Meet Yossi Vardi: The father of Israeli entrepreneurs

There’s no doubt about it: Israel is the ultimate Startup Nation. In Israel, there are over 6 thousand startups, and innovation is present everywhere. Technology is advancing rapidly, and Israeli entrepreneurs are creating – every day – influential solutions that are improving the way we live and interact with each other.

Several elements of the local entrepreneurship ecosystem have an influence, making this a reality. First of all, Israel is a country in which resilience is not only important, but also being taught as a main value in schools and universities. Being resilient wasn’t an option for those who founded the country, rather it was a necessity. Therefore, this value that is so prevailing when becoming an entrepreneur, is an inherent part of the Israeli mindset.

On the other hand, Israel has been innovative both with technology and inventions in general for decades now. A few weeks ago we published an article about outstanding Israeli inventions that many people don’t even know come from the Land of Milk and Honey.

Also, the environment helps creators feel the freedom to turn any of their dreams into phenomenal realities. But, what helps create an environment like that one? Have you ever heard about angel investors? According to Wikipedia, an angel investor is “an individual who provides capital for a business start-up, usually in exchange for convertible debt or ownership equity. Angel investors usually give support to start-ups at the initial moments and when most investors are not prepared to back them.”.

In Israel, there are several angel investors that have been helping startups for decades now. At this opportunity, we would like to talk about one of the most important. A person who has been supporting the Israeli entrepreneurship ecosystem for a long, long time. Today, we want you to meet Mr. Yossi Vardi.

9 Facts about Yossi Vardi: Supporting entrepreneurship from the bottom of his heart

Those who have met Mr. Yossi Vardi in the past agreed on the fact that above all, he is a great person. In this article, we are going to give you a few facts about his life that will amuse you. Since he has changed the lives of so many, both entrepreneurs and the users of their great ideas, we have decided to pay homage. To you, Yossi Vardi… the father of Israeli entrepreneurs.

1. Yossi Vardi studied at the Technion, in Haifa, where he got his B. Sc in industrial management. Then, he obtained both his MS and his Ph.D. from the same institution.

2. Yossi Vardi’s son, Arik, was the founder of ICQ, the first internet-wide instant messaging system in the entire world, with huge success around the globe. Mr. Vardi became its founding investor.

3. He has been active in founding and funding internet-related startups and young internet companies since 1996.

4. Recently, in the spirit of fostering a creative culture of innovation both in Israel and internationally, he founded Kinnernet. This is an annual gathering of influential and creative people from many different countries that takes place in the Galilee.

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5. When he was the General Director of the Ministry of Energy, he had a very important role in the negotiations of the peace agreement signed with Egypt.

6. He has served on boards and as an advisor in companies and organizations such as Amdocs, the World Bank, the United Nations Development Program, the World Economic Forum, Motorola, Blackberry Ventures, Bezek, and Arkia, among many others…

7. According to Startup Nation Central, “Mr. Vardi co-founded, led, funded and helped build more than 85 high-tech companies in diverse areas of software, energy, internet, mobile, electro-optics, clean water and others”.

8. He always talks to entrepreneurs and startups in development, to help them with funds, with advice, or with his brilliant points of view. He meets delegations from all over the world every single week to explain why startups flourish in Israel and their funny relationship with the “Jewish mother” and the need for a plan.

9. Dr. Vardi gave an extraordinary TED talk named “The Secret Sauce of Israeli Entrepreneurship”, where he explains very clearly what makes a small country like Israel so strong in the startup world.

Learn Hebrew today. Move to Israel. Become an entrepreneur!

As you just read, becoming an entrepreneur in Israel is not as hard as it sounds. In order to become a successful one, there are a few steps you need to take. First of all, learn Hebrew. You can do so in a very friendly and accessible way in one of the live online courses offered by the Rosen School of Hebrew!

Right after you become fluent in the language of our ancestors – and believe us, at the Rosen School of Hebrew this will happen – you take a plane to Israel and start meeting the biggest players in the entrepreneurial field… Israel is so small that you might run across one of them in the nearest coffee shop.

Then, you will be closer than ever before to becoming an Israeli entrepreneur. Who knows? Maybe we will be writing our next article about you and the phenomenal inventions you’ll create in Israel. Behatzlacha!

About the author

Arie Elbelman R.Arie was born and raised in Chile, and immigrated to Israel in his early twenties. He wants to take an active role in the development of this young and smart country. Arie believes that the best way to shape our present and future is to live with more horizontal hierarchies, to smile a whole lot, and to always, always respect each other.

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