Eight Fantastic Startups from the Zell Entrepreneurship Program

I had the privilege of hosting the 2012 Zell Entrepreneurship group the other week here in San Francisco as they wrapped up their big U.S. trip. They are a startup program at the IDC Herzliya – a top private university in Israel – which has produced some big companies such as Wibya.

The idea was to have some informal chats and also an ignite style 5 minute demo for each company:

I’ve been to a few demo days from various accelerators and VCs over the years, and this group was as good as any I’ve ever seen.

What was so amazing about this collection of companies was that each demo was polished, each company was solving a real issue (no vitamins here — all painkillers) – really impressive stuff. And a ton of credit has to go to Liat Aaronson – the Executive Director of the Zell Entrepreneurship Program – who also is the director of the StartUp Seeds, a young technology entrepreneurship incubator in Israel.

For those who are interested, here is who presented:

- HocSpot: Instant location based file sharing and communication. (So smart and useful — no more USB stick hand-offs, or dropbox links on Skype).

- Roomer: A peer to peer marketplace for buying and selling hotel room reservations. Taking advantage of a huge opportunity with room cancellations.

- 3Kudos: Crowd sourced web platform for revealing financial service fees and helping people negotiate better deals.

Ten Foot: Offering online merchants a way to increase revenues by automatically turning their online stores into engaging tablet experiences at low cost and in a few minutes.

Bigger Game: Is a smartphone app that brings the social experience of watching live sports events into your hands.

Crowdpic: Crowd sourcing photography for creating group albums and enhancing experiences together.

Jesta: A marketplace that allows people to outsource their daily errands.

Spoteam: A platform that delivers its users personalized and relevant video content, like Amazon for books and Netflix for movies.

And lastly — here is a a great infographic on what the Zell program has meant, impact wise:

BizDev Discussion at IDC Herzilia

Thanks to everyone who joined us today to chat about partnerships, sales, and all things BizDev.

A special thanks to Saul Klein of Index Ventures who organized the get together, and to Liat Aaronson for hosting us at the impressive IDC Herzilia campus.

A really engaging and interesting conversation. For those who have never been to IDC, I managed to snap a few pics on my way out:

And some really interesting and innovative companies were represented – I didn’t capture the full list, but here are a few based on their tweets: