I quip that I hear more Hebrew on University Avenue in Palo Alto than I do in Tel Aviv – and nothing showed that better than the recent Digital Life and Design (DLD) luncheon at MacArthur Park. DLD is a series of conferences (or an eclectic international gathering) annually in Munich as a pre-cursor to the World Economic Forum; annually in Tel Aviv; and rotating through the year other cities around the world.  DLD is organized by Burda Media in Munich, and co-hosted by Yossi Vardi and Stephany Czerny of Burda Media.  Of the 250 invited attendees, probably a third to half were Israeli’s.  Reflecting the prominence of this collection of people were major venture capitalist Tim Draper, Consul General Andy David, and Jaron Lanier – the notable computer scientist, composer and seer of virtual reality.  Steffi Czerny describes the role of the Palo Alto luncheon in the DLD approach to curating attendees –
 
“Palo Alto is … melting pot of the digital world. It is here that we find amazing people from all over the world to invite to our exclusive main event, the DLD Conference in Munich!”

 
According to Consul General Andy David the Silicon Valley region hosts 40-60 thousand resident Israelis.  Does this result in a brain drain? No, he says, it’s spillage from Israel.  This is confirmed by the active social and support system local in Palo Alto – the [email protected]

The University systems from Santa Cruz to Davis seed this to some extent. Stanford University in particular offers Executive MBA and LL.M programs at the law school.

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What are the strengths and weaknesses of the connection?  The strengths: the relationships grow by a natural affinity as opposed through government intervention. There’s a breadth of common subject matter – it’s not just electronics and chips, abut also medical, pharma and cleantech. In response to describing the weaknesses of the relationship quickly noted the lack of non-stop airline service between San Francisco and Tel Aviv. (I know this one).

Common attributes I found are interdisciplinary backgrounds, common value systems and valuing intellectual discovery.  And with that, almost on cue, the Israel Advanced Technology Industries (IATI) Association hosted a meeting on Sunday, November 30 titled “Bringing Your Startup-Up to the Silicon Valley.”  The location and details are available at http://www.iati.co.il/event-item/647/bringing-your-start-up-to-silicon-valley.

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