Decoding the Israeli Culture of Innovation

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March 23, 2018
Israelis are widely recognized as innovation trailblazers.  Why are Israeli entrepreneurs so often associated with innovation?  How did this happen? Hear from highly-regarded Israeli entrepreneurs Shuly Galili (UpWest Labs), Oren Zeev (Zeev Ventures), Alysia M. Sagi-Dolev (Qylur Intelligent Systems), Jenny Shalev (ThinkUp), and Itzik Lerner (LiveRaise, Progforse).  Learn about the trends that made Israel a hub for innovation that’s changing the world. 
This tech session is part of the day-long celebration of the 70th anniversary of the Israeli Declaration of Independence.  The session is hosted by the Jewish High Tech Community (JHTC) and the Jewish Community Relations Council of the Jewish Federation of Silicon Valley.  After the tech session, you are invited to stay for all the day’s activities.  This celebration is hosted by the Jewish Federation of Silicon Valley (JFSV) and is free and open to the public.  Food is available for purchase.
Welcome  

Shlomi Kofman, Consul General

Consulate General of Israel to the Pacific North West

     
A Fireside Chat between Shuly Galili and Oren Zeev  

Shuly Galili, Co-Founder Partner, UpWest Labs Shuly Galili is the Co-founding Partner at UpWest Labs, a Silicon Valley based seed fund investing in Israeli tech entrepreneurs and startups who are looking to break into the US market.  Founded in 2012, UpWest has a growing portfolio of more than 70 startups in diverse tech domains.  Among them: Endpoint security leader SentinelOne, autonomous drone-maker Airobotics, and business management platform Honeybook.  Prior to founding UpWest, Shuly worked at various cross-border organizations and funds investing in social and business ventures.  She spent more than a decade on building Silicon Valley’s gateway to Israel as the Executive Director of the California Israel Chamber of Commerce (CICC).  Shuly built the organization’s infrastructure across all tech domains and fostered high impact initiatives for Venture Capital, corporate executives and entrepreneurs between the two regions.  In 2015 she was named among 100 Most Influential People in Israeli Hi-tech by Israel’s leading tech magazine Geektime.  She serves on the Advisory Board of The C100 – A Canadian Entrepreneurs Network.

Oren Zeev, Founding Partner, Zeev Ventures

I back passionate founders building great companies, mostly in the internet and mobile internet spaces. I have the privilege of having backed companies like Houzz, Audible, Chegg, Tipalti, TripActions, Next Insurance, and others who are re-defining their respective industries. I am typically the main early investor and an active board member/chairman. I only invest in 1-2 companies per year and invest significant amounts in each. I see my role as working for the companies and the CEOs I am privileged to serve. I believe in good karma – I find that the more I do for others, the more it returns to me in ways I could not have imagined. I believe that my success as an investor, which is exceptional relative to any VC or angel benchmark, is a function of (I) luck (ii) focus on a limited number of companies (iii) always putting the interests of the portfolio companies first, ahead of any other consideration.  Zeev Ventures is a venture capital firm specializing in seed investments. Zeev Ventures is headquartered in California, United States.
Founders Panel
Moderator:

Victor Orlovski, Founding Partner, FortRoss VC

Victor Orlovski has more then 20 years of experience in financial technology space. In 2001 Victor joined Alfa Bank as the Chief Transformation Officer and was in charge of the largest banking transformation project in Russia.In 2007 Victor became a partner at IBM Global Business Services in charge of FI and Insurance practice in Russia and CIS. From 2008 to 2015 Victor continued his career in Sberbank as CTO and later as Chief Digital Officer. Victor and his team accomplished one of the largest banking transformation projects in the world changing Sberbank from old-fashion inefficient traditional banking to the truly digital and mobile customer centric modern financial firm. Victor is a founder and angel investor in a number of startups in financial technology, social networking, crowd funding and sharing economy with several successful exits.
Panel:
Itzik Lerner, Co-Founder, LiveRaise and Founder and CEO, Progforce Itzik Lerner is the Co-founder of LiveRaise.com – an invitation-only interactive live streaming platform. , and CEO of Progforce.com an international software development service company headquartered in Silicon Valley with development  centers in Russia, Ukraine and Israel. Itzik is a serial entrepreneur and an active Angel investor. since 1994 he founded , co-founded and invested in over 40 startups.  Itzik is an active software engineer keeping hands-on coding everyday , combining technical knowledge with business view of the tech industry.
Alysia M. Sagi-Dolev. Founder and CEO, Qylur Intelligent Systems Dr. Alysia M. Sagi-Dolev has dedicated her career to creating visionary solutions in the service of security that preserves people’s liberty and dignity. Culminating Dolev’s 20+ year leadership and innovation career with business ventures and government agencies, she founded and is CEO of Qylur Intelligent Systems. Qylur’s full-scale solutions are inspired by Dolev’s unmatched, first-hand experience dealing with advanced integrated technologies and terrorist threats. She has introduced a comprehensive approach that strikes an ideal balance between public safety, privacy and the business and operational interests of venues. Qylur is the maker of the Qylatron Entry Experience Solution, the world’s first entry solution integrating the entire process from interactive greeting and access control (ID verification) to respectful security screening. Dolev drove multiple technology innovations in the Qylatron, including a network of intelligent machines utilizing machine learning, a sophisticated use of IIoT. Under Dolev, Qylur struck key partnerships with world-leading strategic business partners and placed the Qylatron at world famous venues such as 2014 FIFA World Cup games in Brazil, a prominent theme park in Europe and Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif. Born in San Diego, California, Dolev holds a Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering.
Jenny Shalev, Co-Founder and CTO, ThinkUp
Jenny Shalev is a co-founder of ThinkUp. ThinkUp is a leading Positive Psychology app for developing a positive mindset, overcoming challenges, and achieving goals. ThinkUp’s community of experts and users have run millions of sessions on the app, reporting a life-changing impact. The ThinkUp app was selected the best Motivation app for 2017 and was featured in Forbes, Inc., Cosmopolitan and more. ThinkUp’s current focus is on a business version of the app for coaching Sales and Business professionals. Prior to founding ThinkUp, Jenny has served in IDF for 13 years in the Intelligence Technology Unit. She led multidisciplinary teams and initiated and managed a project that was awarded Israel Defense Prize. Jenny is a Computer Science graduate from the Technion, Israel.