The Israel Conference 2015
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Advisory Board and Organizing Team:

 

Yossi Vardi
Chairman
Sharona Justman
Managing Director
STEP Strategy Advisors
Guy Bendov
CEO
Side-kick Games
Ori Birnbaum
co-Founder
WhipClip
David Blumberg
Founder and Managing Partner
Blumberg Capital
Avi Yaron
CEO and Founder
Visionsense
Yair Landau
Founder
Mass Animation / Bedouin Media
Isabel Maxwell
President emerita
CommTouch
Jeff Pulver
Chairman
Zula
David Lonner
CEO & Founder
Oasis Media Group
Shelley Zalis
CEO
The Girls Lounge
Zohar Levkovitz
CEO
Amobee
Howard Rosenman
Producer
Howard Rosenman Productions

 

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Yossi Vardi

 

Yossi Vardi - CO-CHAIR
Yossi Vardi is one of Israels early entrepreneurs and has co-founded, lead, and participated in building over 60 high-tech companies.

Yossi co-pioneered instant messaging as the founding investor and the former Chairman of Mirabilis Ltd., the creator of the highly popular instant messaging program ICQ now sold to AOL. Yossi Vardi has an extensive government and public career, holding the position of Director General of the Ministry of Energy and Chairman of Israel s National Oil Company and Chairman of the Jerusalem Foundation.

Many of Yossi Vardis investments have resulted in the company going public such as answers.com, Scopus, Granite, and Lasers with many being acquired. Yossi Vardi sits on the advisory boards of 3i and Amdocs and has served on boards of numerous state and private corporations including Bezeq, Israel Electric, and the Bank of Israel. He has also been an advisor to the CEOs of AOL, Amazon, and Allied Signal.

Yossi Vardi has received many awards, including the Prime Minister of Israel Hi-Tech Award for life achievements on two occasions, the Industry Prize, the Ramniceanu Prize and C-E-Os Entrepreneurs Hall of Fame.

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Sharona Justman

STEP Strategy Advisors


 

Sharona Justman - STEP Strategy Advisors CO-CHAIR / CO-FOUNDER
Sharona Justman is a Connector and is the co-Founder of The Israel Conference - hosting a mega-networking event in one of the largest US cities and bringing the top CEOs and leadership of Israel-facing companies together.

The Israel Conference inspires Israeli entrepreneurs and US investors and the international corporate world to meet, ideate, and create new ventures together. Companies enjoy presenting their technology, products, and services that innovate and open new markets. The Israel Conference is a business event to showcase the innovative spirit of the Israeli market and has enjoyed presentations from hundreds of CEOs and leaders of companies that do business in Israel. The Israel Conference is the result of collaborative efforts from the business community to bring the best companies to the stage. Yossi Vardi and Sharona Justman are the co-Chairs of this annual event in Los Angeles.

In addition to organizing The Israel Conference, Sharona is a businesswoman known for connecting companies and leaders to align in creating rich opportunities for business. Sharona combines a strong business background with a solid tech understanding and adds a dash of marketing flair which positions her as a top advisor to many companies.

Sharona is the Managing Director of STEP Strategy Advisors (www.STEPstrategy.net), a strategic planning and acquisition advisory firm that facilitates expanding the growth of companies through market entry planning and execution as well as an advisor to facilitate growth through acquisition working with some of the largest Private Equity firms in the US.

Sharona co-founded Rubenstein / Justman Management Consultants (www.RJMC.net) providing enterprise-wide information technology and operations improvement management consulting services to middle market companies in technology, distribution, manufacturing, financial services, entertainment, and consumer product markets.

Sharona Justman began her career at PricewaterhouseCoopers and is a CPA. Sharona is an alumna of Hebrew University of Jerusalem and California State University, Northridge in Accounting and Economics.

When not obsessively planning The Israel Conference or managing STEP Strategy Advisors, Sharona plays music, writes poetry, watches classic movies, and practices speaking Hebrew, Spanish, and English.

