'Huge consensus' on hi-tech success provides post-election optimism

Jon Medved, the CEO and founder of OurCrowd, emphasized that Israeli hi-tech is considered by all major parties entering the Knesset as a "national brand and national business."

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April 10, 2019 17:41
2 minute read.
OurCrowd founder & CEO Jon Medved addresses the 2019 OurCrowd Global Investor Summit, March 7, 2019

OurCrowd founder & CEO Jon Medved addresses the 2019 OurCrowd Global Investor Summit, March 7, 2019. (photo credit: NOAM MOSKOWITZ)

 
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The “huge consensus” across the political spectrum on the need for maintaining and increasing the strength of Israeli hi-tech gives cause for optimism for the Israeli business sector, according to one of Israel’s leading entrepreneurs and venture capitalists.

After Tuesday’s elections returned a right-wing governing coalition, Jon Medved, the CEO and founder of OurCrowd, emphasized that Israeli hi-tech is considered by all major parties entering the Knesset as a “national brand and national business.”

The good news, Medved told The Jerusalem Post, is that “there seems to be no flirtation with socialism or anti-capitalism in any way, shape or form in the election results.”

Small elements in the Knesset who were potentially anti-business, anti-growth or anti-capitalist, he added, “have become almost insignificant in a way that they never were before.”

Since OurCrowd was established six years ago by Medved, the crowdfunding capital venture platform has become Israel’s leading venture investor, raising $1 billion in commitments across 18 funds and investing in 170 start-ups.

The novel approach to democratizing the venture process, harnessed by Jerusalem-based OurCrowd, has enjoyed great success, with 30,000 registered investors from more than 182 countries making up the platform’s continuously growing investor community.

“During the elections, nobody was talking about real changes in business policy. It just wasn’t an issue in the elections. The elections were about other things, about personalities, legal issues, peace and security, as they always are,” said Medved.


“In this country, there is a broad consensus on economics. Everyone wants to wrap themselves up in the mantle of the start-up nation, it’s almost like Israeli-style motherhood and apple pie,” he added.

In 2018, Israeli hi-tech companies raised a record $6.4 billion in 623 financial deals, marking a sixth consecutive year of record growth in capital raising.

Citing Intel’s $15.3 billion acquisition of Mobileye and Nvidia’s recent $6.9b. acquisition of Mellanox, Medved believes the incoming government needs to create an environment which will continue to lure huge investments into the country.

“We need an environment that allows that to happen, both from a reasonable regulatory standpoint as well as in terms of good tax and business legislation. I think that will continue,” he said.

“I think the big issue is whether the government can find resources to help make investments in some of the research development in Israel, which is critical. We can’t just rely on the private sector to handle things such as quantum computing, artificial intelligence and some of the new technology that we’re facing now.”

More government attention needs to be given, Medved said, to backing Israeli universities, which require significant investment in terms of research capabilities.

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