It’s been three years since the world-renowned OurCrowd Global Summit has taken place due to the pandemic, and this year it returned, better than ever. Considered the largest business conference in Israel, the Summit once again delivered on its promise as one of the world’s premier events in the tech and venture capital industries and featured a wide array of speakers, exhibits and presentations, as well as thousands of visitors from around the globe.
As has been the case in years past, Yeshiva University had a strong presence at the Summit. Thirty students from the University’s S. Daniel Abraham (SDA) Program were given the unique opportunity to get a front row seat to learn about the VC world and meet one-on-one with leaders in the industry.
The students participated in a range of activities such as viewing startup exhibits and networking opportunities. They attended two breakout sessions, the first, “Eat the Sharks: The Startups Grill the VCs” and the second, “Can the War for Cybersecurity Be Won?” They also participated in the main and closing plenaries and a gathering exclusively for YU students also attended by Dr. Noam Wasserman, dean of YU’s Sy Syms School of Business; Mark Finkel, associate professor of management and director of the school’s MBA program, and Joel Strauss ‘85YC ‘92C, a partner at Kaplan Fox & Kilsheimer LLP, adjunct instructor of political science at SCW, and the sponsor of the student event. Eli Fischbein, a shana bet (second year) student in the SDA program greatly appreciated being a part of the Summit as part of the YU cohort. “Being educated about and exposed to the immense world of startups and VCs was a really valuable experience that I could not have had if it were not for Yeshiva University,” said Fishbein.
OurCrowd’s specialty is crowdfunding, and it is not uncommon to find Yeshiva University alumni among the investors and on the boards of directors of OurCrowd companies. A quick look at the LinkedIn profiles of the firm’s staff shows a sizeable number of YU alumni among the company’s leadership. “OurCrowd was delighted with the participation of YU at our 2023 Global Investor Summit and especially the students who were so engaged in the innovation and ecosystem here in Startup Nation,” said Josh Wolff, ‘92YC, Chief Operating Officer of OurCrowd. “Our mission is to invest in the future of humanity, and the theme of the event was Startups Saving the Planet. Both concepts represent what YU means to me personally and to all of us at OurCrowd.”
Dean Wasserman spoke at a variety of events during the Summit, sharing his entrepreneurship expertise with early-stage founders and others, and also lead a Founder’s Bootcamp. The YU presence also included a booth at the non-profit pavilion at the Summit. Noah Tradonsky, valedictorian of Syms in 2021, and currently a portfolio management analyst at OurCrowd, met with the students and gave them helpful guidance on how to break into the industry.
The alliance between Yeshiva University and OurCrowd could not have occurred without the 24/7/365 preparations and involvement of Stephanie Strauss, AVP and executive director, YU in Israel and the SDA Program. “OurCrowd stands at the nexus of innovation and entrepreneurship. We brought our students to the Summit to give them a unique experience, to learn about this ecosystem and our place in it,” said Strauss. “Hosting a YU booth to showcase our academic offerings and featuring our Sy Syms Dean as a speaker is a testament to our friendship with OurCrowd’s leadership and the opportunities for our students to succeed in this space. It was an honor for Yeshiva University to be a supporting sponsor and to meet so many alumni and friends in one place.”