During Tuesday’s OurCrowd Global Investor Summit in Jerusalem, some 700 attendees from all over the came to connect with each other, engage with the OurCrowd portfolio companies, and hear inspirational messages from the likes of Jerusalem Mayor, Nir Barkat and Retired Israel Defense Forces Brigadier General, Danny Gold, the creator of the Iron Dome.
Setting the tone for this event are some pretty compelling facts:
- The OurCrowd Global Summit represented 35 countries (including the Great State of Texas)
- $80 Million has already been invested in OurCrowd companies.
- 54 companies have now been funded on the OurCrowd Platform
- This year, OurCrowd invested more money in Israel than any other VC firm in Israel
OurCrowd CEO and founder, Jon Medved shares his concluding remarks at the OurCrowd Global Investor Summit.
Throughout the day, I attended the talks, met with OurCrowd team members, and paid special attention to the energy and love that was taking place in lower level lobby areas of the Inbal Hotel, where the Summit was held.
If there was one overarching message to the summit, it was the fact that OurCrowd is getting ready to scale globally.
Nathan Cher – OurCrowd Partner – based in Australia.
I met investors from all over the world, including OurCrowd Partner, Nathan Cher, who lives in the land down under, Australia.
Nathan, who lives a mere 12,000 miles away from Jerusalem, has a network of companies, qualified investors, potential business partners, distributors, integrators, members of the press who are ready to step up, help, and be of value to OurCrowd companies.
He can bring new startups into the OurCrowd platform and make sure they are vetted to OurCrowd standards from faraway.
He can help his friends who are qualified investors and bring them great people and great companies they would never have access to, let alone even know of them.
And that’s just Nathan in Australia.
There are others like Nathan from around the world that are doing likewise, and replicating the process.
Now, things get sort of interesting. And beyond this whole money and investing thing, there are some human and social dynamics that come into play here.
Here’s 5 Take-Aways From What I Saw:
1. It’s Not Just The Crowd; it’s the Perpetual Crowd.
I can’t put my finger on this yet, but I somehow I believe that when you have people investing not just their money, but their time, their energy, and their rolodexes – and you are doing this over and over and over, beyond the concept of The Crowd, I believe a greater force of nature takes place.
It’s something I call “The Perpetual Crowd” – non-stop love in motion – if you will, that is illustrating what happens when you have a constant stream of energy going into a community.
This is a community that is on a mission, to extend the value chain in technology and innovation startups from Israel (and in time, other parts of the world) .
2. From Crowd Funding to Crowd Building – You Can Make A Personal Impact
There’s now a new extension to the Our Crowd site – it’s called CB.CrowdBuilder.com – the new crowd building component of OurCrowd.
When you have over 6,000 pre-qualified investors – all with rolodexes, industry expertise and an opportunity to be more than a financial investor, suddenly the wisdom of the crowd becomes the deal flow of the crowd.
I believe that taking this from Crowd Funding to Crowd Building, there is yet another level of equity that enters the picture – that of social equity.
3. Your Social Equity Really Matters
As noted in my previous column, A Social Communications Guide to the OurCrowd #OCGlobal – Global Investor Summit, the more you are socially engaged and the more connect with the OurCrowd community, its companies, its founders and your co-investors, the greater the value your social equity increases.
I believe this will become increasingly valuable to the individual investors and the aggregated value of the companies when more social conversation and engagement takes place from the bottom up in support of the community, the companies, and the individual entrepreneurs driving their visions into something has liquidity.
4. OurCrowd Is A Massively Scalable and Global Funding Engine
Walking the hallways of the Inbal Hotel, hanging out during the luncheon, coffee breaks, and randomly running into people I either knew or wanted to meet because I knew of them, I heard accents and languages from all over the world.
There are also many who chose to live here in Israel, but come from somewhere else.
I met someone from Mexico City who now lives here, and has deep ties to his native land.
I shared my story about how my Mother’s family left France during WWII and wound up in Mexico. I spent almost every summer with my grandparents and have very fond memories of this phase of my life. We bonded immediately and agreed to meet again after the summit.
He has a network of accredited investors. He can serve as an export mechanism, introduce his friends back in Mexico to really cool companies, and share in the great deal flow that they would not normally have access to.
When you repeat this in 35 other countries and a whole lot more to come, this OurCrowd thing gets really big time and very scalable.
5. Why Israel Is Such A Compelling Place To Invest In
There are smart people all over the world. There are lots of places to invest your money.
There are really two things I see here that are in play – one of them was an epiphany from the Summit.
1. Israel is what I call a land of “contiguous innovation.”
The fact that Israel is such a small country, you can basically cover 20% of the entire U.S. startup population in a matter of a week or two of visiting companies.
2. I am going to go on a limb here, but after hearing General Danny Gold share his story about Iron Dome and all of the innovation that has, and is coming from the IDF, I am of the belief that what NASA and specifically President John F. Kennedy’s vision to land men on the moon and bring them back safely to earth, did to spur the downstream innovation economy of the U.S. in the 60’s, 70’s and beyond, the same thing is happening here in Israel.
The only difference is that what took so long and was so expensive to develop, and what was really only in the hands of a few contractors who did all this great wizardry for NASA, is now affordable, within reach of so many bright entrepreneurs here in Israel whose DNA and core training comes from the IDF.
Technology is being democratized.
And is so investing and the opportunity to take part in this wave of innovation coming from here.
Jon and his team connected the dots, made it capital efficient, and scalable.