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The Cisco EIR Startups travelled to Tel Aviv to learn from Cisco teams in Jerusalem, VC’s, partners, master marketers and others vital to the startup ecosystem in Israel. Below is a recount of Cisco EIR’s last trip of 2015 from Dror Liwer, Co-Founder & Chief Security Officer of CoroNet, a wireless network security startup participating in Cisco EIR in Europe.

Cisco EIR’s last trip of 2015 was memorable to say the least. We couldn’t have asked for a better ending to the year than a visit to Tel Aviv, a city renowned for its postcard-like landscape and cultivation of technology startups. As an Israel-based startup, the CoroNet team and I were happy to guide our fellow cohort members Aircloak, Intelliment Security, Sensewaves and Wittos through the bustling startup community in Israel.

We started the week with Hillel Fuld, a startup and social media magnet, learning about the drivers of success that have made Israel a technology hub. Some of our takeaways from Fuld’s talk about startup success were:

  • Tell your story in your own voice as opposed to what you believe investors want to hear.
  • “If you think you have no competitors, you either didn’t research the market, or have no market.” In other words, competitive analysis is key.

The following day, we visited the Cisco offices in Jerusalem where site manager Yael Villa showed us the massive video and security teams that operate out of Jerusalem as a result of Cisco’s second largest acquisition ever of NDS.

Later that afternoon we stopped at Elron Electronic Industries Ltd. Yaron Elad, VP and CFO of Elron, spoke of their VC investments and the company’s history of bridging the gap between Israeli R&D and industry to help create a thriving high-tech industry in Israel. He also told us about the pioneering efforts that led to the development of the first accelerators and incubators in Israel, some of which became the seeds of the “Startup Nation.”

We then learned about the many Israeli medical device companies that Elron has invested in from Dr. Zvika Slovin, the company’s director. Dr. Slovin gave us honest insights from the perspective of investors, including what they look for in teams and other critical success factors for startups looking for investment.

The next day, we paid a visit to EMC, a global leader in IT and business transformation. We met with Maya Hofman Levy, EMC site leader, for a discussion about the company’s forward-thinking decision to be the first company to open in Beer-Sheva before this city had become a tech hub.

While in Beer-Sheva, we stopped by JVP Cyber labs to get the perspective of a modern-day VC from Yoav Tzruya, Partner and CEO of JVP Cyber Labs. Yoav left us with some valuable advice about fundraising. He stressed that startups needed to show investors:

  1. Real customer traction, even from non-paying customers.
  2. A clear path to substantial revenue and financial resilience.

On our last night in Tel Aviv, I decided to surprise the others for a dinner that was out of the ordinary. I took them to what looked like a run-of-the-mill restaurant in Jaffa. It just so happened to be Sorcerer’s Night, a dinner accompanied by a magic and comedy show. To their surprise, the host for the show that night was me! We all had an absolute blast.

Thank you and Shalom Israel.

dror sorcerer night




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About the Author

Dror Liwer
Dror Liwer is a Co-Founder & Chief Security Officer at CoroNet.
About Cisco EIR
Cisco Entrepreneurs in Residence is a 6 month startup incubator focused on growth and distribution in the Cisco ecosystem.
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