Our V+ forums host regular meetings across several verticals, that allow executives from our portfolio companies to network and share experiences, best practices and insightful presentations on a variety of topics and challenges faced by growing startups as they strive to build significant companies.
The Lemonade Effect: Will it drive more Israeli companies to go public?
We hosted the CEOs of 3 Israeli Fintech unicorns to discuss the new Start-Up Nation Central FinTech Report. The CEOs took on the topic of Lemonade’s recent IPO, and what it means for the Israeli FinTech scene as a whole.
To read more about the discussion, or to watch it, click here.
- Assaf Wand CEO and Co-Founder, Hippo
- Scott Galit CEO, Payoneer
- Eyal Shinar CEO, Fundbox
- Omry Ben-David Partner, Viola Ventures
HR’s role in M&A
Recently at Viola there have been a lot of portfolio companies reaching "exits," the latest of which was OptimalPlus. As we make it our mission to provide best practices for professionals in the Israeli tech ecosystem, we asked the VP HR of OptimalPlus to share insights on the role of HR in an M&A.
- Sarah Warshavsky Oberman Global VP HR, OptimalPlus
Navigating a Unicorn in Turbulent Times
Even in the darkest times – and COVID-19 is making things seem particularly dark these days - there is always a glimmer of light shining through. For Jason Gardner, CEO of Marqeta, that light is strategy. We chat with him in our Viola Virtual webinar.
- Jason Gardner CEO of Marqeta
Virtualizing Event Marketing
In this Viola Virtual Event, we heard from Bizzabo and Redis Labs - two companies that take their event marketing very seriously. In the wake of COVID-19, we heard how both companies pivoted quickly to the new virtual reality, how they held online conferences for thousands of attendees, and what best practices they recommend.
- Alon Alroy Chief of Customers & Strategy, Bizzabo
- Howard Ting Chief Marketing Officer, Redis Labs
Top VCs Discuss Post COVID-19 FinTech Innovation
COVID-19 has had a tremendous impact on the world as we knew it, rapidly accelerating trends and forcing change on the financial world. Companies will need to rethink their business models vis-à-vis the new reality, perhaps requiring a pivot in product, go to market strategy, and a fresh vision to thrive in the “new world”.
As long-time investors in the space, we set out to explore the scope and nature of this change. For a full breakdown of the event, click here.
- Hans Morris Managing Partner, Nyca Partners
- Mellisa C.Guzy Co-founder & Managing Partner, Arbor Ventures
- Yusuf Ozdalga Partner, QED Investors
- Patricia Kemp Co-founder & Managing Partner, Oak HC/FT
Learning Management Skills Through Martial Arts
On Tuesday, we hosted Boardroom Warriors Israel. The team taught us tools, based on the martial art and self defense, to improve our management skills, resolve crises, empower ourselves and others, and reduce stress and burnout. We practiced exercises, fought, but most importantly we learned how to act during intense organizational situations and how we can help our management teams to keep calm under day-to-day pressure.
- Boardroom Warriors Israel
BaaS (Banking as a Service) – What’s it All About?
We hosted leading BaaS provider Cross River Bank, as well as Israeli FinTech companies Rewire and BlueVine, who shared their key insights into how Banking as a Service (BaaS) is making FinTech accessible to all - from banks who can leverage their platforms to compete with challenger banks to companies seizing the financial services opportunity in a relatively seamless way.
- Gilles Gade President and CEO, Cross River Bank
- Saar Yahalom Co-Founder and CTO, Rewire
- Nir Kalr Co-Founder and CTO, BlueVine
Global Growth and Organizational Evolution
In a special event held at Payoneer's offices in New York City, we learned about scaling and talent acquisition with Yaron Galai of Outbrain, Payoneer's CPO, Bizzabo's founder and Viola's partner Rafi Carmeli, sharing their best practices.
- Yaron Galai CEO & Co-Founder, Outbrain
- Aviva Arnon Chief People Officer, Payoneer
- Eran Ben-Shushan CEO & Co-Founder, Bizzabo
- Tami Golan Chief People Officer, Bizzabo
- Rafi Carmeli Partner, Viola Growth
Using Personal Branding as a Process to Drive Employees
We discussed how companies brand themselves and what goes into the recipe for good branding. We also talked about how we as individuals could brand ourselves, and how that relates to organizational performance. We also got a few tips on Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP), as well as coaching methods on how to face difficult situations and change them for the better.
