It took the Israelites 40 years in the desert to reach the Holy Land. Silicon Valley techies can now get there in 14 hours.
United Airlines 954, the first nonstop flight from San Francisco to Tel Aviv's Ben Gurion airport, takes off at 8 p.m. Pacific Wednesday. The initial return flight, United 955, leaves Tel Aviv early Friday morning.
Technology executives, venture capitalists and entrepreneurs have been anticipating this day for many years, and for obvious reasons. Outside the U.S., Tel Aviv is the world's most vibrant city for start-up activity, according to data from Compass.
Google, Facebook, Intel, Oracle and Cisco all have sizable operations in Israel, and three Israeli start-ups have been purchased by U.S. companies this year in hundred-million-dollar deals. Data from CB Insights shows that venture investors have poured about $1 billion in Israeli start-ups each of the past three years.