Although it has never been easy to set up a startup and take the first steps into the world of technological entrepreneurship, the current market makes it even more challenging. Despite this, a new network series emerged to share with the wider population information, ways, and tips to make entrepreneurs' first steps in the field easier.

From ideation to networking

The network series, called The Next Exit, features a number of prominent figures from Israel’s local startup industry, who share their experiences in tech. Participants include investors like Dovi Frances, Jasmin Lukacs, Itay Rand, Rotem Eldar, Gil Canaani, Tal Slobodkin and Guy Katzovitz, founders of unicorns Chen Amit and Roey Eliyahu, and entrepreneurs, including Alon Gamzo, Yoav Wilner, Gal Zabib, Or Zilberman, Gilad Steinberg, Asaf Ezra, Orly Shoavi, Roni Steinberg, Dan Peleg and Hila Bakshi.

The video series includes 10 episodes and depicts – in a light and humorous way– the main principles for starting a startup, including ideation, choosing the right partnership and partners, preparing a presentation for investors, raising funds and networking. The series was written in collaboration with ICON, a non-profit organization founded by Jasmin Lukech designed to help Israeli high-tech entrepreneurs and connect them to Silicon Valley and Noa Zilberman, co-founder of ODO Security, which was acquired by Check Point and fulfilled the ICON Acceleration Program (SV101). Google for Startups and Geektime Israel are also partners in the series production. Last Thursday, the series’ launch party took place in Tel Aviv, which hosted investors and entrepreneurs from the Israeli high-tech ecosystem.

At the event, Jasmin Lukacs, founder, and CEO of ICON, said: “Proper guidance for new entrepreneurs is more important today than ever. There is less money in the market now, but that doesn't mean the market has dried up. Venture funds still have a lot of money that they are interested in investing, even in this challenging period. The difference is that they are being more cautious and thorough to whom they are giving money compared to previous years which saw crazy spending and a boom in the market. Some funds are still sitting on the fence but a startup with a good idea and promising entrepreneurs can still attract them to invest. We want to give entrepreneurs the tools to take those first steps accurately, which will increase their chances of success."

The launch event. Credit: Eyal Marilos 

Yuval Passov, Director of Google for Startups, added: "A key part of our mission is to help everyone who dreams of starting a startup gain access to tools, knowledge, and people who can help make the dream a reality. We are proud to join ICON and Noa Zilberman and are grateful for everyone who donated their time, professional experience, and personal knowledge to help startups in early stages, turn their ideas into fruitful businesses. We hope that the series will help more dreamers to get their foot in the door of entrepreneurship."

Noa Zilberman, who hosts the series, said: "When I set up my startup, I knew nothing about the world of entrepreneurship. Luckily, I knew where to look and who to ask and very quickly I filled the gap, thanks to the knowledge I gained through ICON. Sure, there is so much information about the high-tech world out there, but most of it isn't easily accessible if you don’t know where to look. Our goal is to make this knowledge, which is, for the most part, closed off and only retrievable by those already in the industry, accessible to anyone. Anyone who is dreaming of starting a startup should be able to cross the initial barrier into the relatively closed-odd industry, regardless of what they studied, which army unit they served in or where they work today."

Though the series is in Hebrew, this is yet another initiation coming out of Israel that helps lend weight to the ecosystem’s success and rightful title of Startup Nation.