Marketplace: Scaling Annapurna

How Billy Hrvoye and Nafea Bshara reached the start-up peak

By SHLOMO MAITAL
April 4, 2018 13:04
 Nafea Bshara (left) and Bilik (Billy) Hrvoye

Nafea Bshara (left) and Bilik (Billy) Hrvoye. (photo credit: NITZAN ZOHAR)

Building a successful world-changing start-up is not unlike climbing a Himalayan mountain. This is the story of a remarkable start-up, founded by an Israeli Christian Arab and a Jewish immigrant from embattled Sarajevo, then-Yugoslavia, born when a plan to climb the real mountain (the formidable Annapurna) was not implemented – and the mighty rock gave its name to the start-up anyway.

Intimately involved in the story is a catalyst – a savvy successful entrepreneur named Avigdor Willenz, whose exit struck it rich and who used his brains and money, as an “angel,” to replicate his success, with a clever choice of “ingredients” − budding entrepreneurs and their ideas and vision. By the way, Willenz himself did climb Annapurna, in the 1980s, before launching his own start-up.

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