Tuesday, September 29, 2015
|Ramat Gan, just east of Tel Aviv is chasing FinTech firms with new attractive construction @ DAVider 2015|
Monday, September 7, 2015
|FinTech start-up exits the last four years. Israeli entrepreneurs & investors are looking for a faster / bigger trend (statistica)|
Tuesday, July 16, 2013
Saturday, July 6, 2013
Saturday, October 30, 2010
|New Motorola building in the Airport City industrial complex. The new shopping complex which opened a year ago is bringing new life to this large office and warehouse complex. / © 2010|
Israel's economy is going through a tectonic shift. Small start-ups and small venture capital firms are disappearing. Big start-ups (US$ 10 million) and big venture firms are holding on. Darwinian survival of the fittest is hitting hard the Israeli start-up world, the lucky few survive, but many are dead or dying. In a recent article picking the top ten start-ups The Globes newspaper picked the year's most promising candidates. This is their sixth year of picking the top 10 start-ups and their past record is pretty good. The shift from many small start-ups to few big ones is driven by outside factors. Mostly the collapse of the American venture capital industry which brought a sharp drop in technology investments. As the old saying goes: "when the American venture capital industry catches a cold, Israeli start-ups catches pneumonia". Most of Israel's smaller venture capital firms have closed in the last four years. Investments in small start-ups has dropped to a trickle.
The Globes 2010 ten most promising start-ups*:
|2||Prime Sense||Inon Beracha||29.4|
|6||Solar Edge||Guy Sela||60|
|7||Broad Light||Raanan Gewirtzman||30|
|8||Work Light||Shahar Kaminitz||17|
|9||Life Bond||Ishay Attar||9.5|
|10||Aero Scout||Yuval Bar-Gil||70|
Wednesday, September 15, 2010
|If we can't make chips and iPod accessories, let's go to the beach! Tel Aviv beach with lots of skin and looks. End of summer 2010 / © 2010|
In a recent article [here] Ha'aretz reports on failure of Israeli and American venture capital funds to keep the Israeli innovation engine going. To many this is shocking news. To the ones here "on the streets of Tel Aviv" or more accurately in and out of start-ups, this is not news. For a few years now, Israeli venture funds have stopped making investment in new start-ups. To some this is not such a bad turn of events. The attitude towards traditional venture capital has changed dramatically the last few years. From the 1980s to about 2005 American and Israel VC funds have been the most respected and adored organizations in business. But something happened from 2002 to 2007. From the investment perspective, VC funds suddenly "lost their magic dust". Suddenly, instead of making a great deal of money, they lost money. And LOTS OF IT! In a few meetings with small start-ups, most seem to think that Israeli venture funds are looking for safer, which means more mature start-ups. Today, it is harder to get funding for a company with a rough prototype and a good fresh team. Also, it seems like venture funds are avoiding the really new technologies until they are proven. So they miss the front edge of the technology cycle. This accounts for the very few WEB2.0, cloud computing, mobile devices (iPod/iPhone accessories) and display (LED, OLED) start-ups in Israel. The Israeli government, through innovation incubators and the office of the chief scientist have tried to get early stage start-ups going. They have programs for seed investment with almost no strings attached. As long as you have a good idea that you can get into a prototype form they will get you started.Read More...
Thursday, March 18, 2010
While the venture capitalists in Israel have been concentrating on the big deals, investment in the range of US$10 million, entrepreneurs have been busy away from the spotlights. In Israel venture capital investment has gone down to pre-2005 levels. The consequence is very few large venture capital backed start-ups. There was a talk of this lucrative sector in the Israeli economy turning into different type of financing models. In Israel where high-tech start-ups is a big economic factor many are having a hard time dealing with the drop in companies and jobs. But contrary to predictions from two years ago, this does not mean people stoped innovating. Technologists have been developing new ideas some even building products. Some small teams have started marketing their products.
Yesterday, at the Technion (Israel Institute of Technology, equivalent to USA's MIT) about 250 start-up workers and managers gathered to discuss the state of affairs. It seemed to me that most of the attendees were from northern Israel. Haifa is situated in the southern edge of Israel's gallil. Some of Israel's known start-ups are situated in northern Israel. But central Israel (the Dan region) is better known for start-ups, venture capital and entrepreneur services. Nevertheless, the meeting was well attended and a lecture hall in the engineering building was filled to capacity.Read More...
Friday, March 12, 2010
If you are a follower of Israeli start-up scene you probably heard the story of Ghost. This is a virtual desktop start-up that just folded it's doors [start-up mania article] The idea was to offer the latest technology to replace the desktop in a cloud computing platform. The start-up was a collaboration of Israelis and Palestinians on a large scale. Large scale in terms of start-ups in Israel that is. For the first time Israeli investors and executives used Palestinian programmers. This was a big deal here. Most people were worried and suspicious. First of all, who has ever heard of successful Palestinian programmers? Actually, who ever heard of any Palestinian programmers??? This kind of thinking is what made the project such a anomaly to begin with. The company was in management and financial terms Israeli, but the work was "outsourced" to the west bank.Read More...
