Mar 062016
 

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Soomla

The mobile games industry is a growing market, but it has a fundamental problem – only a small portion of the users is actually interested in paying for them. Many of them are so used to getting games for free, that making money in this industry has become a major challenge for developers. However, there are some who tend to spend a lot of money on mobile games. In the industry they are referred to as “whales” and just like in the 18 hundreds, those who wish to succeed in this world should get the right spear.

Soomla is helping companies and developers in this market succeed, by allowing them to share data about those whales and their behavior. Sharing this information helps those companies locate those players and make offers to attract them to the game. This is what the people of Soomla are referring to as God Mode Analytics. This is all possible because of the analytics platform developed by the company which enables its users to track their performance while at the same time allows them to collaborate with other developers in tracking paying users.

Yaniv Nizan is the co founder which we talked to in this episode of Startup Camel. Yaniv has a vast experience in the tech industry and he already built 2 successful companies before: EyeView and IntentClick.

Jan 162016
 

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Webydo

Shmulik Grizim and his company Webydo are going to break another wall for non developers: they built a SaaS tool, which allows designers and web design professionals to build an awesome website without having to write any code in the process.

Shmulik has vast experience in this field, as prior to starting Webydo, along with his cofounder Tzvika Steinmetz, he built and sold two previous companies in the web design world. Shmulik believes that working with designers for so many years has made it easier for him to understand the problems designers face, and how to solve them. Since designers hate being totally dependent on the developers in order to do their work, they crave a solution which will unshackle them from the chains of coding.

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Webydo’s story is also very interesting since it’s different from many companies we’ve met so for on our show. Their team has been working on the software engine for two years before finalizing a product which they could actually share with someone. This is very interesting because most Israeli companies we met were very focused on “getting something out there as soon as possible”. Shmulik’s explanation for this is that since he has such a detailed knowledge of the market he’s working in, he knew what the solution should be and how to design it.

Webydo is now growing and is looking for sales people, web developers and a UX expert, so go ahead and send your resumes to ella@webydo.com

Nov 212015
 

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Lior Herman started Estateya after working in the American real estate market for several years. He realized that something was missing in the market – a tool which will allow unexperienced real estate investors make smart decisions about their investments. After meeting an old friend and discussing this idea, they decided to build that tool together.
So far, this story reminded me many other stories about startups. But what I really liked about this story, was that after building the product for 6 months, Lior and his team decided to throw it all away build it again from scratch. He quoted Naftali Bennett, an Israeli politician in the present and a successful startup founder in the past, for saying the average startup company takes about 7 cycles of the product to reach success. So, since the founders of Estatya noticed that the product they were working on did not match their expectations, they decided to bin it, and build another one instead.
This is a perfect example of what we heard so many times before from so many Israeli entrepreneurs: you should fall in love with the product, not the solution.

Oct 062015
 

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Arnon Zamir, who is going to be one of the speakers next week in the Tel Aviv TedX event, is also leading Tom – a project which is all about using the power of 3D printing for the sake of a better world.

Background

Arnon has been programming from a very young age, and he likes to think about the way things work and operate. He spent 10 years of his life working for tech companies as a developer, and even ran a business of his own. However, he always felt he is not using his talent for making a better world for everyone, and that the impact of his actions is way too small… So, he started this fantastic project called Tom.

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Tom is a Hackathon of 72 hours, in which the participants are divided into designated teams in order to build 3D printed solutions for people with disabilities and special needs. The name Tom, by the way, stands for “Fixing the world” which roughly translates to “Makers of a better world”.
Tom is growing rapidly, achieving much support from companies around the world. It even got Google.org to join them in making this possible and getting resources from Google for the benefit of some of the events.

If you happen to be in Israel in the next few days, Arnon will be speaking at the TedX event on October 12th, 2015 and that’s one Ted talk you don’t want to miss.

Sep 172015
 

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Guy Franklin has been working with Israeli startups for over 10 years now. 3 years ago, Guy moved to New York City working for Ernst and Young. He quickly noticed that as an Israeli who wanted to get in touch with Israeli startup companies operating from New York, he couldn’t find any simple way to do that. So he came up with the idea of creating a map of all of the Israeli startup companies to help other Israelis.

When Guy started, the list was short – only 60 companies. Today, he has over 250 companies on the map, and he is adding almost 10 new companies every month.

Guy says that The main focus is technology video, ad tech, mobile and social. It seems that most of the startups moving to New York are moving there after they have completed a round A or even more than that.

The first tip Guy would like to give Israeli startups who are interested in starting operations in New York City is that the first person matters the most. That person needs to hit the ground running and to be super talented in creating connections with the locals. This person, usually a local or one of the founders of the company can have a very serious impact on how successful the company is going to be in New York.

