Startup Grind Israel - Building the global bridge for entrepreneurs

The organization is based on three core values – Give First don't Take, Make Friends not Contacts and Help Others before Yourself.

Shahar Matorin (photo credit: PHOTOS BY AMANDA)
Shahar Matorin
(photo credit: PHOTOS BY AMANDA)
Imagine emailing invitations for a client get-together and selling out the hall almost immediately after sending the notification. Such was the experience of Startup Grind Israel, the local branch of the Global Startup Grind Community of entrepreneurs when they informed local members about their Welcome 2020 Cocktail Party that was to be held at the Peres Center for Peace and Innovation this past Monday.
“We sent out a newsletter to our Welcome 2020 Cocktail Party, and five minutes later it was sold out,” said Shahar Matorin, Israel country manager for Startup Grind.
The event itself was a great success, and enabled both experienced and up-and-coming Israeli entrepreneurs, investors, tech leaders and decision makers, to learn from and help each another.
Startup Grind is the largest independent start-up community in the world, actively educating, inspiring and connecting more than 2,000,000 entrepreneurs in over 600 chapters around the world, through events, media and partnerships with leading hi-tech organizations.
Founded in the Silicon Valley area of northern California 10 years ago, Matorin explained that the organization is based on three core concepts – making friends, not contacts; giving, not taking; and helping others before helping oneself.
“If we can succeed with people that believe in the same values," he said, “then we can create a community in which entrepreneurs help entrepreneurs in their journey. The mission of Startup Grind is to educate, inspire and connect any entrepreneurs on planet Earth.”
Becoming a successful entrepreneur is a lonely, and challenging task, or "grind."
“It’s lonely in the beginning,” Matorin said. “We all have to take the same journey.”
Matorin, who has headed the Israeli branch of Startup Grind since 2013, said that Israel has 12,000 members connected with the worldwide Startup Grind community. The first branch of the local organization was established in Tel Aviv, and Matorin said that additional branches are being started in Emek Hefer, Rishon Lezion, Ashdod, and Rehovot. Additionally, the Education Ministry has chosen Startup Grind as a platform to be used in local high schools to teach students entrepreneurial and communication skills, and how to better create and nurture business relationships.
“We are among the smallest countries in Startup Grind,” said Matorin, “but we are among the most active communities.” 
He added that being the country director of Startup Grind has given him the opportunity to act as a hub and go-between between the local ecosystem of start-ups and the Israeli government.
Startup Grind’s annual Global Conference, an important event for innovative start-ups and tech leaders is scheduled for this coming February in Silicon Valley, and Matorin is looking forward to attending.
“The first conference included staff from 20 countries. This year, we will have 10,000 attendees from around the globe, from 120 countries.” Matorin, who himself works on a volunteer basis, emphasizes that Startup Grind community local teams are composed of volunteers, and it is the spirit of volunteerism and helping others that enables the group to hold its monthly events.