Download the interview, or listen here:

What you will learn in this episode

  • How Microsoft Ventures Accelerator helps turn startups into stars 01:33
  • What makes Israeli entrepreneurs so innovative 06:07
  • Choosing a co-founder is like you choosing your life-partner 09:54
  • Focus only on what makes the largest impact 13:07
  • The #1 mistake every startup should avoid 16:23
  • The Camel Race 18:56

About Hanan

Managing Director of Microsoft Ventures Accelerator in Tel Aviv, Hanan has more than 20 years of experience in tech management positions, and vast knowledge gained while building his own companies as entrepreneur. Hanan was the founder and CEO of United Parents, which developed a revolutionary online child protection service. Before that Hanan was Director of Research and Development at Mercury / HP Software for the company’s fastest growing segment, its application monitoring solution, the Business Availability Center.
Hanan was also part of the founding team of Proficiency, a startup which aims to solve collaboration issues between CAD systems.
Hanan started coding at age 10, and holds a B.Sc. in Computer Science and Business Administration (with distinction) from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem; he also graduated (with honors) the IDF academy of software (Mamram).

Related Content: Gil Ben Artzi (Upwest Labs) and Oz Alon (HoneyBook), on paving the road for Israeli startups to meet the US market.

Hanan Lavi (MV), Idan Hershko (SC)

Hanan Lavi (MV), Idan Hershko (SC)

About Microsoft Ventures

Established in 2012, Microsoft Ventures Accelerator in Tel Aviv is the first fully-owned and fully-operated Microsoft accelerator worldwide.

To date, nearly 60 Israeli startups have graduated from the program, with success rates among the highest worldwide: 85% of participant companies have already raised their first round of funding, with an average of $1.5 million in capital. However, the program is highly selective, with only 3% of candidate startups admitted – which immediately makes all participants highly attractive to investors.

Typical startups supported by the accelerator are early staged companies, with a fully engaged team and 2-4 founders. During the 4 month program, companies move their operations to Microsoft’s R&D center in Israel, where they receive support and mentorship in business development, marketing, positioning, introduction to investors and more. Over 100 mentors work with Microsoft Ventures, including Israel’s top entrepreneurs.

Microsoft Ventures does not ask for equity in its participant companies.

Resources and Links

  1. Microsoft Ventures Tel Aviv
  2. Fake it ‘till you become it – A TED lecture about preparing yourself for speaking in front of audience, recommended by Hanan
  3. Zero to One – A book by Peter Thiel, recommended by Hanan

Israeli startups Mentioned in this Episode

  1. MediSafe – A Microsoft Ventures AND Startup Camel alumni
  2. SkyGiraffe – A Microsoft Ventures AND Startup Camel alumni


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