I have long been interested in the intersection between business and technology, so the opportunity to be exposed to a constant flow of talented entrepreneurs and innovative technologies feels like a natural next step for me. Although professionals usually become venture capitalists later in their careers, for me, an early start means more time to achieve success, and I’m very grateful for the opportunity to join Viola Ventures as a Partner. 

At LifeBEAM, an AI wearable technology company I co-founded several years ago, we initially developed a solution for detecting life threatening circumstances relating to the physiological state of fighter pilots, astronauts and special forces. It’s something I felt extremely passionate about during my time as an Air Force pilot.

The company eventually expanded to the consumer domain with products successfully adapted and licensed by Samsung and Under Armour. Most recently the company shifted its focus to Vi, an AI personal trainer functioning out of a wireless headset, which can sense, monitor and react to human behavior. Vi could potentially revolutionize individual training.

Smart wearables comprise just one of the verticals driving the digital transformation across all sectors (i.e. smart homes, cars, cities, environment and enterprises). We’re currently seeing only the ‘tip’ of what is actually a greater hyper-connected era that will eventually surface.

The term “The Internet of Things” was coined by Kevin Ashton back in 1999. Now, almost 2 decades later, the day where everything will be connected and it will be possible to make better decisions in “real time, all the time” – is closer than ever. I am hopeful that my operational experience, domain expertise, established network, and above all – my passion for machine driven insights, will help our efforts here at Viola Ventures to invest and build the most impactful Israeli IoT companies.

We at Viola Ventures believe that IoT companies will open the door to a world in which everyday devices will possess a pervasive intelligence that will allow them to learn and adapt in their support of our lifestyles, working environment, mobility and urban life, and bring us closer towards the inevitable merger of man and machine. In light of the rapidly changing nature of business models, technologies, policy actions and regulation associated with this industry, we must proactively identify the important trends and topnotch investment opportunities. This will be my greatest challenge.

I’m very proud to have joined such an amazing team and look forward to the challenge of partaking in the continued success of Viola Ventures. Feel free to contact me at zvikao@viola.vc for any advice, feedback or to share new initiatives in the IoT space.