The Israel Conference 2015
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Advisory Board and Organizing Team:

 

Yossi Vardi
Chairman
Sharona Justman
Managing Director
STEP Strategy Advisors
Jeff Pulver
Chairman
Zula
David Lonner
CEO & Founder
Oasis Media Group
Yair Landau
Founder
Mass Animation / Bedouin Media
Ori Birnbaum
co-Founder
WhipClip
Avi Yaron
CEO and Founder
Visionsense
Isabel Maxwell
President emerita
CommTouch
Eran Wagner
General Partner
Gemini Israel Ventures
Howard Rosenman
Producer
Howard Rosenman Productions
Ken Hertz
Partner
Hertz and Lictenstein
Liz Heller
Partner
Buzztone
Art Levitt

Dan Adler

 

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Yossi Vardi

 

Yossi Vardi - CO-CHAIR
Yossi Vardi is one of Israels early entrepreneurs and has co-founded, lead, and participated in building over 60 high-tech companies.

Yossi co-pioneered instant messaging as the founding investor and the former Chairman of Mirabilis Ltd., the creator of the highly popular instant messaging program ICQ now sold to AOL. Yossi Vardi has an extensive government and public career, holding the position of Director General of the Ministry of Energy and Chairman of Israel s National Oil Company and Chairman of the Jerusalem Foundation.

Many of Yossi Vardis investments have resulted in the company going public such as answers.com, Scopus, Granite, and Lasers with many being acquired. Yossi Vardi sits on the advisory boards of 3i and Amdocs and has served on boards of numerous state and private corporations including Bezeq, Israel Electric, and the Bank of Israel. He has also been an advisor to the CEOs of AOL, Amazon, and Allied Signal.

Yossi Vardi has received many awards, including the Prime Minister of Israel Hi-Tech Award for life achievements on two occasions, the Industry Prize, the Ramniceanu Prize and C-E-Os Entrepreneurs Hall of Fame.

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Sharona Justman

STEP Strategy Advisors


 

Sharona Justman - STEP Strategy Advisors CO-CHAIR / CO-FOUNDER
Sharona Justman is a Connector and is the co-Founder of The Israel Conference - hosting a mega-networking event in one of the largest US cities and bringing the top CEOs and leadership of Israel-facing companies together.

The Israel Conference inspires Israeli entrepreneurs and US investors and the international corporate world to meet, ideate, and create new ventures together. Companies enjoy presenting their technology, products, and services that innovate and open new markets. The Israel Conference is a business event to showcase the innovative spirit of the Israeli market and has enjoyed presentations from hundreds of CEOs and leaders of companies that do business in Israel. The Israel Conference is the result of collaborative efforts from the business community to bring the best companies to the stage. Yossi Vardi and Sharona Justman are the co-Chairs of this annual event in Los Angeles.

In addition to organizing The Israel Conference, Sharona is a businesswoman known for connecting companies and leaders to align in creating rich opportunities for business. Sharona combines a strong business background with a solid tech understanding and adds a dash of marketing flair which positions her as a top advisor to many companies.

Sharona is the Managing Director of STEP Strategy Advisors (www.STEPstrategy.net), a strategic planning and acquisition advisory firm that facilitates expanding the growth of companies through market entry planning and execution as well as an advisor to facilitate growth through acquisition working with some of the largest Private Equity firms in the US.

Sharona co-founded Rubenstein / Justman Management Consultants (www.RJMC.net) providing enterprise-wide information technology and operations improvement management consulting services to middle market companies in technology, distribution, manufacturing, financial services, entertainment, and consumer product markets.

Sharona Justman began her career at PricewaterhouseCoopers and is a CPA. Sharona is an alumna of Hebrew University of Jerusalem and California State University, Northridge in Accounting and Economics.

When not obsessively planning The Israel Conference or managing STEP Strategy Advisors, Sharona plays music, writes poetry, watches classic movies, and practices speaking Hebrew, Spanish, and English.

