Another full house for our Tel Aviv Pitch Night on Sunday Oct 6th. Great to see everyone & thanks for coming!
Gabi Tal, Founder IBM Global Technology Unit, reveiwed the event and contributed a post for our readers.
Tens of young people came together at the Backy Bar in Tel Aviv today (6th October) to demonstrate and promote their inspiring, innovative ideas and to network with people who will support them to make their dream come true. As always, it was an inspiring experience.
Each time I am invited to such events I hesitate about whether or not to go. We are all aware of the fact that the Israeli hi-tech community and its ecosystem has meetings and gatherings like the one this evening on an almost weekly basis. One could be occupied full time just participating in all these events. Also this morning, I picked up the phone and asked Lior whether I really should dedicate my evening to participate in this gathering. I must admit that, like most such events, I was impressed with the “out of the box” ideas raised by the younger generation represented tonight. Their willingness to try is no less impressive than their ability to break new ground.
The 5 founders who had the opportunity to present today once again proved the uniqueness of Israeli high-tech: there were new immigrants from the US, and Russia, people in their 20’s, 30’s and 40’s. All of them had very current niche solutions in areas such as commerce, business analytics, and retail. Again, today we were reminded that innovation does not always mean a new breakthrough in CORE TECHNOLOGY, and that brilliant ideas using existing technologies are indeed innovative.
As is usually the case with the earliest stage start-ups, the pitches yesterday demonstrated very interesting ideas that have yet to mature into viable business models. Many of the ideas were based on taking high risks, without attention to how to mitigate those risks. All of them had yet to address a solid business plan and go-to-market plan. So it’s clear why they all needed the networking being offered by Startupbootcamp last night.
The point is, that when innovation is not just technology, but an innovation using existing technologies, the business plan is critical, and it should be addressed from day one.
With over 15 years of experience working with start-ups in Israel and globally, I would recommend that the first steps for any such early stage start-up is to set up an advisory board that includes a very experienced business development expert for the purpose of supporting the founders to develop their go-to-market approach, and to start building their business plan as an integral part of their innovation. By the time a start-up can describe WHAT they are making, they should be able to describe HOW they will sell it.
The author of this blogpost is Gabi Tal who founded IBM’s Global Technology Unit (GTU) in 2001. Following it Tal managed all IBM Europe relations with developers, ISVs and Start-ups. Since leaving IBM Gabi is devoted to being an Israeli high-tech evangelist, mentor and investor. In addition he is dedicating much of his time to supporting underprivileged children through nonprofit organizations such as “Tovanot Be’Chinuch”.
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