We’re celebrating Hanukkah in Israel right now, a time for latke eating, dreidel spinning and candle lighting festivities. There is a lot to celebrate (and be thankful for — Thanksgivukkah FTW!) in startup land this year.

IsraelHighTechLast year OurCrowd took the opportunity to highlighted some of the tech trends seen in the Startup Nation in a series of blog posts 8 Israeli Tech Trends for 8 Crazy Nights. Since 2013 turned out to be such a successful year, we thought it would be a good time to look back at last years trends and see how far they’ve come and what we have to look forward to in the future.

So, Happy Hanukkah and enjoy!

8 Israeli tech trends for 8 crazy nights

Trend 1: Social Driving

Interestingly, many of the most popular driving apps have been developed in Israel. The solutions tend to cluster around overlaying social with driving data to aid navigation and parking. Check out the trend here.

Trend 2: The Quantified Self

This trend reflects how the tie-in between hardware and the smartphone is getting tighter and tighter. People are getting more comfortable logging their day’s activities, examining them, and in certain cases (like dieting and exercise), sharing them with others. By correctly logging our lives, we can begin to hack our behaviors.

Trend 3: Security, physical and virtual

When it comes to national security, the Internet is perceived as both a weapon and a threat. Due to its own experience, Israel has become a leader in security- both physical and digital – and is uniquely positioned for cyber challenges. For this reason big tech firms keep looking to Israel for their next acquisition. Check out the trend here.

Trend 4: Water

This trend reflects Israel’s strengthening reputation as a cutting-edge leader in water solutions. Water is a big issue in Israel and will continue to require innovative solutions. Israel is really strong at developing technologies that solve a home-grown problem. This technology, in turn, gets exported to the rest of the world.

Trend 5: NFC

There is a technology standard called Near Field Communication (NFC) that quickly allows for two-way communication between endpoints by bringing them in close contact to one another. NFC is becoming standard in handsets now and looks poised to change the way we communicate with each other, engage branded content, and transact. Check out the NFC trend here.

Trend 6: Small Business Automation

Small businesses have small marketing budgets, so they can’t afford full-service agency marketing support. This trend surveys various software solutions that automate the marketing process — from design to implementation — so businesses can scale greater and faster than ever before.

Trend 7: Social Video

The internet has made us into creators, and has let the world express themselves in ways that people could never even dream about years ago. This trend reviewed solutions that enabled users to easily create, publish, and share video content through social media and the internet as a whole.

Trend 8: Payments

This trend reflects how payments are moving away from traditional point-of-purchase and onto mobile devices, into the cloud, and within software. The technology and transactional ecosystem have to migrate from hardware to software (or at least a mix of the two).

Hanukkah 2013: Year in review

2013 has turned out to be an amazing year for the Startup Nation with several huge acquisitions and record-breaking funding raised for Israeli startups. Of last year’s trends, the ones of particular note are social driving apps and cyber-security startups.

The social driving trend saw a lot of high-profile attention this year, the most prominent example being Waze courted by giant tech companies such as Facebook and Google, eventually getting acquired by the latter for almost $1B. With social solutions to the driving problem, people are becoming more and more accustomed to sharing their location information. We’re seeing and hearing a lot about Israeli apps, startups and alternative vehicles revolutionizing the way we travel.

Internet security has experienced a similar surge in popularity. The Israeli startup scene has seen a lot of activity in the security field lately (i.e. IBM’s recent acquisition of security startup Trusteer, Cisco opening a tech incubator for cyberdefense startups, etc). Tech giants love acquiring Israeli startups, and that will be the case for years to come, especially in the security sector. The government, VC’s and angel investors are now more than ever investing in and promoting the cyber security market in Israel.

But, why are investors excited about cyber security startups? Ron Moritz, one of OurCrowd’s mentors, gave a keynote address at OWASP Israel at the IDC (400+ attendees) about investing in startup cyber security companies, addressing the recent surge in the market’s popularity among investors and highlights which products and services for the cyber security market are hot right now. View his presentation here.

 Happy Thanksgivukkah!