The Israel Conference launched in 2009 to expand the conversation between the business community and the exciting happenings in the entrepreneurial Israeli market. STEP is known for connecting companies and people together to create new business opportunities, drive new business, and facilitate acquisitions. STEP is an established M&A Advisory firm and known for business acumen that supports the parties in making aligned decisions. STEP Strategy Advisors is a strategic planning and acquisitions advisory firm that facilitates expanding the growth of companies through market entry planning and as well as an advisor to facilitate growth through acquisitions working with some of the largest Private Equity firms in the US.
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Jeff Pulver

Zula


 

Jeff Pulver - Zula
Jeff is an Internet Pioneer who is known for helping to accelerate the worldwide acceptance of VoIP. He is also an early-stage investor in Israeli startups. A co-founder of Vonage, one of the biggest and earliest VoIP companies around, Pulver is a self-described futurist, serial entrepreneur and long-time evangelist for VoIP technologies. In 1995 Jeff defined VON to stand for Voice/Video on the Net and continues today to contribute words to both the telecom and social media vernacular. From 1997 to 2008 he hosted/produced the VON Conferences. Mr. Pulver is the founder of Free World Dialup (FWD), the VON Coalition, Vivox and others and is the co-founder of Zula and VoIP provider, Vonage. He has influenced the creation of numerous other startups. He discovered health & wellness and hosts a new conference, #140You in NYC.

Zula is developing a comprehensive solution for initiating, managing and maintaining mobile team communication. As work teams become more mobile and cross-organizational, there is no ideal solution to help businesses communicate and collaborate on the go. The Zula Solution was designed for mobile from the ground up and allows team members from inside and outside of the organization to seamlessly join a conversation, collaborate, share documents, take a poll and instantaneously connect over voice-tools that are essential for effectively managing a virtual team.
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David Lonner

Oasis Media Group


 

David Lonner - Oasis Media Group
David Lonner is the founder of Oasis Media Group, a management and production company based in Los Angeles. Under the Oasis banner, Lonner represents writers, directors, and producers in the film, television, and online content arenas. Prior to founding his own company, Lonner was a talent agent at William Morris Agency from 2003-09. He was previously a partner at Endeavor where he established their Motion Picture division. Lonner also spent several years at Creative Artists Agency and began his career at ICM. Lonner is a committed philanthropist working with numerous organizations. He serves as a former board member of the Early Childhood Center at Cedars-Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles and former chairman of the entertainment division of the United Jewish Fund. Additionally, he is a board member of the Phase 1 Cancer Institute, American Pardes Foundation, and Entertainment Industry Foundation. Lonner graduated from Tulane with a BA in Sociology.

Oasis Media Group is a Management and Production Company based in Los Angeles
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Yair Landau

Mass Animation / Bedouin Media


 

Yair Landau - Mass Animation / Bedouin Media
Yair Landau is the former Vice Chairman of Sony Pictures Entertainment and President, Sony Pictures Digital. Landau formed Sony Pictures Digital in 1999, bringing together all of Sony Pictures digital artists and software engineers from Sony Pictures Imageworks, Sony Online Entertainment and Columbia Tristar Interactive into one division.

Landau supervised production of Imageworks first animated short, THE CHUBB CHUBBS, which won several awards including an Academy Award for Best Short Film (animated) in 2003. Landau has grown Sony Online Entertainment into the worldwide leader in massively multiplayer online gaming building upon EverQuest, the most successful MMO PC game in the United States with Star Wars Galaxies launched in partnership with Lucas Arts in 2003.

Through Sony Pictures Digital, Landau developed the technology and formed the five-studio Movielink partnership, the first major studio Internet movie download service, launched in 2002. Most recently, he reorganized Sony Pictures Digital Networks to focus on emerging mobile entertainment, broadband video delivery and media software.

A Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the University of Chicago, Landau earned his MBA at the Stanford Graduate School of Business.

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Ori Birnbaum

WhipClip


 

Ori Birnbaum - WhipClip
Ori has 15 years of experience in international business development and is considered a pioneer in online marketing and advertising. In 1996 Ori founded one of the first interactive agencies in Israel, and as an executive director at DC group High-Tech practice, incubated and founded several companies including a leading global advertising and affiliation network. Prior to DC Group Ori held Executive and board positions at Hotbar, Cellectivity and Giza Venture Capital where he focused on seed investments in the Internet space.

Whipclip is a groundbreaking new social TV app for iOS and Android that enables viewers to clip, search, and share their favorite TV. We are partnering with major TV programmers and all the top social media platforms, and leveraging OTT streaming technology built for some of the worlds biggest telcos. Whipclip is located in Santa Monica, California and Herzliya, Israel.
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Avi Yaron

Visionsense


 

Avi Yaron - Visionsense
Avi Yaron is the CEO and Founder of Visionsense. Avi has 20 years of management and innovation experience that evolved from the communications world, first as an officer in the Israeli intelligence forces and later in Eldat Communications, an Infrared diffused wireless communication company. Among his initiatives, he founded MotoTech, which developed advanced ignition systems for motorcycles and was among the developers of the microprocessor labe at Tel-Aviv University. Due to a brain tumor that was detected by coincidence, Avi Yaron became deeply involved in the minimal invasive surgical field. This personal experience led him to found Visionsense.

