Speaker Yossi Vardi’s Accomplishments Include…
One of Israel’s early entrepreneurs, Yossi Vardi has co-founded, led, invested, and helped build more than seventy high-tech, energy, natural resources, and clean-technology companies. Many of these went public or were acquired by leading companies. Tekem, Alon Energy, Granite Hacarmel, Answers.com, Scopus, International Lasers Technologies, ePals,Brightcove and Tucows all went public. Gteko was sold to Microsoft, Tivella was sold to Cisco, Airlink was sold to Sierra Wireless, Foxytunes was sold to Yahoo!, StarNet was sold to IAC, and Gift Project was sold to eBay.
Why Yossi Vardi
He’s a lively presence in the world of tech startups, with an absurd sense of humor and a refreshing set of values (restated in a much-commented-on TechCrunch post in October) that drive his approach to new investments. The takeaways: Judge the individual over the business plan; and don’t shy away from an entrepreneur who has failed before: “It makes them want to win even more,” he said.
As the founding investor of Mirabilis, Ltd., Vardi co-pioneered instant messaging. Mirablis was the creator of ICQ, one of the Internet’s earliest successes, which was later sold to AOL. Vardi was Chairman of the Board of Trustees for the Jerusalem Foundation. He serves on the Board of Trustees of the Technion, and served on the boards of Weitzman Institute, Hebrew University, Open University. He was an advisor to the World Bank, the United Nations Development Program, and to the CEOs of Amazon, AOL, and Allied-Signal.
Vardi has extensive experience in the government and public sector, having served as Director General of Ministry of Development and Ministry of Energy. Was Chairman of Israel National Oil Company and Israel Chemicals. He also participated in the peace talks with Egypt, the Palestinians, Jordan, and Syria. Vardi has earned several awards, including receiving an Honorary Doctorate from the Technion, Israel’s Institute of Technology; the Prime Minister’s for Life Achievements in the field of high-tech; the industry award, Best Internet Personality by TechCrunch Europe; Entrepreneur of the Year by Tel Aviv University; Europe’s 25 Top Techs by The Wall Street Journal; and One of the 200 Greatest Israelis of All Times by Ynet.