University of Cambridge > > Technology Enterprise Group (TEG) Seminar Series > Venture capital and the high technology market in Israel: How tiny Israel with no natural resources generates more technology start-ups then all of Western Europe combined

Venture capital and the high technology market in Israel: How tiny Israel with no natural resources generates more technology start-ups then all of Western Europe combined

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We are delighted to announce that the third of this term’s Technology Enterprise Group seminars will be given by Roni Hefetz, General Partner at Walden Israel, one of the most successful venture capitalists in Israel (according to Forbes magazine, the most successful in 2006).

It would be very helpful if you could send me an email to let me know if you plan to attend this event so that we can prepare enough handouts.

Location: Seminar Room A, Institute for Manufacturing, Mill Lane, Cambridge. Click for map

Abstract: In 1992 there was one venture capital fund operating in Israel, with $20 million under management. Today, over $20 billion are managed by more then 60 venture capital firms funding 300-400 new ventures per year. The market in Israel has matured quickly – and at present there are more then 100 technology companies traded in NASDAQ . In 2006 there were 76 M&A transactions totalling over $5 billion. Roni Hefetz, one of the founders of the industry and a general partner of Walden Israel – one of Israel’s leading technology venture firms – will share his view of why Israel is so successful in generating technology start-ups.

Biography: Roni Hefetz joined the Walden Group in San Francisco in 1992 and co-founded Walden Israel in 1993. He made his first investment in January 1994 in Ornet, a communications company that later was acquired by Siemens. Roni Hefetz’s relationship with Walden actually began in the late 80’s, when they met under very different circumstances to discuss a potential investment and he was an entrepreneur looking for capital for a start-up called CI Systems. He spent approximately six years with CI Systems, an Israeli military electro-optics company that started out of the Technion Physics department. Roni Hefetz relocated to the US to start and manage the company’s North American operations, and as such was involved in all aspects of running a start-up, including generating revenues from major aerospace corporations, raising equity funds, hiring a team and experiencing the challenges of a rapidly growing organization that has one foot in the US and another foot in Israel.

Prior to joining CI, Roni Hefetz had managed his first entrepreneurial venture, a small management consulting company for Israeli technology start-ups. Prior to that he spent seven years with the Israeli government: first, as a team member at the Budget Department at Ministry of Finance and second, as representative of the Israel Investment Authority in New York.

Roni Hefetz has degrees in Economics and a Master’s in Business Administration from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, 1980. His master’s thesis in the MBA program was titled “Key Ingredients for the Establishment of Venture Capital Industry in Israel.” At that time the term “venture capital” was hardly known in Israel. Currently there are more than 50 venture firms in Israel managing more $5 billion and Roni Hefetz is pleased that Walden Israel is a player in this thriving market.

Organisers: Thomas M. Bohné and Paul P. Hwang

This talk is part of the Technology Enterprise Group (TEG) Seminar Series series.

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