Avi Yaron has a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Tel-Aviv University, and an M.S. in Management from Boston University. He holds several patents in the field. He is a visiting lecturer in the MBA entrepreneurial programs of MIT and Babson College.

Visionsense has developed a patented technology, which provides surgeons with real-time, high-resolution, natural stereoscopic vision for Minimal Invasive Surgery applications. The design of the proprietary single sensor is based on multidisciplinary technologies combined with sophisticated image processing algorithms.
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Isabel Maxwell



 

Isabel Maxwell - CommTouch
Isabel Maxwell is a Technology Pioneer of the World Economic Forum and co-founder of The McKinley Group, creator of the pioneering Magellan online search engine that was successfully sold to Excite. She is president emerita of CommTouch (NASDAQ:CTCH).

Isabel Maxwell brings over fifteen years of international journalism and entertainment experience with accomplishments including production/direction for the Yorkshire and Southern Independent Television networks in the UK and feature film production for New World Pictures. She was a founding director serving on the Board of the British Academy of Film and Television Arts-LA from 1986-1998 and is a long-time member of the National Union of Journalists (NUJ), U.K. Isabel Maxwell holds honor moderations in Jurisprudence and a B.A. and M.A. in history and modern languages from Oxford University. She has divides her time between Los Angeles, Israel and Silicon Valley.

Commtouch (NASDAQ: CTCH) is a leading provider of Internet security technology and cloud-based services for vendors and service providers, increasing the value and profitability of customer solutions by protecting billions of Internet transactions on a daily basis. With 12 global data centers and award-winning, patented technology, Commtouch capabilities in email, Web, and antivirus easily integrate into our customer products and solutions, keeping safe more than 350 million end users.
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Eran Wagner

Gemini Israel Ventures


 

Eran Wagner - Gemini Israel Ventures CO-FOUNDER
Mr. Eran Wagner has been a General Partner at Gemini Israel Funds since 2011. Mr. Wagner serves as Managing Partner of WSG Management LLC. Mr. Wagner served as the President of North American Operations at cVidya Networks Inc. Mr. Wagner has an extensive knowledge in the Telecommunications industry and has over 20 years of experience in strategic planning, operations, and marketing and customer relations. Prior to joining cVidya, Mr. Wagner served as a Vice President, Portfolio Strategy and Planning and General Manager, Cross Portfolio Product Business Unit at Amdocs where he was responsible for developing its overall product strategy, including portfolio planning, foundational products, product integration, as well as the development of new innovative solutions in the Amdocs Research Lab. Mr. Wagner co-founded XACCT Technologies Ltd. (XACCT Technologies 1997 Ltd.) in May 1997 and Xpert UNIX Systems Ltd. in 1993. Mr. Wagner served as an Executive Vice President, Technology of XACCT Technologies Ltd. since January 2000 and Chief Executive Officer from June 1997 to January 1998. Prior to XACCT Technologies, he served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Xpert UNIX Systems Ltd. He served in an elite technology unit of the Israel Defense Forces. Mr. Wagner served as Chairman of the Board of XACCT Technologies Ltd. since June 1997. He serves as a Director of ConteXtream, Inc. and TranzMate. He is a Co-Founder of both the IEFF (Israeli Entrepreneurs and Founders Forum) in the Silicon Valley and the Israel Conference (www.theisraelconference.org) in Los Angeles. He is a serial inventor with multiple granted patents. Mr. Wagner holds a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics and Computer Science from Tel Aviv University.

