from the February 2012 issue

'Nimble' Startups

Israel's "nimble" startup model can still thrive even as government funds drop because Internet companies only need small amounts of money, Vardi said. The city of Tel Aviv recently opened a working space called the Library for young technology entrepreneurs, he said.

The hour-long Garage Geeks event closed the Tel Aviv part of Digital Life Design, an international technology industry convention held in Munich. The Israeli edition attracted 300 visitors from outside the country, Vardi said.

"Somehow the word is out that this is where everyone has to be," said Vardi, co-chairman of the global conference and a founding investor in the former Mirabilis Ltd., which developed the ICQ online-chat system.

Top executives from Seattle-based Inc., Paris- based Alcatel-Lucent and Russia's Yandex NV were among nine potential benefactors at Garage Geeks who donned yellow vests. About 300 startup founders, clustering in groups as large as 30, roamed from suitor to suitor-making appeals under loose rules that urged "short" presentations.

"When you make a connection with an entrepreneur who's really excited, whether you do a deal with him or not, that's kind of the juice of the job," Google's Lawee said.

Reprinted from the Israel High-Tech & Investment Report February 2012

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