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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