A Conversation with Yossi Vardi

Israel's legendary startup guru and tech investor explains what he looks for in a new business and how he assesses an entrepreneur's potential

Yossi Vardi is known as Israel's startup guru. For nearly 40 years he has helped to found and nurture over 60 companies in industries that include software, Internet, telecommunications, and energy. At 26, in 1969, he co-founded his first business, Tekem, one of the first software firms in Israel. Vardi was also the founding investor in Mirabilis, which created ICQ, the first Internet-wide instant messaging program. The company was launched in 1996 by his son, Arik, and three friends, and sold to AOL (TWX) in 1998 for about $400 million. The sale helped open the floodgates for numerous Israeli entrepreneurs.

To continue reading this article you must be a Bloomberg Professional Service Subscriber.