Business

VentureBeat heads to Israel Innovation Marathon — in search of Startup Nation

Next week, I’ll will be traveling to Tel Aviv, in a long overdue trip to one of the most innovative places in the world — especially in the area of security start-ups.

For those of you who read VentureBeat, you’ll know I’ve been on a world tour, trying to find the most innovative companies to write about, but also to invite to our conference DEMO.

What better place to have as our next stop than the Israel Innovation Marathon, on March 27-28? The event is being organized by BootCamp Ventures, the same group that organized the Istanbul tech conference I attended back in November.

I’ll be opening the event with a talk about the global landscape of investing, comparing the major tech centers of the U.S., Asia and Europe. Honestly, though, my main reason for going will be to explore Israel, while trying to answer the question posed by the book Startup Nation: “How is it that Israel — a country of 7.1 million, only 60 years old, surrounded by enemies, in a constant state of war since its founding, with no natural resources — produces more start-up companies than large, peaceful, and stable nations like Japan, China, India, Korea, Canada and the UK?”

At the event, I’ll also be interviewing two respected Israeli high-tech investors, Zohar Zisapel, founder of RAD, and Ed Mklavsky, founder of Gemini Israeli Funds, where we’ll discuss similarities and differences between Silicon Valley, and what the one can learn from the other.

I’ll also be moderating start-up presentation sessions featuring some of the hottest new companies in the region.

Joining me will be 14 other experts and investors from different countries.

Can’t wait. For now, though, I’m stuck in the tumble jumble world of Austin’s exciting SXSW, where the buzz never stops. It’s like 1:45am right now, and the place is still alive. Notably, an Israeli-based company, Fooducate earlier today won a mobile application competition hosted by analytics company Flurry, beating out 700 other competitors. Fooducate is a pretty awesome app, in my opinion, providing key nutrition information about grocery store items while you shop (it lets you scan bar codes with your phone, providing you all kinds of information). I interviewed the founder and CEO, Hemi Weingarten, whose team is based in Tel Aviv. Hope to write more about it soon.

I’m really looking forward to meeting more disruptors in Israel.


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