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.
Today’s Notes from Israel will be a slightly different one. As the final transcription, I’d like to share my notes from the Singapore-Israel Industrial R&D Foundation (SIIRD) on what Israel has done to cultivate the culture of entrepreneurship and then end it off with some words of wisdom.
Shai Ben-Yehuda (Artwaresoft) - We tend to sacrifice our ideals for money when fund-raising - As an entrepreneur, after raising money, the company is no longer yours. The VCs can control your company, prevent more money from being raised etc... - Read contract papers clearly. Entrepreneurs can get burned very easily during exits. - Entrepreneurs make irrational decisions and this sometimes are the reasons why companies survive. One must be strong: Rational decisions can destroy a company. - Outsource/Partnerships is an option: They provide expertise that you may not have. - A team is more important than monetary success. Isn't that why we as entrepreneurs leave our corporate cubicles for? [We can make more money in a cubicle without any risk] - Manage your ego but keep it too as it is your fuel. Liara - Follow your heart: "Be a happy clown, and not a frustrated nuclear scientist because the happy clown will go further"