The Israel Conference launched in 2009 to expand the conversation between the business community and the exciting happenings in the entrepreneurial Israeli market. STEP is known for connecting companies and people together to create new business opportunities, drive new business, and facilitate acquisitions. STEP is an established M&A Advisory firm and known for business acumen that supports the parties in making aligned decisions. STEP Strategy Advisors is a strategic planning and acquisitions advisory firm that facilitates expanding the growth of companies through market entry planning and as well as an advisor to facilitate growth through acquisitions working with some of the largest Private Equity firms in the US.
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Guy Bendov

Side-kick Games
 

Guy Bendov - Side-kick Games
Guy is an interactive entertainment serial entrepreneur with over 20 years of experience. Prior to Side-kick, Guy founded Double Fusion, a leader in the in-game advertising space, Cellular Magic and Click! Online, a casual games studio. In 2007, Guy founded GameIS, the Israeli games association.

Since 2010 Sidekick has been creating games for and with leading publishers and tech leaders such as Square Enix, DeNA, Disney and Rovio as well as Intel, LeapMotion, PrimeSense and Google Labs. SidekickVR, our VR subsidiary, teams with publishers and brand owners, such as DeNA west and Lionsgate studios, to bring exciting mobile VR games to market.
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Ori Birnbaum

WhipClip


 

Ori Birnbaum - WhipClip
Ori has 15 years of experience in international business development and is considered a pioneer in online marketing and advertising. In 1996 Ori founded one of the first interactive agencies in Israel, and as an executive director at DC group High-Tech practice, incubated and founded several companies including a leading global advertising and affiliation network. Prior to DC Group Ori held Executive and board positions at Hotbar, Cellectivity and Giza Venture Capital where he focused on seed investments in the Internet space.

Whipclip is a groundbreaking new social TV app for iOS and Android that enables viewers to clip, search, and share their favorite TV. We are partnering with major TV programmers and all the top social media platforms, and leveraging OTT streaming technology built for some of the worlds biggest telcos. Whipclip is located in Santa Monica, California and Herzliya, Israel.
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David Blumberg

Blumberg Capital
 

David Blumberg - Blumberg Capital
David J. Blumberg is the Founder and Managing Partner of Blumberg Capital, an early-stage venture capital fund based in San Francisco. David is an authority on early stage investing with more than 25 years of experience. Blumberg Capital funds innovation on a global basis with a focus on Financial Services, Cyber Security, Mobility, Digital and Social Media, Enterprise Software and SaaS.

David serves on the boards of CaseStack, Credorax, Deep Instinct, DoubleVerify, FeeX, Fortscale, Kreditech, Trulioo and Wunder. He also serves on the Board of The Lincoln Club of Northern California and is a member of the Pacific Council on International Policy.

Prior to Blumberg Capital, David managed international investments with the Bronfman Family Office, Adler & Co, APAX Partners and at T. Rowe Price. He also launched business development for Check Point Software Technologies as one of its top four executives.

David earned his AB in Government, cum laude, from Harvard College and his MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business and INSEAD. David speaks French and is proficient in Hebrew and Spanish.

Blumberg Capital is an early-stage venture capital firm that invests in exceptional entrepreneurs with transformative ideas. We partner with passionate founders to disrupt markets through innovation and build successful companies. Our team has extensive experience collaborating with companies in Financial Services, Security, Enterprise Software and SaaS, Digital and Social Media, Mobile and Consumer Internet. Our relevant operational expertise and focused network enable us to be bridge-builders, connecting entrepreneurs with partners to drive success. Blumberg Capital is headquartered in San Francisco with team members and advisors in Tel Aviv and New York.

