eastern Europe.
Gvahim Entrepreneurs recently launched The Hive to partner new arrivals with Israeli mentors. Saul Klein, until recently a Tel Aviv-based investor working for Index Ventures, tips Rothschild Boulevard -- home to the likes of face.com and Soluto -- as the place to watch. "People speculate that there's a bubble and it'll burst," says Nimrod Lehavi, organiser of the city's annual GeekCon. "But each year it keeps growing."