- Hillik Nissani Managing Partner, valYOU
Best Practices in Sales Compensation for Finalizing 2020 Budgets
Senior VP Finance of SimilarWeb, Avi Israel, hosted Viola's CFO forum and presented best practices in Sales Compensation towards finalizing the 2020 budgets.
- Avi Israel Senior VP Finance, SimilarWeb
Sourcing Jam Session
We talked about the sourcing process, how to search precisely for what you're looking for through various sources, how to contact candidates, and what the big no-nos are when reaching them. Dana shared priceless tips for sourcing methodology and we helped each other in sourcing great candidates for challenging positions.
- Dana Bash Shelach CEO, iTalent
Employee Equity & Incentive Plan – Be Prepared For An Exit
We heard from two experienced people with different perspectives on the topic of employee equity and incentive plans.
- Carmit Tevet-Kuzy CFO, Dynamic Yield
- Shira Azran Partner, Meitar Liquornik Geva Leshem Tal, Law Offices
Community Management Workshop
In this workshop on community management, the gathering of HR managers discussed the importance of building strong communities within organizations, how should we address these communities, and how to engage employees and managers with the community goals.
We talked about what makes a community: its members are the ones that drive it forward, everyone cares for it and takes an active part in it and becomes meaningful to each other.
We also touched on the technology platforms we can use to help us build strong communities, the importance of content in drawing initial employee engagement, and finished with little tips for success.
- Tali Dgani Founder, Managers 4 Managers
Between Finance and Operations
We hosted two experienced COOs of top-growth companies in our V+ CFO forum, to discuss relationship between finance & operations, what is the COO’s role, metrics of reporting to the board and more : David Sasson, formerly COO of Outbrain and today COO of Dynamic Yield and Vered Raviv Schwratz, formerly COO of Fiverr and today COO of Guesty.
- David Sasson COO of Dynamic Yield
- Vered Raviv Schwratz COO of Guesty
How can tech companies diversify their sources of talent and hiring channels
In this meetup we talked about how can tech companies diversify their sources of talent and hiring channels? Organizations who are leading these solutions
8200 Women to Women program, ‘Third Advantage’ organization, Moshal Scholarship and the Israeli innovation authority and also heard from
Personetics about their case study in working with Tsofan.
- • Ayala Miller Israel Innovation Authority
- • Shlomit Berger VP HR at PERSONETICS
- • Keren Herscovici CO founder of The 8200 Women to Women program
- • Liat Gani-Roditi Co founder of The ‘Third Advantage’ organization
- • Yeal Harel The Moshal Scholarship
Employer branding strategies and best practices for attracting talent
Employer branding is becoming a crucial tool in sourcing and retention of talent. On our last forum we hosted 3 HR leads from SODASTREAM, PLAYBUZZ and AMDOCS to share their best practices and methods on the subject. Check our blog to learn more.
- Galit Zucker Chiff People Officer at SodaStream
- Michal Nachmany VP Human Resources at Playbuzz
- Noa Ferber EMEA talent Acquisition Manager at AMDOCS
Building a Leading Global Fintech Company
Scott Galit shared his the story of his how he built his company, Payoneer, into a Fintech unicorn. We also hosted some of New York's top Fintech investors & financial institutions, including Goldman Sachs, Nyca, Bain Capital, Long Ridge and Global Atlantic, whose representatives spoke about what innovations they're looking to adopt and invest in.
- Scott Galit CEO, Payoneer
Startup Retention Tools
We hosted Keren Mangoubi, VP consultant at Compvision, who shared her knowledge on startups Retention Tools and educated us on how to build Options Plans for employees.
- Keren Mangoubi VP Consultant at Compvision
Company Culture: Best Practices for global companies
In this session for our portfolio company Heads of HR, former Senior VP of Global Total Rewards at Teva Ron Yaniv, spoke about the differences between cultures and how can we bridge the gap in global companies, using best-practice examples from companies like Teva, Marvell and Intel.
Also, Organizational Development Consultant Osnat Gouri-Oren, spoke about "Culture’s Consequences" and shared some insights from her experience with Israeli global companies.