Blumberg Capital specializes in leading Seed and Series A rounds in syndication with angels, venture capital firms and strategic investors. We are active investors and board members ??? operating as an extension of the entrepreneurs network. Our typical investments range from $500,000 to $3 million with additional amounts reserved for follow-on investments.
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Avi Yaron

Visionsense


 

Avi Yaron - Visionsense
Avi Yaron is the CEO and Founder of Visionsense. Avi has 20 years of management and innovation experience that evolved from the communications world, first as an officer in the Israeli intelligence forces and later in Eldat Communications, an Infrared diffused wireless communication company. Among his initiatives, he founded MotoTech, which developed advanced ignition systems for motorcycles and was among the developers of the microprocessor labe at Tel-Aviv University. Due to a brain tumor that was detected by coincidence, Avi Yaron became deeply involved in the minimal invasive surgical field. This personal experience led him to found Visionsense.

Avi Yaron has a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Tel-Aviv University, and an M.S. in Management from Boston University. He holds several patents in the field. He is a visiting lecturer in the MBA entrepreneurial programs of MIT and Babson College.

Visionsense has developed a patented technology, which provides surgeons with real-time, high-resolution, natural stereoscopic vision for Minimal Invasive Surgery applications. The design of the proprietary single sensor is based on multidisciplinary technologies combined with sophisticated image processing algorithms.
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Yair Landau

Mass Animation / Bedouin Media


 

Yair Landau - Mass Animation / Bedouin Media
Yair Landau is the former Vice Chairman of Sony Pictures Entertainment and President, Sony Pictures Digital. Landau formed Sony Pictures Digital in 1999, bringing together all of Sony Pictures digital artists and software engineers from Sony Pictures Imageworks, Sony Online Entertainment and Columbia Tristar Interactive into one division.

Landau supervised production of Imageworks first animated short, THE CHUBB CHUBBS, which won several awards including an Academy Award for Best Short Film (animated) in 2003. Landau has grown Sony Online Entertainment into the worldwide leader in massively multiplayer online gaming building upon EverQuest, the most successful MMO PC game in the United States with Star Wars Galaxies launched in partnership with Lucas Arts in 2003.

Through Sony Pictures Digital, Landau developed the technology and formed the five-studio Movielink partnership, the first major studio Internet movie download service, launched in 2002. Most recently, he reorganized Sony Pictures Digital Networks to focus on emerging mobile entertainment, broadband video delivery and media software.

A Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the University of Chicago, Landau earned his MBA at the Stanford Graduate School of Business.

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Isabel Maxwell



 

Isabel Maxwell - CommTouch
Isabel Maxwell is a Technology Pioneer of the World Economic Forum and co-founder of The McKinley Group, creator of the pioneering Magellan online search engine that was successfully sold to Excite. She is president emerita of CommTouch (NASDAQ:CTCH).

Isabel Maxwell brings over fifteen years of international journalism and entertainment experience with accomplishments including production/direction for the Yorkshire and Southern Independent Television networks in the UK and feature film production for New World Pictures. She was a founding director serving on the Board of the British Academy of Film and Television Arts-LA from 1986-1998 and is a long-time member of the National Union of Journalists (NUJ), U.K. Isabel Maxwell holds honor moderations in Jurisprudence and a B.A. and M.A. in history and modern languages from Oxford University. She has divides her time between Los Angeles, Israel and Silicon Valley.

Commtouch (NASDAQ: CTCH) is a leading provider of Internet security technology and cloud-based services for vendors and service providers, increasing the value and profitability of customer solutions by protecting billions of Internet transactions on a daily basis. With 12 global data centers and award-winning, patented technology, Commtouch capabilities in email, Web, and antivirus easily integrate into our customer products and solutions, keeping safe more than 350 million end users.
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Jeff Pulver

Zula


 

Jeff Pulver - Zula
Jeff is an Internet Pioneer who is known for helping to accelerate the worldwide acceptance of VoIP. He is also an early-stage investor in Israeli startups. A co-founder of Vonage, one of the biggest and earliest VoIP companies around, Pulver is a self-described futurist, serial entrepreneur and long-time evangelist for VoIP technologies. In 1995 Jeff defined VON to stand for Voice/Video on the Net and continues today to contribute words to both the telecom and social media vernacular. From 1997 to 2008 he hosted/produced the VON Conferences. Mr. Pulver is the founder of Free World Dialup (FWD), the VON Coalition, Vivox and others and is the co-founder of Zula and VoIP provider, Vonage. He has influenced the creation of numerous other startups. He discovered health & wellness and hosts a new conference, #140You in NYC.

