Meni Maor was a judge in our VIVIgas Energy Call, where he helped WiderPool during the curation process in which we evaluated eight posible startup candidates to obtain the 3 best fit finalists of the call.
Currently Meni is Managing Director at Horizon GreenTech Ventures LTD and focuses his professional carreer on Innovation, Venture Capital and Acceleration of early stage startups in the Green & Smart Energy & Mobilitysectors.
Because of his great contribution, we thought it would be interesting to get to know Meni a bit more. So here are some questions to this active WiderPool Advisory Board Member.
“Successful entrepreneurship is not about ideas. It’s about making ideas happen. Stick with them, even on the bad days.
Your vision must be big. Start small.
But most importantly, start.”
Hi Meni, can you tell us a bit about yourself?
With 18 years of professional experience in a versatile managerial positions, most of them in the spaces of entrepreneurship, innovation, business development and venture financing. Since 2007, focusing and passionate on nurturing startups in the Green & Smart Energy & Mobility domains. With a BA in Business Studies and MBA from UWE, I have spent most of my professional career in Israel, Italy and the UK.
I am passionate about novel technologies that can potentially disrupt conservative markets and industries
What motivated you to focus on Innovation, Venture Capital and Acceleration of early stage startups in the Green & Smart Energy & Mobility sectors?
I am driven by such challenges and opportunities that can potentially transform huge markets and have substantial impact on our planet. I am thrilled each time I see a flourishing young and dynamic startup in a conservative environment.
Key players in the industry finally realize that they cannot rely solely on their internal R&D capabilities, and must scout externally for novel technologies
How do you see the Innovation, Venture Capital and Acceleration of early stage startups in the Green & Smart Energy & Mobility sectors sector in 2018? What will be the main trends according to you?
The global energy industry is becoming much more oriented to innovation, constantly seeking novel technologies in order compete in these crowded and competitive markets. Key players in the industry finally realize that they cannot rely solely on their internal R&D capabilities, and must scout externally for novel technologies. Open innovation is essential and inevitable for large conglomerates and utilities, hence, I expect that many of them will continue to establish mechanisms to attract and execute innovation, mechanisms such as incubators, accelerators, corporate VC’s R&D centers and more.
It is most likely that in 2018 we will continue to see emphasize on digital transformation of the power grids, making distribution, transmission grids and power generation much smarter, with the acceleration of I.o.T, Actionable BigData and AI trends.
Renewable energy will maintain its constant growth, and a commercial boost of energy storage installations. Energy sources and infrastructure will become smarter, greener and much more efficient.
Can you share with us some meaningful stories from your experience?
Many innovative technologies are becoming enablers of these trends in the energy sector, driving the transformation of power grids, power generation and energy efficiency. Few of the many stories we are currently engaged with include innovations that open new opportunities. Synvertec, with novel algorithms that will stabilize poor grids, ELENCON with innovative software that will save above 30% of our AirConditioning electricity bills, PDP Techlogies, that will predict failures of electrical devices on-time and SunBoost, that will enable for the first time to integrate solar energy on top of greenhouses without jeopardizing the crops.
What are your main activities in WiderPool? Can you share with us your experience?
The WiderPool program is proposing a unique and exciting mechanism to synchronize synergize between corporations and game changing innovations. This is one of the key challenges in our industry. WiderPool executes a very structured model, by identifying strategic needs and pains in the industry,scouting for the most innovative solutions worldwide, and carefully analyzing the fit of new technologies, products and people. My personal expectation, following my first engagement with the program, as an evaluator, would be that the program will generate excellent results.
Entrepreneurs’ ability to learn faster than conglomerates and even than customers, is probably the most essential competitive advantage your startup must possess.
What would your advise be to growth stage startups?
Work closely with strategic players, constantly be attentive to their needs and expectations, constantly ensure your business model is viable, ensure traction with the market, never stop innovating, no compromise on leadership and team and always remain focused.
And to the corporations?
Constantly scout for innovations, act fast, execute open innovation programs and practices worldwide. Keep in mind that if you cannot fail you cannot learn, aim for uncertainty, risk taking, and fast learning.
Do you have any favorite business-related book you like to read?
The Lean Startup by Eric Ries
Can you share with us a quote that represents your vision?
A startup is a human institution designed to create a new product or service under conditions of extreme uncertainty. The only way to win is to learn faster than anyone else.
Do you have extra information and/or comments you would like to share?
Successful entrepreneurship is not about ideas. It’s about making ideas happen. Stick with them, even on the bad days. Your vision must be big. Start small. But most importantly, start.
Would you like to be as engaged as Meni Maor? Write us here to see the opportunities!