Hi-tech leader says what sets Israel apart: For Israelis there is no ‘no’

For Israelis there is no “no.” You can find a solution to every problem.

Shmulik Zysman, Founder and managing director of ZAG/Sullivan International Law Firm speaks at the Jerusalem Annual Conference in New York (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
Shmulik Zysman, Founder and managing director of ZAG/Sullivan International Law Firm speaks at the Jerusalem Annual Conference in New York
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
NEW YORK – Shmulik Zysman, one of the founders of the international law firm ZAG-S&W, is one of Israel’s foremost commercial lawyers and a recognized expert in the fields of hi-tech, Internet, life sciences and commercial and capital markets law, as well as communications and real estate law.
At The Jerusalem Post Annual Conference, he sat down with Jerusalem Report editor Steve Linde for a quick Q&A about the Israeli start up arena.

How do you choose which companies to work with?

With respect to choosing the right hi-tech company, I would say there is a triangle. At the top of the triangle is technology – the patents. But if you have technology, that is not enough to go and invest. You must ask: is there a product? The third point of the triangle is the market – is there a market? So, let’s say you have IP, product and market: I would say the last thing but the most important is to look at is the people. The people make the difference: leadership and honesty.

What makes Israeli start-ups different?

For Israelis there is no “no.” You can find a solution to every problem. Also, Israeli hi-tech workers are loyal to their work. And it is also the hours they work – they will work from early morning until the next day if they must solve a problem. At the end of the day, Israelis have so many advantages, it is no wonder we have such a wonderful hi-tech industry.
Do you have advice for potential investors?
Israel is great place [to invest] when you compare Israeli companies to start-up companies in Silicon Valley – just in their beginning. First of all, they are cheaper at the seed stage, so investing in Israel is a good idea with respect to a price. Then, look at the fields. Cyber is a big thing in Israel and life sciences, software, hardware, artificial intelligence and autonomic cars.

What’s new?

Space technology is going to be something new. It has all the reasons to believe it is going to be big.

And your final message?

Let’s stay friends and do this together.