Crossing Death Valley

It is very difficult to do business in Israel, especially for a start-up seeking to grow independently.

By SHLOMO MAITAL
July 8, 2015 11:28
Painting by Avi Katz

Crossing the Death Valley, Painting by Avi Katz. (photo credit: AVI KATZ)

 
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DEATH VALLEY, which sits between California and Nevada, got its name in 1849, during the California Gold Rush, when 13 prospectors died crossing it in a wagon train on their way to the gold fields. It has the world’s highest recorded temperature, 57 degrees Centigrade, and average yearly rainfall of only two inches (five centimeters). Crossing Death Valley is perilous.

Israel has its own Death Valley, according to Yossi Beinart, Chief Executive Officer of the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange. It is the arid financial desert for mid-sized Israeli firms that are no longer infant start-ups; that need a lot of capital to attain sustained independent growth; and that “perish” (i.e., are swallowed by bigger firms) due to, among other things, lack of money.

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