Start-up Nation

Today I went to a start up event at the Tel Aviv University, in order to check out the scene that this famous book talks about.

I can’t say that I was too impressed about the quality of the start-ups I encountered (more social networks, more content sharing, more data mining) aside from the biotech ones (those I just don’t have any brain capacity to process).

Start-ups & Politics
The interesting part of the event for me was the lecture of Erel Margalit, who is a new member of the Knesset, the Israeli parliament. He is “a high-tech and social entrepreneur turned politician who founded one of Israel’s leading venture capital funds, Jerusalem Venture Partners (JVP).”

He had a refreshing view-point about incorporating the arab and ultra-orthodox sector into the labor market, giving some interesting examples of the type of low-tech insourcing that is happening with these guys. I really appreciated the inclusive attitude and his ideas about how to think about politics from a view point targeting opportunities instead of setting one part of the population against another, which is the most common (and useless) approach around here. I am very interested to see what can venture capitalist manage to do in politics. I shall remain optimistic.

Israeli start-ups abroad
The next panel on global innovation, highlighted the following points about israeli start-ups:
1. They are very good with disruptive technologies
2. They are good with exporting companies but not so good at becoming global companies
3. Key difficulties: being able to structure themselves to scale up and have good processes, also learn from others rather than try to reinvent the wheel every time
4. Key needs: professional management and marketing skills. hmmmmmmmmm…. (!!!! who can tell an opportunity here?!)

The Chilean Invasion
I was impressed to encounter the over-motivated Chilean delegation, exploring Israel’s innovative vibe and looking to bring the lessons back to their country. This is something the Brazilians definitely need to learn from.

A personal care discovery
After taking a nap during a very boring lecture about biotech clinical trials, I suddenly woke up when I heard “cosmetics” (a very useful feminine trigger). The nice gentleman from MIT suddenly started talking about something useful: a new shampoo they developed, called Frizz, that substitutes silicon based solutions for frizzy hair. Now, I have to try this!! Anyone coming down from America to help the poor victims of Rio de Janeiro’s humidity???

I guess this day was quite the productive one indeed. More to come..

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