One of the most famous dreams of Israel's first Prime Minister, David Ben-Gurion, was to "make the desert bloom." It's a dream that Gemini founding Partner and Chairman Ed Mlavsky has figuratively realized in his contribution to Israel's civilian high-tech industry, for which he is seen as one of the founding fathers. As Gemini Venture Partner Orna Berry points out, the sector barely existed when he arrived in Israel in 1979.
"Ed found a desolate wilderness and made it flourish," Orna says.
Ed tells the story in his just-published autobiography, "Milk and Honey and High-Tech". His influence can be split into two parts: his spell from 1979-1992 as the first Executive Director of theIsrael-US Binational Industrial Research & Development (BIRD) Foundation, which provides funding for joint projects carried out by US and Israeli companies, and his activities since 1993 as a venture capitalist after he established Gemini.
In his book, Ed holds the reader with entertaining anecdotes involving high-powered executives, world-class scientists and one of Hollywood's greatest actors; along the way he provides valuable insights into how to conduct business relationships and close deals.
“Milk and Honey and High-Tech” is available from Weill Publishers. To buy a copy, please click here.
In the process of working with the media for the 140 Characters Conference, the lines blurred between the media covering the event, media taking part in the event as Characters, and media as content providers on the Social Web.
Enter @davidsaranga, Consul for Media and Public Affairs at the Israeli Consulate in New York. David's innovative approach to helping change the perception of Israel is illustrated in his talk which you may view here:
Over the last 20 or so years, I've made pitches to, and have successfully had clients profiled in leading media such as The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Fortune, Forbes, Inc., CNN and many more.
After going back and forth for six months with The New York Times' Michael Fitzgerald, this blog became an easy to use and search reference tool for Michael where I had built a repository of content resulting in a story featuring client, N-trig, appearing on page 3 of the Sunday business section.
Client, Promisec, today announced that its latest study conducted on thousands of endpoints points to the fact that antivirus management consoles from leading vendors are not accurately reporting when their software isn't working.
This study was conducted from June 08 - November 08 and marks the second survey done this year. It's most recent survey of more than 100,000 computers across a number of industries, more than one-fourth of all computers were found to have missing or disabled antivirus software. Furthermore, network administrators weren't being alerted to the problem by the vendors' management consoles.
Twitter is a great tool for networking, seeing what's on the minds of people that I follow, and a wealth of information and data specific to PR and Social Media. You can find me on Twitter here.
Here's how I am using Twitter:
1. Engaging and listening to people where I live in San Antonio. I've made new "real" friends who are not just into the craft of communications but are really interesting and nice people. That is benefit #1.
2. Self promotion. OK.... so I do have to self-promote myself and my business. Since I blog here and over at 3Screens.net, I can tweet to the world about a post that I think is not only self promotional, but helpful to others.
3. And speaking of being helpful, that is something I am really focusing on with Twitter. I figure if I am helpful to others, others will be helpful to me and so on and so on. Sort of a version of Pay it Forward, if you will.
4. Sharing my human side. Yup, I am human and real. This weekend I was in Galveston, Texas and was Tweeting my impressions of the destruction of the hurricane that you still see present. The during Thanksgiving shopfest known as Black Friday, I shared my impressions of people shopping vs. buying in San Antonio, Houston and Galveston. The week before, I went to see BB King and Tweeted my video that I shot at the concert.
5. Direct conversation. You can direct conversation with other members... sort of like SMS on your cell, but via your computer. Very efficient and direct.
So where can you start?
1. Think of an objective or two? Make new friends. Expand your network. Learn about a new social media and communications platform. Promote a cause.
4. Start a conversation or two. Tweet something interesting and helpful to others who are liked minded. You'll be amazed at the responses and the followers you will attract.
5. Don't spam others. A huge no-no.
6. Broadcast news or your insights on the major news events. If you are live where something is happening, Tweet about it.
7. Tweet at least once day. I am finding Twitter to being sort of addictive, particularly on my iPhone where I use Twitterific. It's a great way to check in several times a day, in between meetings, just to scan and when appropriate chime in on conversation.
8. Find people with similar interests. They could be where you live or around the world. I still go back to one of the greatest benefits of Twitter is that I have made new real friends right where I live.
9. Go offline from Twitter. Sometimes, I don't want to have a conversation with someone on Twitter. I will share my cell or a secondary email address to engage further.
10. Traveling? Meet up with Tweet-Ups with other like minded Twitter people when you travel. I've done it and it's great to meet like minded people in other cities.
I am now going on my 13th year of doing business in Israel. It's great to see continued coverage and community building from sites like this one.
TechAviv is a global network of 1,000+ Israeli hi-tech entrepreneurs and investors that gather monthly in Israel, New York and Silicon Valley to showcase, discuss and help fellow Israeli startups. This is the central site and blog covering the Israeli hi-tech startup scene with an emphasis on member startups.
