Hosting a delegation of twelve top-level German advertising executives at our offices was the icing on the cake that was the AdTech startup competition we hosted on June 11th. It’s one of many activities and events organized by the Intango AdTech Accelerator’s team in order to encourage early-stage Israeli AdTech startups and strengthen Intango’s position as a center of global AdTech innovation.
During this opportune visit, we presented the whole scope of our advertising solutions, from our self-service demand and supply platforms, the full-service agency operations, our influencer marketing solution Leaders and Accelerator’s company: Playgorithm. We used this opportunity and invited a few (non-Intango-related) Israeli startups to pitch their products to industry professionals, honing their presentation skills and getting insightful feedback.
The organizer of the delegation was Marc Green, an entrepreneur, founder of Israel Innovation Network and owner of several German online businesses. He knows the ins and outs of both countries’ startup scenes.
“10 years ago I decided to downsize and virtualize my agency and software business in order to move from Germany to Israel and work from there (which I did from 2010). Since then I have been actively attending meetups and building my network in the local startup scene. For a while, I had even started and hosted a meetup for IoT and FashionTech.”
The German Association for Direct Marketing who initiated the trip “chose Tel-Aviv for their delegation because of its reputation as a second Silicon Valley and an innovation center,” according to Green. “They approached me as their ‘local scout’ to put together the trip, choose and set up meetings with startups and take care of logistics.”
Even though it has reached corporate status, Intango began as a small startup in 2008, and CEO and founder, Yefi Gureni has always aimed to maintain that startup mentality. “I believe that it’s the force that drives growth,” he explains. “And as I look at the state of AdTech today compared to ten years ago, and the players involved, I can say that the mindset and culture of our company is one of the main reasons for our success.”
“Israelis are entrepreneurial by nature and have learned to see the opportunity in everything,” adds Green. “In Germany, the market moves much slower. Existing players less readily adopt new ideas, risk-taking is less common, and you can feel the fear of failure among innovators. Israeli innovators’ mindset is noticeably different. They don’t take failure as an option or they consider it as a positive sign for future success. In Israel they accept innovation at all levels, starting with the government.
“And while almost every German startup focuses exclusively on the German (speaking) market for a long time before thinking about “expanding” globally, Israeli companies focus on the global (or at least the US) market from day one.”
Launching the Accelerator program was a natural progression of that philosophy. “Providing guidance and sponsorship to promising early-stage startups fits my vision of creating a fertile ground where Israeli innovators and AdTech companies can grow and flourish,” explains Gureni.
Eran Savir, head of this ambitious project, explains that “early-stage startups are like newly-hatched sea turtles making their first perilous journey to the ocean. They are weak and defenseless, driven only by their frenzy and survival instinct. Most of them don’t make it. We are those people on the beach helping protect those hatchlings from getting eaten in their race to the water. We aim to send off Israeli innovators and startups better equipped to survive in the harsh world of hi-tech.”
“I was referred to Intango by a close friend but made direct contact with Eran when hearing about his AdTech competition,” recalled Marc Green. “Eran was very accommodating. Not only did he change the competition event language to English for our group, but he also organized a whole day of meetings for us, adding great value for both the visitors and early-stage startups.”
After “surviving” a presentation marathon from the different companies and startups, the delegation took the role of participating spectators in the startup competition, in which five judges and the crowd voted for the most promising and disruptive AdTech startup.
Interactive video creators Coolix were the most impressive and took the $10,000 prize. Hopefully, this represents a first of many wins, and the award will help clear some of their road to success.
“The accessibility we received and the speed with which they organized everything were very impressive and satisfying,” Green sums up. “The full-day event Eran put together for us was terrific. Other companies also welcomed us with open arms. Overall, the visit left a strong impression on our delegation.