Since my last post quite a bit has happened… I made aliya (immigrated to Israel), Operation Protective Edge in Gaza ended, and lots of great things happened in the Israeli business world, meaning I have a lot of things to write about. I arrived in Israel and became a citizen on August 27th, and since then have been navigating between many different government offices filling out paper work and quickly learning that government bureaucracy exists (and thrives) in Israel much like it does in most any other democratic country. Despite this, I am having an amazing time as an Israeli citizen and I already received my Israeli identity card, found an apartment in Givat Shmuel, and started working as a manager at a data analytics company in Tel Aviv called CoolaData. If you would like to read more about why I made aliya check out a post that I wrote for the Taglit-Birthright Excel newsletter here. (If you do not know what the Excel program is (it is very different from regular Birthright), make sure to check it out here and if you are in university and interested in Israeli startups make sure to apply for an amazing 2 month summer internship program in Israel).
News & Events
- A recent survey by 24/7 Wall Street using data from a new OECD report ranked Israel as the 4th most educated nation in the world, behind Russia, Canada, and Japan, with over 52% of the population having completed a college degree. Additionally a ranking by QS World University Rankings placed four Israeli university among the top 300 globally. Read more about the OECD report on i24News
- Last week Tel Aviv hosted the DLD startup conference. Speakers and attendees
came from all over the world see Israeli startups, and hear presentations from top executives from companies like Amazon, Microsoft, and Google. The conference even took over Rothschild Boulevard one night to showcase some startups.
- Popular Science magazine posted an article titled “Why Are Israeli startups Leading The Tech World?” that goes through some of the reason why Israel is one of the top countries for tech startups in the world. Read the article on Popular Science
- The Chicago Tribune also put out a report on how Chicago is looking for some inspiration from the Israeli tech world. See the report here
- Lockheed Martin to open subsidiary in Israel as part of Beersheva’s new tech campus. See the whole report in the Wall Street Journal
- Cinnabon has come to Israel!!! Yet another American brand has made its way to Israel, and not only do the cinnamon buns taste amazing, but they are kosher too!
Funding, Exits & IPOs
- Event planning planning platform HoneyBook raises $10 million in series A led by Aleph VC. Both companies are Israeli – Venturebeat
- Siemens to invest in Israeli “Predictive Malware” company CyActive – Wall Street Journal
- IntercontinentalExchange acquires SuperDerivatives for $350 million – Forbes
- EatWith raises $8 million Greylock Invests – TechCrunch
- Foamix plans for $65 million IPO on the NASDAQ – Israel21c
- Future looks bright for ReWalk after a successful IPO – Forbes
Only in Israel… (a few experiences that I had that I feel could only have happened in Israel)
- I asked a well known and successful venture capitalist if I could meet him at his office in Tel Aviv to ask him a few questions about what he does. Instead of saying yes, he invited to his home for Shabbat dinner with him and his family.
- I attended a pitch event with a bunch of great startups and organizations only to find that three friends from three different startups were all presenting right next to each other.
- I received a call from someone who lives down the street from me in Givat Shmuel who said that they did not know me, but they got my number from their neighbor who is friends with my old neighbor in Atlanta’s sister who lives one city over from me to invite me for a meal and offer to help me however he can. (Basically, a complete stranger called me to invite me over for a meal and to offer any help they can)
- I saw an article in Forbes magazine about an Israeli startup called Argus Cyber Security that is securing cars from cyber attacks, and realized that it is my friend, Tom Bar Av’s company. Read more about Tom and Argus here, and see the Forbes article here.
If you come across any interesting news or have anything that you would like me to include in my next post please let me know. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org, or find me on Twitter @VenturingCap