from the July 2012 issue

Yossi Vardi, godfather of Israel's hi-tech industry

"The secret sauce of Israel's success is the Jewish mother."

Yossi Vardi, the godfather of Israel's hi-tech industry, cracks yet another joke, sitting comfortably in his spacious house in Tel Aviv.

In the past few decades he has invested in and helped build some 80 Israeli start-ups - ranging from software firms to mobile phone and clean technology companies to name a few. Many of them he sold to international tech giants.

One of his possibly most famous investments was the first popular internet instant messaging service ICQ, bought by AOL in 1998 (who turned it into AOL Messenger).

He played a part in the creation of, invested in software solutions firm Gteko (bought by Microsoft in 2006) and the Gifts Project (acquired by eBay), in Airlink, Scopus, BrightCove and many others.

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

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