Yokneam Illit , also Yoqne'am Illit and Jokneam Illit is a city with over 100 high-tech companies and exports of approximately 5 billion US dollars annually. It is located in a hilly region of the lower Galilee at the base of the Carmel Mountains and overlooks the Jezreel Valley, from Haifa and from Tel Aviv. Yokneam is known as Israel's " Startup Village" because its high-tech hub is surrounded by forest and small communities.
Yokneam Illit was founded in 1950 and became a local authority in 1967, and a city in 2007. The city is located alongside the country’s major highways – Highway 70 and Highway 6 – with fast, convenient access to central Israel, the north and south. According to the Israel Central Bureau of Statistics, Yokneam Illit had a population of 19,524 residents at the end of 2011.
Starting in 1989 when a new mayor, Simon Alfassi, was elected, the economic structure of Yokneam Illit changed from a centralized dependence on two large factories, to a dispersed base of many small high-tech companies. As the number and size of the companies grew, Yokneam and the small communities around it began to attract young entrepreneurs and developers who were looking for a less urban alternative to the Tel-Aviv area.
The policy of the municipality is to build low density, spacious homes to preserve the landscape and views from every home. Although real estate prices are low relative to the Tel-Aviv area, its high rate of growth in recent years has pushed prices up faster than in similar sized cities.
Recently Yokneam has become part of start up nation, the high tech entrepreneurial part of the Israeli economy. Yokneam's proximity to the Technion and University of Haifa, combined with its location just off Highway 6 have helped it become a high tech center with annual exports of approximately 5 billion US dollars. Yokneam currently has the highest concentration of medical research companies in Israel.