Attention Israeli Entrepreneurs: TechAviv Angels Launches

techaviv angelsYaron 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
    Founder: Incredimail
    @OferAdler
  • Yaron Galai
    Founder: Outbrain, Quigo
    @YaronGalai
  • Hesky Kutscher
    Founder: HighGear Media, ShopLocal
    @Hesky
  • Avichay Nissenbaum
    Founder: Yedda
    @AvichayN
  • Eilon Tirosh
    Founder: Olista, Exalink
    @EilonT
  • Ron Yekutiel
    Founder: Kaltura
    @Ron_Yekutiel
  • Jeff Pulver
    Founder, Vonage 
    @JeffPulver
  • Amir Ashkenazi
    Founder: adap.tv, Shopping.com
    @AmirTime
  • Yair Goldfinger
    Founder: Dotomi, ICQ
    @Dotomi
  • Nimrod Lev
    Founder: kSolo, PointMatch
    @NimrodLev
  • Oren Dobronsky
    Founder: SmartShopper, Hotbar
    @OrenDob
  • Itai Kohavi
    Founder: WeBook, Comfy, Neat Group
    @WeBook
  • Jon Medved
    Founder: Vringo, Israel Seed Partners, Accent, Meret
    @therealvringo
  • Eden Shochat
    Founder: Aternity, Face.com, Delavenne
    @EdenSh
  • Gigi Levy-Weiss
    CEO: 888.com
    @GigiLevy

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
Eze Vidra
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Eze Vidra

Chief Innovation Officer at Antidote
Eze is the Chief Innovation Officer at Antidote, a startup helping patients search and match to clinical trial, to accelerate medical breakthroughs. Previously, Ezewas a General Partner at Google Ventures Europe. Before GV, Eze founded and led Campus London, Google's first physical hub for startups, and was the Head Google for Entrepreneurs in Europe. He's an experienced product manager and startup mentor. In 2012 Eze founded Techbikers, a non-for profit supporting children education in developing countries.
Eze Vidra
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Eze Vidra

Eze is the Chief Innovation Officer at Antidote, a startup helping patients search and match to clinical trial, to accelerate medical breakthroughs. Previously, Eze was a General Partner at Google Ventures Europe. Before GV, Eze founded and led Campus London, Google's first physical hub for startups, and was the Head Google for Entrepreneurs in Europe. He's an experienced product manager and startup mentor. In 2012 Eze founded Techbikers, a non-for profit supporting children education in developing countries.

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