Many international guests gathered in Israel last week for three parallel occasions. The first was a business delegation of key industry executives from the Valley led by the Jewish Federation, including my mayor, San Francisco’s Gavin Newsom. In a video interview to Israel21c, Gaving expressed that the real Israel is very different than what is portrayed in the media:
Next from May 13 to 15, Israel’s president Shimon Peres hosted “Facing Tomorrow“, the closest thing to Israeli version of TED, packed with business and political celebrities. Some of the guests were: George W Bush, Sergey Brin (Google), Sue Decker (Yahoo), Terry Semel (former Yahoo CEO), Rupert Murdoch (News Corp) and other world leaders and prominent thinkers. The gathered to discuss Israel’s tomorrow in 50 panels.
Israel’s best known Angel investor, Yossi Vardi snatched the opportunity to show Google’s founder the underground tech scene in Israel. He took Sergey to a warehouse in the industrial center in Holon (equivalent to Jersey City, no offense) to present the Garage Geeks –
“a physical & virtual space for multi-disciplinary creative people to meet, innovate and build non-commercial projects that would otherwise may not come to life.”
See my post on Israeli startup events for more info on the Garage Geeks. Below is a short video from Sergey’s chat, thanks to Blonde2.0. If you were there, you would have gotten Sergey’s personal email…Last but not least, today was the first day of the IVA Conference. Opening keynote was given by US VC Tim Draper, of DFJ, followed by Sequoia Capital’s Mike Moritz, who delivered a presentation titled:“Size Matters, How to get it, How to keep it”. Mike discussed how to build scalable multi billion dollar companies, providing exits of hundreds of millions (reminds me of the book “Good to Great”, which I highly recommend). Tali Aben, ex partner at Gemini Venture Capital, has a great recap of Mike’s insightful presentation.
Here’s a quick recap of the main points:
* Pursue billion dollar possibilities
* When you run out of market, expand into another such opportunity
* Expand with care – there are no shortcuts
* No need to be a public company to grow and become a significant company
* Examine your company as an outsider
* Foreigners can win in the US
* Skeptics are often wrong
* Never bow to setback
* Capital intensity sometimes does work
* Lack of money breeds ingenuity
* Invest during downturns
* Make the founders spirit live !!!
Had enough? if your answer is no, on May 20th you should catch Ness Technologies conference, “We Make it Happen”, with guest of honor Al Gore. It’s great to see so many ‘celebrities celebrating’ Israel’s 60, bringing the valley closer to Israel.