Making Global Connections in the Tiny Startup Nation
Sweating profusely, mumbling like an idiot, and completely “choking,” I fumbled my way through a clumsy pitch about my new company at last week’s DLD Tel Aviv tech conference. The blazing Mediterranean sun and sticky south Tel Aviv air were simply oppressive at the crowded outdoor event, and I was literally melting down. But, it was totally worth it. I was able to make it through my pitch about www.StartupStars.io and succeeded in forming yet another connection with a fellow startup entrepreneur. It wasn’t pretty, but this is the way things are done in the “Startup Nation.”
Here, in Israel’s high-tech ecosystem known affectionately by some as “The Silicon Wadi,” it’s all about making connections. One of the companies here in Israel that’s helping to make connections is www.prooV.io. The team at prooV helps tech startups connect with large established enterprises, like AIG, GE, and Amazon Web Services. By using prooV, startups can acquire big customers more easily, while enterprises are able to simultaneously gain secure access to innovative technology.
Unfortunately, it wasn’t always so easy. In the past, software companies and enterprises relied on one-off pilots, or proofs-of-concept (PoCs), to evaluate the potential value of working together. For software companies, pilots are an opportunity to demonstrate the effectiveness of their solutions, an important prerequisite for acquiring customers. This is even more important for software startups; they need to quickly prove themselves in a real-world application to gain initial traction with enterprise customers and convince investors of their value proposition.
“Thanks to companies like prooV, we may be witnessing the beginning of Israel’s transition from the “Startup Nation” into the “Scale-up Nation”
For large corporate enterprises, pilots are an important tool for accessing new technology to gain innovation-based competitive advantages without the overhead or risk of a full-scale deployment. ProoV helps enterprises to more easily initiate, manage, and evaluate pilots, allowing them to connect with an unlimited number of startups, anywhere in the world. Through an online “marketplace” that provides secure, automated integration with enterprises, prooV empowers startups with the ability to discover and connect with their most relevant enterprise pilot partners. Once the PoC pilot succeeds, startups can then shift their focus to investor and customer acquisition.
Currently, prooV is "scaling up" after receiving $14M in VC funding last month from Helios Capital, Mangrove Capital Partners, Cerca Partners, and OurCrowd in Jerusalem. “We’re working towards building more features and enhancing the product,” said Toby Olshanetsky, CEO & Co-Founder of prooV. From their new offices located right on the beach in the tech hub of Herzlia, just a 15 minute drive north from Tel Aviv, the team at prooV has established the company’s platform as a global destination, serving startups and large corporations from all over the world. As they continue to expand operations internationally, prooV is working with some very innovative companies as they change the way startups and established corporations interact within the business-to-business ecosystem. “The feedback we’re getting is incredible, but even more so, invaluable, as we use this insight as the basis and inspiration for next developments,” said Olshanetsky. “We have a lot of new features coming out soon and I can promise that we’re working hard to provide a truly all-encompassing PoC solution.”
Thanks to companies like prooV, we may be witnessing the beginning of Israel’s transition from the “Startup Nation” into the “Scale-up Nation” as it aids startups from all over the world of achieving their goals of becoming profitable through the monetization of big ideas.
Dan Bloom is the founder of www.StartupStars.io, an Israel-based “meta startup” that helps investors, prospective employees, and tech enthusiasts to discover early-stage startup companies.