- Ron Yaniv Former Senior VP of Global Total Rewards at Teva
- Osnat Gouri-Oren Organizational Development Consultant
“Building a FinTech Unicorn” with Payoneer CEO Scott Galit
Digital payments company Payoneer (a Viola Ventures portfolio company) - featured recently in CNBC's 2018 Disruptor 50 list - enables millions of businesses and professionals from more than 200 countries, to grow globally by facilitating seamless, cross-border payments. Additionally, thousands of leading corporations and marketplaces rely on Payoneer’s mass payout services to send funds to their beneficiaries worldwide.
In this session, Scott Galit, who has been CEO at Payoneer since 2010, shared some insights from the company's journey and some tips on what FinTech companies should keep in mind as they grow globally.
- Scott Galit CEO, Payoneer
“A different way to do Product Management”
It's always interesting to learn about how other companies do product management, so in our August V+ Product session we hosted Monday.com’s Shirley Baumer (Product Manager) & Tal Haramati (Tech Lead), who shared with us 7 rules for optimal Product Management (which they learned the hard way), like impact driven product management, understanding the pain of the customer, optimizing the learning process and more.
You can hear more about their "Task Force" process in this episode from Shirley's podcast.
- Shirley Baumer Product Manager, Monday.com
- Tal Haramati Tech Lead, Monday.com
Data Analysis and HR
In this session we discussed how HR analysis can help with solving HR and business issues, specifically attrition.
We also hosted Mensch Co-founders Galia Bachar and Maayan Refua, who spoke about best practices for applying marketing methodology in HR strategies.
And as we often do, in this valuable forum comprised of our portfolio companies' Heads of HR, we had a meaningful and productive discussion about HR dilemmas raised by members of the group.
- Galia Bachar Co-Founder & CEO, Mensch
- Maayan Refua Co-Founder & CRO, Mensch
How Startups Should Approach Branding in China – An Overview of the Local Social Media Landscape
When it comes to breaking into the Chinese market, China might as well be a different plant for startup marketers. With an entirely different media and digital landscape, you really need to know what the major platforms are and how they operate to brand your product or company successfully.
In this illuminating session, SPRG Beijing's Arthur R. Hagopian, and Silk Road Group's Lior Varona, shared their insights about how brands - from giants like Google to Israeli tech companies - are cracking the Chinese media challenge.
- Arthur R. Hagopian Senior Director at SPRG Beijing
- Lior Varona Founder & CEO of Silk Road Group
How FinTech Companies Can Successfully Acquire SMBs as Customers
This Viola FinTech Forum meetup was all about how FinTech companies who target SMBs can optimize their customer acquisition efforts. The session (live-streamed on FB) featured 5 terrific speakers, who presented case studies from their own companies and offered their best tips for successfully acquiring SMBs as customers.
NOTE: All presentations were in Hebrew, except for Jonny's which was in English.
- Asi Dayan SMB Marketing Expert, formerly at Fundbox
- Eden Amirav Co-founder & CEO, Lending Express
- Nir Klar Co-founder & CTO, BlueVine
- Jonny Steel VP Marketing, Payoneer
- Jonathan Nimrodi B2B Vertical Lead, Facebook Israel
How Banks Innovate: Insights from Scotiabank, Israel Discount Bank, Citi, Pepper and SundaySky
In our last FinTech Forum – which took place on the eve of International Women’s Day – we hosted an all-female panel on how global and local banks approach the concept of “Fintegration” (how banks team up with FinTech companies).
If you’re a FinTech entrepreneur, you may find the insights from the panel discussion about FinTech innovation valuable, so check out Viola FinTech General Partner Tomer Michaeli's collection of the main takeaways from the event.
- Panel Moderator: Dubie Cunningham Vice President Enterprise Innovation, Digital Banking, Scotiabank
- Yael Waisbourd-Sucary Head of Innovation and Fintech, Discount Bank
- Ornit Shinar Head of Venture Investments Israel, Citi
- Lilach Bar-David Founder & Former CEO, Pepper
- Amrita Jain Head of Mobile Product, SundaySky
Building a Winning Product in FinTech
This meetup featured experts from four of Israel’s coolest FinTech companies, who shared their insights on "How to Build a Winning Product in FinTech".
Click below to check out Viola Ventures Partner Omry Ben David's blog post summarizing the key takeaways from the event.
