What have we learned from our mistakes? Will the local Israeli venture capitalist’s get in the game? With these questions in mind the Israeli VC Gemini Israel Funds gathered a group of former and current influential from the Israeli Internet scene.
There where people from ICQ, Speedbit, Hotbar, Aladdin, Netsnippets, Spearcast, Maxthon (guess who..) and others I don’t know. The event was opened up by Bob Rosenschein, CEO and President of Answers.com (formerly Guru.net) sharing some of his lessons learned over the years. Afterward Gemini Israel’s Daniel Cohen, gave a presentation to open up a discussion on why it is so quite on the Israeli Internet scene. Where is the next ICQ, Hotbar or Answer.com ? What are Israeli VC’s lacking that the US based VC are not? Why can’t Israeli VC spot an Internet success in the making?
Well, one of the explanations David gave was the geographical distance that somehow does not seemed to be bridged by cutting edge communication like Skype etc. We are just not there in the coffe shops of Paolo Alto or hanging out in Silicon Valley. I agree on that one, but I believe some of the main hurdles of Israeli VC’s are:
- Lack of balls – they are simply to afraid to follow their gut feelings (after having been burned by the previous bubble)
- An obsession with R&D based companies
- A fixation with patents and unique technology platforms
With this in their back heads, they are simply missing the lesson that successful Internet companies are not rooted in heavy R&D, patent and they often lack any particular cutting edge technology. Rather their DNA is made up by
- A cool brand that is community oriented and sharing based, or answers an immediate need (think Maslow‘pyramid) and are often disruptive.
Anyway, I think it was a very good initiative to organise the get-to-gether – and who knows, perhaps the next Internet success in the making is really just around the corner or right under their noses….
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