Notes from Israel (Part IV)

In 2009 as part of SMU's Technology Study Mission (TSM), my peers and I left for a 10 day trip to Israel to study their VC/Startup industry to figure out how we can replicate their success as a Startup Nation here in Singapore. We spoke to government officials, venture capitalists and entrepreneurs during the trip. The following posts in this series are my verbatim account from notes taken during the trip.

Jerusalem Venture Partners (JVP)
  1. First few VCs in Israel
  2. Based in Old City Jerusalem and not cosmopolitan cities like Haifa, Tel Aviv
  3. Has JV Studio
          - An early-stage incubator (Not common for VCs)
          - Focused on New Media
  4. Invests in
          - Virtual Worlds
          - Gaming Technology
          - Advertising Technology
          - Media-related Hardware
          - Enterprise Media
          - Portable Technology 

Technionseed
  1. CEO - Moshe Katzenelson
  2. 60-70% of Israel's Engineers comes from Technion University
  3. Provides Investments in Pre-seed startups and is owned by:
           - Battery Ventures (US)
           - Vertex Capital
           - Proseed
           - SCP Vitalife
           - The Technion
  4. Invests in startups that can go global
  5. Invests up to 1 million USD per startup
  6. Provides incubation to funded startups at their facilities for:
           - 12-36 months
           - Until able to prove viability (ie. go into 2nd stage funding with other VCs)
  7. The fund is able to use VC funds directly 
     (unlike most other VCs which does not directly do pre-seed investments) 
  8. They act as a service to Technionseed owners to invest in pre-seed companies
  9. As an incubator, the government takes most of the risk as 
     they invest more money (matching programs etc) 

  "Is there any restrictions for the startups to raise funds from other VCs?"
  Moshe: 
     - No. Investors want to bring in new investors to spread the risk.
     - VCs look at reward and not risk.