- Gil Sadis Head of Product @ Lemonade
- Gal Bar Dea VP Products & Services @ Pepper
- Matan Bar CEO @ Payper (former GM @ PayPal Consumer Product)
- Eyal Moldovan GM @ Payoneer
AWS Technical Evangelist Boaz Ziniman presents highlights from AWS re:Invent 2017
Amazon Web Services (AWS) Technical Evangelist Boaz Ziniman presented a highlights from the recent AWS re:Invent 2017 event in Las Vegas, and provided an overview of some of AWS new products. Breakout sessions from the event in Las Vegas are available here.
The annual AWS Summit in Tel Aviv will take place on March 14, 2018.
- Boaz Ziniman AWS Technical Evangelist
World-Class Product Managers
In this V+ Product Forum meetup we hosted Gil Hirsch, ex-CEO of Face.com and until recently Senior Product Manager at Facebook, leading the relaunch of products such as Messenger and Ads Manager and rebuilding the Targeting team.
Gil presented his notion of "world-class product managers" and how they can consistently improve the execution and impact of product-driven companies.
Gil believes that as a whole, the Israeli hi-tech sector isn’t yet calibrated on what product managers can do, what a world-class product manager looks like, and how to build a product org that maximizes impact. He thinks Israeli companies can and should catch up if they seek to improve focus and performance.
Gil also presented the initiative of "Product Bootcamp" he is running with Yuval Samet, currently CEO of Impact Labs and previously CPO & CTO of Klarna in Sweden. The Product Bootcamp is a special program tailored by Gil and Yuval for small groups of product managers, helping to grow them to be more professional and more impactful.
- Gil Hirsch x-CEO of Face.com and until recently Senior Product Manager at Facebook
Organizational Transformation During Global Growth
Aviva Arnon, SVP HR at Payoneer, spoke about global organizational transformation "from startup to grown-up" – focusing on how to manage and lead employees outside of Israel in a fast growing company.
- Aviva Arnon Chief People Officer at Payoneer
Opening shop in China
We featured 2 speakers at this event. The first was Yoni Eyal, GM Asia Pacific at ironSource (a Viola Ventures portfolio company). Yoni spoke about the essentials of opening shop in China, from HR to Marketing and sales and business etiguette. Yoni was followed by Yoav Sade, a Partner at Meitar. Yoav spoke about local regulation and legal challenges facing Israelis who do business in China.
- Yoni Eyal GM Asia Pacific, ironSource
- Yoav Sade Partner at Meitar Liquornik Geva Leshem Tal
The topic of this joint session for both our V+ HR and V+ CMO Forums was Employee Branding. The session featured guest speaker Raz Mitzna who spoke about "practical attitudes for employee branding".
The session also included a presentation by Geektime on Geektime Insider, their new product for employee branding.
- Raz Mitzna Owner at Attract & Retain
How to succeed in a new HR role + The differences between onboarding new employees in the US and Israel
For HR leaders, the “entry” phase to a new company can be extremely challenging, because they need to learn the business, familiarize themselves with the ecosystem, understand the behavioral codes and connect to the people - all this while trying to deliver results.
In the first part of this V+ HR session, Dan Valach, SVP HR at SimilarWeb, shared some insights from his past experience in other companies and specifically SimilarWeb, covering the first few months of an HR manager in a company, what are the key success behaviors for a successful beginning and ongoing influence on the path of the organization, what are the do’s and dont's, etc.
In the second part of the session, Owner and Cross Cultural Consultant at Globaleyes, Margo Paz, talked about comparisons between US and Israeli onboarding and interviewing processes from the candidate and company’s perspectives – based on the cultural differences between the two countries.
- Dan Valach SVP HR at Similarweb
- Margo Paz Owner and Cross Cultural Consultant at Globaleyes
Building Winning Technological Brands
In this session of our V+ CMO Forum, Carmel Yoeli, Co-founder & CEO at Atreo, shared some tips and case studies around building great brands for technology companies. Some of the topics he covered include:
1. Why effective branding always begins with a single, clear USP (unique selling proposition)
2. How a brand’s USP relates to the company’s maturity in the technology market
3. The power of differentiation for tech company branding – SiSense case study
4. How to create great branding for technology companies that are underdogs
5. How to brand tech startups based on new, disruptive technology – Elstifile case study
- Carmel Yoeli Co-founder & CEO, Atreo