Another thing Guy says is that today, more and more American and Chinese VCs and also many American angels see the potential in Israeli companies and he thinks Israeli entrepreneurs should pay attention to that. However, Investors in New York prefer companies which are located in the US, preferably close to them. So when approaching those investors one should take this into consideration.

Guy also mentioned that many entrepreneurs in Israel tend to ignore Tax issues when they start the company. While working for Ernest and Young, he saw that many companies are built in a structure which exposes the Entrepreneurs and the company to the taxes they wouldn’t have to pay if only planed the process correctly. Guy thinks it’s important to pay attention to this issue in the beginning, as can damage the company and even cause delays of an IPO.

Guy recently launched an app for Mapped in New York. You can get push notifications about Israeli Tech news (in NY) and even chat with other Israeli entrepreneurs in New York.

You can also use the app to find your next job – a special button in the app allows you so see which of the Israeli companies in New York are now looking for new employees. This is great for Israelis and others who are looking for opportunities in New York.

Aug 212015
 

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Background

As the COO and president of Wix, Nir Zohar is leading one of the unicorns of the Israeli Startup scene. The company was founded in 2006, when founders Aavishai Abrahami, Nadav Abrahami and Giora Kapla, wanted to build a website for their startup. They noticed that it was a long, costly process, and that most existing tools in the market were designed for developers. So they decided to build a product with a drag and drop functionality, which will make website building simple enough so that everyone who knows how to use a computer could build their own website.

Today, Wix is one of the largest startups in Israel and they are still growing rapidly. The company even had its own super bowl ad recently and is considered to be one of the best places to work for in Tel Aviv.

The Interview

Nir talked to us about his job as COO, which he describes as “getting shit done” no matter which obstacles he has to deal with. He mentioned his army service – like many of our interviewees before him, he served in the Israeli army on a missile ship. He also mentioned the resemblance he finds between building a startup and keeping a battle ship floating. In his words “It’s a small boat, if it sinks, everyone will drown”.

He believes that the best way to build a great culture for the company is to get people drunk, together. So, every once in a while, the people of Wix use to go to a bar together, open a tap and allow everyone to order whatever they like.

His vision for Wix is to take over the world, and to be more specific – to build more and more services for people who are using the Wix service, because once you’ve built your website you still have many other complimentary services you need, such as an eCommerce tools, billing tools and more.

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Aug 112015
 

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Sergio Gonzales has an awesome job: he is the one making sure that Ebay keeps innovating despite the fact that it doesn’t have the agility of a small start up. He is currently managing the different innovation programs at Ebay, keeping the ecosystem right for innovation.

Sergio has been working on Ebay for 12 years and did many, many roles in the company, so if there’s someone who really knows ebay – he is the one. He is also a cofounder in 2 nonprofit startups focused on education and social value. He believes that the way to cope with the highs and lows of entrepreneurship is to have a deep connection to the thing you’re working on.

So how do you create the right culture for innovation?

Well, the short version is:

1. Building a culture of permission: making employees feel like they can constantly challenge the system and the way things are done in the company. It doesn’t necessarily mean you have to change things all the time accordingly, but employees must feel they can make suggestions and that their ideas are heard.

2. Building an environment which is tolerant of mistakes: as every entrepreneur knows, it’s all about making as many mistakes as possible, for the lowest cost. So it’s important to let employees experiment and make mistakes, but on the other hand, it’s also important to make sure they are not making big mistakes which will make it harder to try again (because of the damage they caused the company).

The long version of this along with many other insights from Sergio, in this episode of Startup Camel.

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Jul 132015
 

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Top 5 insights in this episode

  • The first step of creating a successful startup
  • How to use online comments to save a ton on your marketing budget
  • Getting your customers to spread the word for you
  • The biggest mistake you can make as an entrepreneur
  • How contests can double your traffic

About Daniel Zaturansky

Daniel Zaturansky is the COO and co-founder of PowToon.

After years of work for other companies, he decided to use his skills, together with his co-founder Ilya Spitalnik – a marketing guru, to create a product that changed the marketing world forever.

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His low-budget guerrilla marketing hacks helped the newly founded PowToon gain hundreds of leads with zero budget, and launch a product that is used by millions of both small businesses and mega-corporations.

Tune in to our conversation above where he reveals some of his best proven growth techniques.

Related Content: emaze is revolutionizing the way people make PPT’s

About PowToon

PowToon offer a designer in a box, with no human rights violations.

In fact, the startup is helping more than 5M worldwide users create gorgeous DIY animations without any special training.

In a nutshell, PowToon offer a simple yet deep animation/effect database that can be used to add a WOW factor to PPT’s, videos and educational materials.

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One of the most impressive things about the tech is how it managed to capture users from so many different industries.