Saturday, November 7, 2009
How does Israel innovate? How does Israel produce more start-ups that make it to the NASDAQ than whole of Europe? How does Israel use the technology (i.e. electronics) start-up model in agriculture, bio-tech and now clean-tech? These are questions people have been asking for as long as there has been Israel. Israelis first built guns, cannons and avionics when no one would sell them arms to defend themselves (in the 1940s.) Than came a period of building the state itself and Israel built housing, factories, roads and public buildings (in the 1950s and 60s.) If you look carefully from the air you see the famous green line, an outline of the state in green where Israelis planted trees and literally changed the landscape (and the environment - that took more than 50 years.) Now Israelis build and design Integrated Circuits for Intel and cell phones for Motorola. But more than that, Israelis build companies. Not just products and inventions. Organizations to create and compete in the world technology, bio-medical and other fields. This phenomenon is discussed in Start-Up Nation. From an Israeli perspective it seems like an old story, start-ups go back 30 plus years. Here we have lived the gradual change and every week see a new product or announcement or a company acquisition. But in reality it is a big deal. Building a company is hard enough, building a whole economy and culture to drive company building is phenomenal.Read More...
Sunday, October 25, 2009
It is not a secret that the Israeli technology sector is taking a nap. A big component of Israel's success in the technology sector was start-ups. Israel's entrepreneurs and engineers got into the business of starting up companies and selling them to American companies. This business has been going for over 10 years until about 2005. American venture funds bring investment capital from Wall Street and American retirement funds. Israelis start companies and usually sell them to American companies. The return in this sector is usually higher than the stock market. Everyone is happy. Until something changed!
In 2006, 2007 and 2008 there have been very few "exits". 2009 is not much better. These are sales of companies or initial public offerings in the stock market. Exit(s) is a buzz word in the Israeli start-up sector. It is what Israeli entrepreneurs seek more than anything else: cash for a 5 to 10 year hard work. Selling a company brings good returns to the investors and does not involve the process of taking a company public. But the shift in technology from software and networking to Internet and software services has slowed down the investment-development-exit train. Established venture capital funds were dealt a blow, many small ones are completely gone. Entrepreneurs in many tech sub-sectors needed to reformulate their ideas and start working on new prototypes. What Israel can teach the world is how quickly change happens. In US and other large markets change does not have to happen as quickly. The market's momentum can hold up companies and financial pipelines. But then they eventually crash. In Israel small scale reveals quickly what changed and where the new developments are going.Read More...
Monday, May 4, 2009
The international accounting firm Price-Waterhouse-Coopers releases a venture capital investment report every quarter. The report for the Israel venture capital report for the fourth quarter of 2008 is interesting. Essentially investment in the start-up sector is flat. It has been this way since mid 2004. The other interesting fact is the contribution of the state to start ups through the chief scientists office. The report says:
"The domestic venture capital funds invested approximately $142 million, this sum representing approximately 49% of total investment for the final quarter of 2008."
- as far as the contribution from the state of Israel:
"20 companies, representing 25% of all companies raising capital in the final quarter of 2008, have received grants from the Office of the Chief Scientist. About $94 million of total investment funds has flowed into these companies. The data for 2008 reveal that 101 companies raising capital during the course of 2008 received grants from the Office of the Chief Scientist and that approximately $494 million of total investment funds flowed into these companies."
While most people consider Israel to have a free enterprise economic system, the support of Israeli start-ups with $94 million in the quarter makes it 34% of the total start-up investment. In any form of economic structure this would be a high component of government involvement. While venture capital investment is a risky business, the state sees this as a crucial factor in the economic strength of the state. Israel has been a technology start-up leader for many years. Both local entrepreneurs and foreign ones (mostly from USA) contributed to the Israeli technology sector with new companies which remained independent and many companies which were acquired by bigger companies (also mostly from the USA). This may account for the high level of Israel's government contribution to new companies. The other element here is the high level of innovation. No financial incentive would have lasted this long without the natural drive built into the Israeli personality. Engineers, scientists, business managers and tinkerers are driven by the desire to create something new. The drive to own your creation and to control the destiny of a company is what pushes many entrepreneurs. This is still true in the down economic times and after the second downturn in investment in the last decade. Actually, as some technology products heat up, more people come up with ideas for better products. Maybe this is the computer age version of what the Jewish pioneers did here 120 years ago. Let's see where the start-up investment goes in the next year and how much the technology market and the economic situation has over investors and creators. STAY TUNED...
Credit: נוסח הקרדיט: הארכיון לתולדות פתח תקוה ע"ש עודד ירקוני Jewish guard on horse (date unknown circa 1930 to 1948) Petach Tikva.
see the report at:
http://www.pwc.com/extweb/ncsurvres.nsf/docid/98033724DA2E5C368025721E00314441 Read More...