Pound for pound, I would always bet on the Israeli Armed Forces. Same for Technion. Which is why I want a way to invest in Israeli startups.
While SF, NY, Boston valuations go sky high (and don’t even think about the costs of doing business in London,) I’ve always been amazed at the pound for pound effectiveness of investing in Israeli startups. Talking to the 2-3 companies that come from Israel to Boston for MassChallenge is always amazing, with a startling positive ratio of talent and product to pre-money valuations.
Think Israel isn’t a hotbed for startups? This article from Forbes puts that idea to rest. Anyone who’s read the book Startup Nation knows the story: a tiny country with an entrepreneurial bent, an attitude, and a mission can do great things. A highly educated and technical population bonds and learns how to work together via shared service in the military. Big initial financial support from the Office of the Chief Scientist, but little on-site VC money after the seed money is gone. Hence low valuations, but high rates of success.
In my own portfolio, I’ve only had one investment in an Israeli company, but it delivered 3x in 6 months. I know it’s an n of 1, but it’s got me curious… So, how to get more exposure?
So consider this an RFF: Request for Fund
Techstars and 500 Startups: start a branch in Israel, the grass is way green there.
AngelList: can you recruit Yossi Vardi or some other successful angel (not @FakeYossiVardi) to start a fund to bring in new money? Someone with a track record and flow.
Marker LLC: how about you do a syndicate, akin to FG Angels, where you do lots of little bets from the firms you see who are great but are too early stage for you?
This is a classic case where a well run angel fund or a VC with angel-sized minimums would be welcome. Someone make it happen? Ideas?
PS–Yes, I know that picture up top shows the book with Chinese characters, not Hebrew. Makes you want to get going a little faster, yes?