There is certainly no shortage of startup incubators and accelerators these days, but Silicon Valley’s Upwest Labs is doing something especially unique. Upwest, which got off the ground in January, focuses on entrepreneurs with Israeli roots — it brings them to Palo Alto, California for three months where they work around the clock to amp up their existing startups to Silicon Valley speed. → Read More
Israel has had an amazing track record of producing startups and raking in returns– better than most countries many times its size. The problem is the returns have fallen off dramatically in the last ten years as industries Israel excelled at have become mature. Meanwhile, it’s failed to generate many big consumer Web hits, aside from MyHeritage and a few others.
I’ve traveled to Israel… → Read More
In this week’s show, we talk to one of our favorite angel investors, Saul Klein, who just wrapped up his third annual Seedcamp in London. In addition to being a partner at the powerful Index Ventures and having a British accent — which lonely expat Paul can’t get enough of– Klein is impressive because he’s one of the only angel investors who has made what is traditionally an intensely local way… → Read More
For some people, buying up iPads in the US in bulk and selling them in their home countries for $2,000 and more means serious business. But don’t do that in Israel, at least for now. The country’s Ministry of Communications has started banning all iPad imports yesterday because of the difference in Wi-Fi standards in the US and Israel. → Read More
The way venture capital firms are structured makes it almost impossible for outsiders to see what’s really going on inside those 1970s lodge-like Sand Hill Road offices. It’s an industry perfectly structured for sweeping problems under the rug, and as its fundamentals have declined over the last decade, that’s just what it’s been doing. But those big, lumpy problems are getting harder and… → Read More
Not sure why this suddenly came up and I’m not going to get into the politics of this, but Israeli security, in an apparent fit of pique, shot a young woman’s laptop at the airport. → Read More
Hey, all: I, John Biggs, will be in Israel from the Sept 5 through the 10th. I’d love to meet up with some great start-ups in the Jerusalem/Tel Aviv area. I’m most interested in the great gadgets coming out of there but I’m happy to sit down with local folks to talk web services.
TEL AVIV– The other day I spoke at an Israeli event called Techonomy where six handpicked Israeli startups were demoing new products. The companies were impressive, the audience packed, it was sponsored by blue-chip tech names, and well-heeled experts were on stage offering feedback.
In fact, it could have been just like a Silicon Valley event a la TechCrunch 50 in every way except one: Experts… → Read More
Deloitte recently released the results of its VC Indicator Survey (PDF), conducted among Israeli VCs this past month. The complied results are so pessimistic they paint a warm and fuzzy aura around Sequoia’s Doom & Gloom presentation.
Participated by approximately 80 Israeli venture capitalists, the survey predicts 2009 will be an extremely painful year for the Israeli startup industry in… → Read More
Those wacky Israelis! Police there used a “skunk bomb” for the first time on Friday as part of a crowd control action. The bomb is actually more like super soaker water gun that sprays a vile smelling liquid on people. The liquid is so foul smelling, that people instantly recoil against it. The theory is, if people are freaking out over the horrific smell, they’ll stop doing whatever it… → Read More
In a recent press release, Israeli telecommunications company Bezeq announced that it’s “launching the first ‘kosher’ telephone line in Israel under the name ‘Clean Line’. The new service blocks access to content deemed inappropriate for haredi (strictly observant) Jews.” Incoming and outgoing calls to numbers labeled as inappropriate by a council of… → Read More