Yaron Samid’s TechAviv, the most extensive Israeli start up meetup group in Israel and the US, has announced the launch of a new angel network today. TechAviv Angels is an informal group of Israel’s ‘top dogs’ media founders, that grouped together to identify, fund and mentor early stage Israeli start ups.
I have to hand it to Yaron for all the dedication and hard work he put into TechAviv. The volume and caliber of the Israeli angel investors who joined this group is a testament of its potential success. See the full list after the jump.
The TechAviv Angels will meet every two months in a separate event from the usual ‘founders club’. In every meeting, five start ups will get five minutes each to pitch their venture, no matter how early stage. Unlike other angel groups who charge for this kind of exposure, TechAviv Angels invites Web and mobile start ups to apply for Free on this link.
I see this as a great opportunity for Israeli start ups and Yaron deserves a lot of credit for putting the TechAviv club together across multiple locations. Well done.
The Challenges Ahead
If you browse the full 30 members list, you’ll notice that several VCs are on board as well. While it may be in the best interest of a start up to get exposure early on that would increase its chances of survival, entrepreneurs may be taking a big risk in this case. In essence, I see two challenges. One is the “competition” between VCs and angels in that forum. Can you imagine having 20 investors telling you what to do? Two, is the risk of taking seed money from VCs. SAI has a great post that explains why it is risky, but in essence, you should think about how the rest of the market will judge you if your ‘deep pocketed’ investor decides not to participate in the next round. It sends a negative signal on follow on rounds, and you may sell yourself short pre-revenues.
On the flip side
Many international venture capital funds will not make an investment without a local partner in Israel, usually another fund or a known angel. TechAviv Angels could be the ultimate partner for them- providing a sound board of directors and the initial cash to get the start up running. As each angel would be investing rounds of about $50K individually, getting endorsed by the group could be a significant boost for success. Either way, start ups should appreciate the feedback and direction they can get from that group regardless of a check being written at the end of the meeting.
The founding TechAviv Angels are:
- Ofer Adler
- Yaron Galai
Founder: Outbrain, Quigo
- Hesky Kutscher
Founder: HighGear Media, ShopLocal
- Avichay Nissenbaum
- Eilon Tirosh
Founder: Olista, Exalink
- Ron Yekutiel
- Jeff Pulver
- Amir Ashkenazi
Founder: adap.tv, Shopping.com
- Yair Goldfinger
Founder: Dotomi, ICQ
- Nimrod Lev
Founder: kSolo, PointMatch
- Oren Dobronsky
Founder: SmartShopper, Hotbar
- Itai Kohavi
Founder: WeBook, Comfy, Neat Group
- Jon Medved
Founder: Vringo, Israel Seed Partners, Accent, Meret
- Eden Shochat
Founder: Aternity, Face.com, Delavenne
- Gigi Levy-Weiss
Participating Early Stage VCs
- Daniel Ciporin, Partner, Canaan
- Danny Cohen, Partner, Gemini
- Michael Eisenberg, Partner, Benchmark
- Adam Fisher, Partner, Bessemer
- Yoav Leitersdorf, Partner, YL Ventures
- Gili Raanan, Partner, Sequoia
- Daniel Recanati, Partner, Rhodium
- Jonathan Saacks, Partner, Genesis
- Ron Tamir, Partner, Kaedan Capital