Tel Aviv’s Wall Street

Today was quite a day. We received lectures from four different speakers along the famous Rothchild Boulevard, the heart of Tel Aviv’s financial district. First up today was Ron Gura, who currently works for Aleph VC. He described how he made the switch from being an entrepreneur to being at the on the other side of the negotiations in the role of a venture capitalist.

Guest Blogger: Zach is a sophomore WashU.

Then we heard from Ron Goldi who works for Ajillion which was bought by Crossrider. [Quick side-note: We talked to Goldi on the roof of the Crossrider building, which was simply gorgeous.] Goldi actually made the opposite switch from Gura: Goldi went from being a venture capitalist to an entrepreneur. Hearing from both of these businessmen back-to-back was interesting, as they each had their own reasons for switching jobs. They are perfectly content where they are now. But they both admitted that having been on the other side of the table really helps them now because they can think like the people they negotiate with. That is why it is beneficial to work both sides of the negotiation. What I took away was that this doesn’t just apply to the VC industry. To be successful in negotiations, you must know the perspective of each party involved. Once you have accomplished that, you will be able to achieve success.

After those two speakers, we met with Ran Achituv of Magma VC. Magma is a VC fund that focuses in on early stage tech companies, including Waze. In the funding spectrum, they are somewhere in between a micro-fund and a multi-stage generalist VC fund as they tend to spend between $100 million and $150 million for funding.

Afterwards, we were able to hear from the other side of the funding spectrum: a group of angels called Maverick Ventures. Maverick is basically the complete opposite of Magma. While Magma has probably invested in many startups, Maverick Ventures has only invested in six. They also aim to fund startups with somewhere between $1 million and $3 million, which is a huge difference from Magma, too. But the biggest difference I saw was the unique mindset Maverick had. They believed that while other VC’s may only find success in three out of ten startups, they wanted to be successful with all of their startups.

I have been hearing about different types of funders all throughout my time here, but now I finally was able to clearly differentiate them with these back-to-back presentations of competitors.

Now for our startup app we have been working on in class, we are able to clearly decide which type of funding we want to aim for.

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