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Silicon Valley vs. The Big Apple: A peek into the U.S. tech ecosystem

Yasmin Lukatz, Founder and Executive Director at ICON, and Guy Franklin, Founder and CEO, Israeli Mapped in NY, provide an insider’s look at the U.S. tech scenes, sharing their stories, journeys, and the lessons learned throughout their careers and working with Israeli entrepreneurs

In collaboration with LeumiTech USA | 15:01  30.05.2021

Speaking at Expanding your Startup to the U.S. series being organized by Calcalist and LeumiTech USA, Yasmin Lukatz, Founder and Executive Director at ICON, and Guy Franklin, Founder and CEO of Israeli Mapped in NY, discussed the differences between relocating to Silicon Valley vs. The Big Apple, while also providing a peak into the challenges of moving a business to the U.S.

In a discussion hosted by Ori Kaufman-Gafter, Head of International & Tech Banking at Bank Leumi USA, Lukatz and Franklin provided an insider’s look at the U.S. tech scenes, sharing their stories, journeys, and the lessons learned throughout their careers and working with Israeli entrepreneurs.

"Don't underestimate the importance of making your family happy and don't be shy about getting help from the community," noted Lukatz, Executive Director at ICON, a non-profit endeavor (affiliated with the OFJCC) with the mission of creating a community in Silicon Valley of those who are passionate about Israeli tech and innovation, and harness the strength of this community to help Israeli startups. "There are so many good people around who want to make the transition easier for you."

"The number 1 reason for the failure of a relocation is that your significant other doesn't find their place here," added Franklin. "Not necessarily a workplace. The person who the relocation is based on might be working all day 24/7, and the significant other might be with the kids all day and might not have a working visa, for example. From my conversations with so many entrepreneurs who didn't succeed and went back to Israel the main reason for the failure was that the family wasn't happy with the situation. From the business level, I think there is a challenge that you come with your startup from Israel and there are 9,000 other startups you are competing with in New York City and that presents many challenges. But I think the personal level is more important because that is the infrastructure for everything."

Lukatz also highlighted an additional interpersonal challenge that arises from relocating. "Another challenge is how do you keep the connection between founders when one is in one country and the other is in another country. There was research that showed that 90% of entrepreneurs said that at one stage of their career they had a crisis in the relationship with the other founders and that 14% of startups fail because the founders can't communicate. So you really want to work on the connection between the entrepreneurs on both sides of the ocean and almost read each other's minds to continue working together."
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