Esther Loewy is the CEO and founder of Upround Ventures which ups the value proposition for entrepreneurs, investors, partners and the global innovation ecosystem. Upround Ventures addresses the Series A/B chasm, initially focusing on premium Israeli start-ups. She brings her experiences as an entrepreneur, member of the management team of one of the most recorded IPO’s in history and her work in the US, Israel, Europe and Asia, to secure investments and strategic partnerships for the company and start-ups.
I’m a born and bred American who moved to Israel nearly nine years ago – for purely capitalistic reasons – to both receive my EMBA from the Kellogg School of Management’s partnership with Tel Aviv University and learn firsthand what it’s like to be involved with the global innovation ecosystem. Yes, I said global – not Israeli innovation ecosystem because in the past nine years it’s been my association with premier Israeli start-ups that has most captured the attention of international financial and strategic investors, technology giants and university students.
Seasoned executives in Hong Kong, Seoul, Singapore, New York, Russia and Silicon Valley are most impressed with the fortitude, resilience and innovation that emanates from the very fiber of Israel’s high tech society. Most multinational tech players have established key offices in all regions of Israel-for commercial, strategic and business impact. Companies such as Lockheed Martin in Beersheba, Intel in Haifa and Kiryat Gat (southern Israel), Google in Tel Aviv, SAP in Karmiel –Northern Israel and the list goes on and on.
Having just returned from NY and the Bay Area to the geopolitical reality that confronts Israel today, I read about the dire predictions from those in the US and Europe on whether the current political and military situation in Gaza will impact Israel’s long term business potential. And I feel compelled to convey certain facts.
First lesson we have learned is that adversity and tough mental and physical conditions produce stronger and successful companies. Throughout Israel’s young 66 year old history as an independent State, the country has witnessed and experienced wars, battles, confrontations, and terror attacks — each unpleasant to say the least, each disrupting to an extent a certain quality of family life
Yet, Israel has not only persevered but flourished. Indeed its tremendous success in the high-tech sector has yielded so many successful companies and M&A’s (one only need to look at NASDAQ traded companies) –that Israel has rightfully been referred to as the Second Silicon Valley or Start-up Nation. (…)