Startup Culture in Tel Aviv

//Startup Culture in Tel Aviv

Startup Culture in Tel Aviv

By | 2015-11-10T02:29:33+00:00 November 10th, 2015|Business|0 Comments

The ever expanding world of startups has now become centric in Tel Aviv, second only to Silicon Valley. As a rising starting point for those looking to build teams and gain investment, the rise in development has brought Tel Aviv to the tip of the startup world. The culture in Tel Aviv is known to be an ever-evolving sphere, where you can expand your contacts globally. Here, we catch up with CEOs of two of the hottest startups in Tel Aviv, the city where ideas are coming to life.

Benny Shaviv, CEO of Fitness22

Fitness Made Simple, heads up the fitness app focused on helping users not only get in shape, but stay in shape. We got in touch with Fitness22’s CEO, Benny Shaviv, who shared his process of going from a failed venture to a successful startup.

What made you decide to start the business?      

I was just wrapping up my previous startup (a company that we raised $4 Million dollars for). That was after failing (yes, we failed. big time).  I was trying to figure out what my next venture would be, and decided to fulfil a long-time dream – going back to writing code. Previously I had already moved on to management positions and had not touched code for years.  For my birthday my father got me a mac, so I decided to try and write an iPhone app.  One of the very earliest decisions I made was to hire an outside designer to make sure the app would be beautiful, because I was not sure at the time that I could provide any technical advantage over our competitors. That was 4 Years and 30 Million downloads ago.  Sadly, I only wrote code for a short period. Since then our RD team is taking care of that.  

How would you describe the startup culture in Tel Aviv?     

Amazing. For such a small country we get an incredible amount of support respect from many places in the globe. This culture also breeds talent ideas. Almost everyone I know has an idea for a startup – which might sound crazy, but it’s actually a great thing. Only few follow through, but the mind-set is a definite advantage.   

How has this culture benefited the business?     

The biggest impact is the ability of small startups from Tel Aviv to behave like US or EU based companies. Both in mind-set and communication.  If it wasn’t for the startup culture, we would not have the knowledge of how global companies behave. Only a few people would be experienced with it, and the information would not proliferate the way that it does today.  

What has been the biggest challenge you’ve faced?       

There have been many, but our biggest challenge, and best decision we’ve ever made was pointing the company towards profitability and not user count growth. This has worked great, and has enabled us to remain independent.  

What is the most important lesson you’ve learned?    

Don’t be afraid to change, but when you do change test the waters first. 18 months we did a redesign of our entire fitness brand and the app sales plummeted. Users hated many parts of the change.  We’ve fixed things since and we’re back on top now, but that decision definitely cost us.

What advice do you have for UK entrepreneurs looking to start a new business?     

Do it. Don’t be afraid to try. If it’s burning inside you then the cost of failing is much lower than the cost of not trying. Telling your kids the story of how you tried (and quite possibly succeeded) is much better than telling them that you should have at least tried.  Please – try.  You’ll be amazed at what you can achieve.

Learn more about how you can use Fitness22 to make your fitness plan a sustainable part of your life, avoiding the fads and temporary fixes for a plan that is lasting. Select your activity and Fitness22 will keep you updated with the rest.

Ani Terada, CEO of Aniwo

Aniwo heads up a group of creatives, including Ani Terada’s Million Times, which connects startups with potential investors, enabling users to “pitch to the world”. We caught up with Terada to hear more about the motivation that comes from Japan’s rich business history and culture, as he offers advice to UK Entrepreneurs.

What made you decide to start the business?

It is my dream to create innovative values globally through business, because many Japanese entrepreneurs in the former generation like Mr. Matsushita (Panasonic), Mr. Morita Mr. Ibuka (Sony), Mr. Honda (Honda), Mr. Onitsuka (asics) established the base of today’s Japan and made people happy.  

How would you describe the startup culture in Tel Aviv?

Many people have the entrepreneurship and they don’t hesitate to take actions and challenges. It’s totally different from Japanese culture. Most Japanese people are conservative and they prefer to work at a large company or government, so the option to start a business is not major.  Another thing I was impressed is the very open minds of the Israeli people. If I ask someone to help me, they think about that and help me very quickly to introduce a right person or give me information. These new connections make innovation. Tel Aviv is very Dynamic, Open, Kind and Innovative!

How has this culture benefited the business?

My business is a web platform business called Million Times to connect startups with investors, large companies and users. We have already more than 300 startups in the platform and made 6 investment through the platform. Many people in Tel Aviv are innovators from the user’s point of view, that’s why they prefer to use a new tool. So I got many users and make matches.    

What has been the biggest challenge you’ve faced?  

The biggest challenge is to start business in Tel Aviv. I had no friend, no relationship and network in Israel, however, I started my business here. I met a lot of people in Israel and everyone I met is really kind. Because of the help from very kind friends, my business is going well and we cerebrated 1st anniversary of my company in this October. I really appreciate Israeli friends.

What is the most important lesson you’ve learned?

“Only Action Can Make Changes and Innovations.” This is the most important lesson for me and motto. Don’t hesitate to take a risk, just try, learn and improve. I’m learning these things through my experiences in Israel.

What advice do you have for UK entrepreneurs looking to start a new business?   

Today, the borders between countries become lower and lower, so you should think and act globally. In addition, the team and people are the one of the most important things when you do a business, so you must choose reliable people to start your business together. My partners are friends of mine from my university days and I trust them 100%.

Author Bio: Kat Kynes is a copywriter for Lottosend. Lottosend enables users to play lotteries from around the world online from desktop and mobile devices.