For those of us in the U.S., we can meet fellow Israeli hi-tech entrepreneurs, professionals and investors living and working in New York. There's a monthly gathering to showcase and discuss local Israeli startups and businesses.
Each month three companies get 5 minutes to demo their latest products, followed by 5 minutes of Q&A with the group. Casual networking occurs before and after the demos.
According to the site, the aim is to bring the local Israeli hi-tech community closer together to help each other achieve our goals and further the community as a whole in NYC and Israel.
I look forward to this idea growing across the U.S., including here in the State of Texas where I live.
Today, we’re launching a new initiative for client, Promisec.
It's two new videos that we helped produce for distribution on YouTube.
The first one asks important questions that you need to know the answers to, in order to secure your network from internal threats. The second is a quick demonstration of our three core products.
Important Questions to Ask - And " The Promisec Promise":
As you can see in the first video shown above, we’re issuing a call to action for what we call “the Promisec Promise.”
Our offer is simple and compelling: give us just 60 minutes of your time to demonstrate our agentless solutions and inspect your network.
If Promisec don’t find at least one potential threat on any endpoint in your organization, you can have Promisec Spectator for six months at absolutely no charge.
The second video quickly demonstrates Promisec Spectator, Promisec INNERSpace and our newest entry, Promisec Asset Manager. The videos feature Promisec's VP of Sales, Ari Tammam, who’s done a great job of taking the role of our public spokesperson.
If you're reading this blog and have a network that needs inspecting, give our client, Promisec a shot!
Seventeen years ago when I started looking into the idea of doing business in Israel, a friend of mine told me to give some guy who lived in Los Angeles, by the name of Jon Medved, a call before he packed up his family to move to Israel.
Yup, successful and prosperous Americans were moving to Israel and breaking new ground in Israel's emerging technology economy.
Before Jon moved, I gave him a call, told him what I was up to, and he
told me to keep in touch and let him know when I was ready to come to Israel for a visit.
He moved, and eventually I started making
the trek to and from Israel to become part of the planet's most
interesting and fun place to work with some very smart and good people.
Not only did Jon and his family move to Israel, but so did his Dad, who, whenever I visited Israel, would welcome me and take me to lunch. Much like my Dad, he saw the spark in my eyes as I made my travels back and forth because I "got it" that there was something very special indeed about Israel.
Professionally, I got to work with Jon on one of the Internet's earliest companies, Accent Software. Post-Accent, I followed Jon's career in his doing consulting gigs and eventually turning into a very hands-on VC, taking a seed-funding approach to getting companies off the launch pad.
Each trip to Israel would always include a visit hang out with Jon and once in a while lunch with his Dad.
Even in downturns or market meltdowns, I would get on a plane, encourage Israeli technology entrepreneurs to get the word out about their companies and nudge them along because I always thought that a great message combined with a bit of great media coverage or a nod from the right analyst would help them raise a bit of money, find a joint venture partner, or help them in an exit.
Any time I visited with Jon, I would beg him to come to the center of the technology universe ..... San Antonio, which I live.
Way back when I started to travel to and from Israel, I had to explain to prospective clients that here in San Antonio, we had an airport with a runway, and that FedEx delivered packages just like they do in New York, Boston, or San Jose.
Oh- and dial-up?
My 28.8 line ran just as fast as the ones in those high priced offices on 5th Ave, Route 128 or Highway 101. And then when broadband came, well... our worlds really went like, totally flat!
Fast-forward to the present; better than being on the cover of "Rolling Stone."
Jon's now the CEO of Vringo (think ring tones for your cell phone, but with video - hence the name, Vringo) and a major rock star in Israel and in the U.S.
And fast forward even a bit forward to the celebration of Israel's 60th Anniversary. The New York Times recognizes Jon as one of 10 Israelis who've impacted the U.S. The piece is not online, but can be downloaded here:Download medved_ny_times.pdf
Jon's in great company, with the likes of Golda Meir, Natalie Portman, Matthew Bronfman and others.
Or rather, these luminaries are in the company of Jon.
Sure, I've seen Ms. Portman in the movies, enjoyed some type of Seagram's bottle that Mr. Bronfman's family produces, and even washed dishes with Golda Meir's grandaughter, when I was 16 and working one summer on a kibbutz.
What's great about having someone like Jon being recognized by The Times in this vein is that he represents the continued and future vibrancy of Israel's collective brain capacity that continues to create great companies and new business opportunities.
Congratulations to you, Jon and your family. And to all Shana Tova!
P.S. As for coming to San Antonio?
Yes, Jon was here last year. We met with leaders from our local Jewish community and then went to down to the Riverwalk for dinner at Pesca!
Debbie Weil Debbie Weil, aka the MonaLisaOfBlogging.com, is a corporate blogging and online communications consultant and the author of the forthcoming "The Corporate Blogging Book: Absolutely Everything You Need to Know to Get It Right" for Penguin Portfolio (2006).