PowToon is regularly used by startups, students, teachers, small business owners and Fortune 500 companies like Starbucks!

If that’s not the true sign of an amazing product that solves do many pain points, we don’t know what is.

4 useful links mentioned in this episode

  1. Create awesome PPT’s and videos with PowToon
  2. “Great by Choice”, a must have book for self-made people
  3. Toodoist, the productivity tool that Daniel uses
  4. CoolaData, Daniel’s Israeli startup to look out for

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Jul 062015
 


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Top 5 insights in this episode

  • Can you be an entrepreneur and still keep your day job?
  • The 15 years rule you should follow when you recruit
  • Why “let it go” should be your personal anthem as a manager
  • How to ditch bureaucracy when your startup gets big
  • Why you shouldn’t pay attention to what your customers want to see in your product

About Oren Kaniel

Oren Kaniel is the CEO and co-founder of AppsFlyer.

Although AppsFlyer is his first startup, his unique POV about entrepreneurship certainly brands him as a full-fledged entrepreneur.

“An entrepreneur isn’t somebody who leaves everything and starts his own company”, he tells us, “He’s someone that sets a goal and does what he needs to achieve it. “

According to Kaniel, who has companies like Intel and Avaya on his CV, you can be an amazing entrepreneur and still be an employee.

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“You can be an entrepreneur as an employee. Employees don’t understand the power that they have inside the organization. They can actually come up with an idea and convince whoever needs to be convinced that this is the right thing to do. It’s all about them.”

He has personally interviewed each one of the 86 AppsFlyer employees, and has accumulated years worth of proven insights about managing a successful startup, scaling and recruiting. Check them out in our conversation above.

Related Content: Oktopost lets you discover the real social media ROI

About AppsFlyer

Do you like wasting your money?

If the answer is a resounding NO, and you use mobile advertising to grow your product, AppsFlyer are your guys.

The startup has developed the ultimate mobile user attribution platform, one that lets companies see all the actions mobile users have done before they installed their app or made an in-app action.

Mobile users go through a long journey before they install apps, but up until lately, companies only knew about the last ad those users clicked to install.

AppsFlyer’s tech changes all that. It overcomes one of the bigger hurdles of the mobile analytic world, the lack of “cookies”, by simulating them with a combo of cloud technology and big data.

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The end result is a full funnel that includes not only the final ad the user clicked, but the article the he read before it, the Google search he performed, etc.

That way, companies get to know all the factors that helped them grow their product, and invest their marketing budget accordingly.

AppsFlyer has raised over $28M from top VC’s and has measured over $1B of mobile ad spend.

4 useful links mentioned in this episode

  1. Discover your mobile users’ entire funnel with AppsFlyer
  2. “The Everything Store”, a book about Oren’s biggest influencer, Jeff Bezos
  3. Asana, Oren’s recommended growth tool
  4. Moovit, Oren’s Israeli startup to look out for

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Jun 292015
 


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Top 4 insights in this episode

  • Learn how to run a company by running a…boat?
  • The shocking benefits of partnering with experienced entrepreneurs/li>
  • An unconventional way to get your employees motivated
  • Should you really avoid telling your startup idea to other people?

About David Weisz

David Weisz is the co-founder and chief of products of FeeX.

He, like many other gifted guests on our show, graduated from the Zell Entrepreneurship Program where he caught the attention of Uri Levine, legendary co-founder of Waze.

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He learned all about how not to sink a company by not sinking the ship he was commanding in his IDF service.

To this day, he tells us, he implements lessons he learned from that ship in FeeX.

Related Content: BillGuard will stop the leak in your wallet

About FeeX

FeeX call themselves “the Robin Hood of fees”, and after saving their users over $300M and counting, they can definitely get away with that title.

“FeeX’s story began when I realized I was a sucker”, says Waze co-founder, Uri Levine.

His wake-up call came in the form of a finance report notifying him he lost 30% of his savings, plus a management fee worth thousands of dollars.

When Levin called the finance company handling his money and complained they agreed to cancel the management fee, and that’s when he realized something in the finance industry needed a fix, or a FeeX.

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The result? A free service that finds and helps users reduce fees in their IRA, 401(k), 403(b), brokerage and other investment-type accounts, thus allowing them to retire with more for themselves.

Users just need to upload a scan of one of the supported financial reports and receive investment recommendations for similar funds with lower fees.

To this date, FeeX has raised $9.6M in investments. But for their users, they have “raised” much much more.

4 useful links mentioned in this episode

  1. Stop paying bloated fees with FeeX
  2. “The Hard Thing About Hard Things”, David’s favourite book
  3. Evernote, David’s recommended tool
  4. The IDC Zell program where FeeX was born

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