The first ever Israel Growth Summit was held recently in Tel Aviv, co-hosted by the Viola Group and the Israel Growth Forum led by Wix, and attended by CEOs and executives from over 150 Israeli tech companies in their growth stage. Although this was an exclusive event, the content was so interesting and valuable, we wanted to make it accessible to the entire community of tech companies and startups in Israel, so over the next few weeks we will be publishing a series of video highlights from 8the event, by speakers from Viola, Wix, ironSource, Mellanox, Check Point, Payoneer, Fiverr, SimilarWeb, Yotpo, Goldman Sachs, Moovit, Zerto and DaPulse. This week we’re kicking it off with the presentation by Viola Group co-founders Shlomo Dovrat and Harel Beit-On.

Shlmo Dovrat and Harel Beit-On are widely known as venture capital and private equity investors from Carmel Ventures and Viola Growth respectively. What is perhaps not as widely known, however, is that before they co-founded the Viola Group back 2000 – now Israel’s premier technology oriented private equity investment group with over $2.5 billion under management – they both started out as entrepreneurs who eventually took their own company public, so they are therefore intimately familiar with the challenges that most entrepreneurs face as their companies scale.

For the purpose of this presentation, Shlomo and Harel considered the Israeli (and general) ecosystem of growth companies and summarized the main challenges they face into 3 main categories:

Strategy (the “What”)
Execution (the “How”)
Financing (the “with what”)

Here are highlights from Shlomo & Harel’s presentation:

The State of Growth Companies in Israel (Part 1 of 4)

In this video:
Growing number of growth companies in Israel, including billion dollar companies
MobilEye is a great inspiration and proof of what’s possible here in Israel
Growth Fundraising in Israel (number of investment rounds over $20M is growing)
Spike of Venture Debt in Startups in the US, and will most likely follow in Israel
Viola Group is the largest tech investor in Israel with $2.5 billion under management and investments in over 150 companies at all stages of growth

3 Pillars of Growth – Starategy, Execution and Financing (Part 2 of 4)

In this video:

– Long term sustainable organic growth plan: Need to aim for a company that’s multi-product and multi-market
– Recognize the need to change your strategy before reality hits and continue to invest in innovation

– Make sure you have a good board and assemble a winning management team
– Scalibility: What works for small companies doesn’t work in large companies
– Build world class operations but don’t be afraid to take risks

– Consider the right fundraising option for your company and your stage of growth. Sometimes it might be equity, other times it might be debt.
– Choose investors that will be true partners

The evolving and challenging role of CEOs in growth companies (Part 3 of 4)

In this video: Harel and Shlomo talk about how the lives of CEOs who manage growing tech companies change as they face various challenges and milestones.

Why become a founder – Is it worth it? (Part 4 of 4)

“Being an entrepreneur is the most irrational thing you could ever do. Success rates are very low, you can earn more money working at a stable job in a large, establshed company and have a normal work-life balance, and it’s a constant emotional rollercoaster. So why is it all worth it?” (Shlomo Dovrat)

In this video: Shlomo talks about what drives successful entrepreneurs despite the many challenges associated with creating and growing a startup.

About the Israel Growth Summit
The summit was created to bring together this exclusive group of leaders so that they can benefit from the experience of fellow industry colleagues whose companies have already reached significant growth milestone. The summit – which will be held annually – was conceived to provide a forum for tech companies to network and benefit from shared knowledge and connections, in the hope of strengthening Israel’s ecosystem of growth-stage companies as they navigate their journey towards becoming global leaders.

Other videos in our Israel Growth Summit video series:
Challenges faced by tech companies as they scale (by Wix’s Nir Zohar)
Why is Inorganic Growth so important? (by Tomer Bar Zeev & Eyal Waldman)
6 Guidelines for Change & Growth (by Check Point’s Amnon Bar-Lev)
The challenges of taking your company global (with Or Offer & Tomer Tagrin)
Scaling While Maintaining Culture (with Keren Levy & Vered Raviv Schwarz)
Growth Financing Panel (with Goldman Sachs MD, Jonathan Penkin)