Zula is developing a comprehensive solution for initiating, managing and maintaining mobile team communication. As work teams become more mobile and cross-organizational, there is no ideal solution to help businesses communicate and collaborate on the go. The Zula Solution was designed for mobile from the ground up and allows team members from inside and outside of the organization to seamlessly join a conversation, collaborate, share documents, take a poll and instantaneously connect over voice-tools that are essential for effectively managing a virtual team.
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David Lonner

Oasis Media Group


 

David Lonner - Oasis Media Group
David Lonner is the founder of Oasis Media Group, a management and production company based in Los Angeles. Under the Oasis banner, Lonner represents writers, directors, and producers in the film, television, and online content arenas. Prior to founding his own company, Lonner was a talent agent at William Morris Agency from 2003-09. He was previously a partner at Endeavor where he established their Motion Picture division. Lonner also spent several years at Creative Artists Agency and began his career at ICM. Lonner is a committed philanthropist working with numerous organizations. He serves as a former board member of the Early Childhood Center at Cedars-Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles and former chairman of the entertainment division of the United Jewish Fund. Additionally, he is a board member of the Phase 1 Cancer Institute, American Pardes Foundation, and Entertainment Industry Foundation. Lonner graduated from Tulane with a BA in Sociology.

Oasis Media Group is a Management and Production Company based in Los Angeles
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Shelley Zalis

The Girls Lounge


 

Shelley Zalis - The Girls Lounge


The Girls Lounge champions, supports and inspires women. If we could have done it alone, we would have by now. We believe that the more we advocate for one another and embrace what makes us different, the better business and life will be for everyone.
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Zohar Levkovitz

Amobee
 

Zohar Levkovitz - Amobee
Zohar Levkovitz is the CEO of Amobee. Zohar has been at the forefront of mobile and internet technology development for over 10 years. As former CTO of Comverse 3G, MMS and WAP Push activities, Zohar led the development and compilation of several architectures and concepts, currently accepted as standards by the global telecom industry. During his tenure at Comverse Mr. Levkovitz held several key positions in the standardization bodies: Member at the 3GPP2 SC (TIA / EIA), chairperson for a strategic technology committee at OMA (WAP Forum), specification author for 3GPP. In addition, Mr. Levkovitz has gained experience in the online advertising arena as General Manager of Smartshopper.com and as a VP of Product Development at Hotbar.com Inc.

Amobee is the first company to deliver a unified, telco-grade system for funding mobile content and communications through advertising revenues. Amobee is the most deployed operator centric ad-serving solution in the world, dynamically inserting relevant, interactive advertisements into all types of mobile entertainment and communication channels, including videos, music, messaging, games, and WAP, using a single, telco-grade ad-serving infrastructure. Headquartered in Redwood City, California, the company enjoys financial backing from some of the biggest names in venture capital: Accel Partners, Sequoia Capital, and Globespan as well as strategic investments from Motorola, Cisco and two leading operators: Vodafone and Telefonica.
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Howard Rosenman



 

Howard Rosenman - Howard Rosenman Productions
Howard Rosenman (born February 1, 1945 in Brooklyn, New York), also known as Zvi Howard Rosenman, is an American producer and motion picture executive. He specializes in producing romantic comedy films and documentary films. Some of his most popular productions include Father of the Bride starring Steve Martin and Diane Keaton, Joss Whedons Buffy the Vampire Slayer and The Family Man starring Nicolas Cage. Rosenmans documentary film Common Threads: Stories from the Quilt won the Peabody Award and the 1990 Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature; his film The Celluloid Closet also won the Peabody Award.

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