Gemini Israel Ventures is a leading Israeli venture firm specializing in early and seed stage investments in technology companies in sectors that include mobile, digital media, enterprise software, online services and semiconductors. Gemini manages over $700M in five funds. Gemini counts over twenty M&A and IPO transactions to its successes. These companies include Allot, Butterfly, Ceragon, Commtouch, Diligent, Itemfield, Jacada, Mellanox, nLayers, Ornet, Precise, Saifun, Traiana and Verisity.
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Howard Rosenman



 

Howard Rosenman - Howard Rosenman Productions
Howard Rosenman (born February 1, 1945 in Brooklyn, New York), also known as Zvi Howard Rosenman, is an American producer and motion picture executive. He specializes in producing romantic comedy films and documentary films. Some of his most popular productions include Father of the Bride starring Steve Martin and Diane Keaton, Joss Whedons Buffy the Vampire Slayer and The Family Man starring Nicolas Cage. Rosenmans documentary film Common Threads: Stories from the Quilt won the Peabody Award and the 1990 Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature; his film The Celluloid Closet also won the Peabody Award.

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Ken Hertz

Hertz and Lictenstein


 

Ken Hertz - Hertz and Lictenstein
Kenneth Hertz is a Senior Partner in the Beverly Hills law firm of Hertz and Lichtenstein LLP. Prior to joining the firm, Ken was in charge of music - business and legal affairs - for the Walt Disney Company. Ken is also a principal in Membrain - an entertainment marketing and strategy consulting firm. Membrain consults a number of firms engaged in businesses operating in the entertainment content, fashion, technology and marketing industries (Membrains clients include JibJab, BigChampagne, Hasbro Toys, McDonalds, Intel, MillerCoors, and Coty.) Ken is a frequent speaker and commentator on the subjects of entertainment, marketing and convergence, is often quoted in the New York Times, Los Angeles Times and Wall Street Journal, has appeared on CNBs monthly newsmagazine Business Nation, and has been an instructor at UCLAs Anderson Graduate School of Management, and an adjunct professor of law at USC.

Hertz and Lichtenstein clients include Will, Jada Pinkett, Willow and Jaden Smith, No Doubt, Gwen Stefani, The Black Eyed Peas, will.i.am, Keith Richards, Herbie Hancock, Jason Mraz, Britney Spears, Janet Jackson, David Blaine, Shaun White, Wayne Gretzky and Alex Rodriguez. Prior to joining the firm, Ken was in charge of music - business and legal affairs - for the Walt Disney Company.
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Liz Heller

Buzztone


 

Liz Heller - Buzztone
As CEO and co-founder of Buzztone Inc Liz works to facilitate community building on behalf of brands in the cause, entertainment, media, and product industries. As chief visionary in charge of creative content, strategy, operations and funding her role on projects includes everything from shaping go-to-market brand and marketing strategy down to managing the details of technical execution. Prior to founding Buzztone Heller served as Executive Vice President of Capital Records and led the charge in developing award winning websites such as Hollywoodandvine.com and Bluenote.com. Liz also oversaw Capitals soundtrack department, executive producing hit records such as Hope Floats, Good Will Hunting and Theres Something about Mary. Liz began her career as VP of Artist Development for MCA Records.

Buzztone is an innovative brand and marketing strategists, alchemists if you will, who mix content with technology and community to create lasting brands. Buzztones success in telling brand stories has also resonated with clients like Microsoft, AOL, Sony Pictures and Bacardi.
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Art Levitt

 

Art Levitt -
Art served as the CEO and President of Fandango, Inc. from 2000 to 2006 and is currently a Venture Partner at Jerusalem Venture Partners. In 1996, beginning his second of two stints with The Walt Disney Company, Levitt launched Disney Regional Entertainment, a division designed to create entertainment concepts for metropolitan and suburban markets. There he was responsible for developing and operating concepts such as DisneyQuest, an indoor interactive theme park opened in Orlando and Chicago; and ESPN Zone, a sports, dining and entertainment facility opened in Baltimore, New York, Chicago, Atlanta and Washington, DC. Levitt returned to Disney after serving three years as president and CEO of Hard Rock Cafe International, where he managed the business worldwide including the opening of 20 new units with locations in South America, Asia, Europe, the Middle East and the U.S. Before leaving Disney in January, 1993 to join Hard Rock Cafe, Levitt was vice president, resorts and special projects, overseeing the operation of Pleasure Island, Walt Disney World\\\'s nightlife entertainment complex, Disney Village Marketplace, Disney Village Resort and Disney Vacation Club, in addition to the development of Disney\\\'s Boardwalk Resort. He rose to the post from a previous position as vice president of corporate projects.

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Dan Adler

 

Dan Adler -
A Los Angeles entertainment industry veteran of the new media and Hollywood film and television industries.

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Opening opportunities for knowledge and networking to expand your mind and your reach.

 

 

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