On June 9, we went on our first company visit to Pitango, Israel’s leading venture capital fund. As we pulled up to the Corporate Park filled with beautiful office buildings and great restaurants, I thought I was in New York City. I immediately became even more excited than I was before and curious about what I was going to experience inside one of the buildings.
Guest blogger: Rachel is a sophomore at the University of Michigan.
First, Dr. Ed Mlavsky, Chairman Emeritus and Founding Partner of Gemini Israel Ventures, spoke to us about the transition of Israel to a high-tech world. The organization of his presentation was timely and precise. Dr. Mlavsky described the days before the Internet to the present, in terms of investing in high-tech companies. He specifically noted that between 1999 and 2008 the Israeli Venture Capitalist Evolutionary process was in a time of “Survival of the Fittest.” This phenomenon occurs when too many funds are established, thus competition is inevitable between them. I found it interesting that the same term I learned about in high school science is applicable to business in the past and present. By 2012, the Israel Venture Capitalist Industry was in maturity.
Another important topic that Dr. Mlavsky thoroughly discussed was the American- Israeli culture gap and how it affects the industry. It is important to consider this dilemma when the firms debate hiring an American or Israeli CEO. After being in Israel for only a few days, the mentality of Israeli business is palpable. Dr. Mlavsky’s discussion was a great introduction to this summer’s adventures and educational experience.
Similarly, Rami, from Pitango, charismatically discussed his take on the industry, his personal experience and methods. Rami put the rather large terms we discussed in class into applicable advice that sparked my inspiration. One survival skill that specially stood out was the need to find your weapon. In other words, one needs to find what drives them in order to be successful. Over the next six weeks I am excited to explore this question further and hopefully will leave here knowing what my weapon is.