Thursday, June 5, 2014

Tel-Aviv Techstars Ambassadors

Last December I've received an email from Ari about the call for Techstars Ambassadors in various cities around the US, in a spur of a moment I used what us, Israelis, are famous of, Chutzpah, and pinged Ari about adding Tel Aviv to the list of cities.
Ari was amazing and within 15 minutes the Tel-Aviv branch was founded. 

First of all, why Tel-Aviv, aka Israel?

  • Tel-Aviv is ranked 2nd after the Silicon Valley by Startup Genome.
  • Israel is ranked #2 in the world for venture capital funds right behind the US.
  • Outside the United States and Canada, Israel has the largest number of  NASDAQ listed companies.
  • Israel has the third highest rate of entrepreneurship - and the highest rate among women and among people over 55 - in the world.
  • With more than 3,000 high-tech companies and start-ups, Israel has the highest concentration of hi-tech companies in the world (apart from the Silicon Valley).
With all these amazing things going on in Israel only 3 Israeli companies attended Techstars, ever, this is about to change.

We have formed an amazing team of alumni and mentors on January and started to work.
Doing all for the first time we approached it like a startup, lean and knowing that we will pivot on the way.
We have started interviewing companies we thought would fit Techstars in order to help them apply to the program. We coached the companies on how to write the application and how to follow up on it.

For each Techstars class we have kindly requested the managing directors to give us a few minutes of their precious time to allow us to introduce a few companies.
We have set up a video conference with the MD where we gave each company an opportunity to pitch their idea for ten minutes and to have a Q and A session with the MD for a few minutes afterwards.
This format worked extremely well, we received great insight from the MD allowing the companies to apply better and for a few companies the MD had more calls with the companies themselves.

We are proud to say that our efforts have been successful, yRuler has started the Chicago program a week ago and we are having a few other companies moving along with other programs as well.

We wish to thank Ari for the opportunity and support and we promise to keep the applications coming.

Thank you,
Elon, Zeevi, Vova and Yishai
Tel-Aviv Techstars Ambassadors

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Starting up

Years ago I have decided to live my life differently.

I have decided that my family comes first.
Before stepping out of my comfort zone, way out, I wanted to ensure that I'll have everything covered.
So I've done all the necessary steps, BA, work, wife, kids, MBA, more kids, cats, dogs, house, and when every thing was in place I started to get wild.

I have opened my first start-up 3 years ago.
I wanted to create a system to help diagnose in early stage developmental fallbacks in kids by comparing their reactions to developmental games in comparison to other kids in their age group.
I had a great professional team, but as startups do things don't fall exactly into place, bummer.

Five kids consume a lot of food, and almost every night they bring friends over, hungry friends.
I have found out I spend a lot of time and money in Supermarkets, I even got to know the cashiers by first name.
It struck me that I have no idea if I am buying in the cheapest place.
I have asked my neighbors and every one had a different answer, I've got confused.
I wanted to have a way to compare how much my personal basket will cost somewhere else.
I realized then that the prices of some items change very fast, making my comparison even harder.
I wanted to find a way that we could all help each other save money.

Then came Saverr, well it was named wiseshop first but the idea was the same.
When you step out of the supermarket simply snap a picture of your receipt.
Saverr will parse it, learn what you like to buy, and store each item price helping others compare their personal lists.

We have started to work on the business plan and met Jeff Pulver.
Jeff gave us the gift of believing in us, thanks Jeff, and he has decided to invest in our company along with Micro Angels fund and the inspiring Itzik Levy.

We have started to work on our product on January, and we had it launched around May.

Great things have happened since then, stay tuned...