As the kickoff to DLD Tel Aviv 2014 – Israel’s Innovation Week – approaches, the events, speakers and attending startups continue to pile up. In the midst of hundreds of events planned over the week, over 84 speakers will deliver talks on topics from the future of social platforms to the state of the ‘Startup City.’ Among the speakers are big names in the tech industry and beyond, from the Vice President of Amazon, Werner Vogels, to former President Shimon Peres and king of video games Bernard Stolar, but all hold one thing in common—a passion for Israeli high tech.
Here are the 15 DLD speakers we don’t want to miss:
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Werner Vogels: CTO and Vice President of Amazon.com
The CTO and Vice President of Amazon.com, this Amsterdam native made a huge leap into a powerful management position in one of the world’s biggest Internet companies. Prior to Amazon, Vogels was a research scientist at the Computer Science Department of Cornell University where he conducted research in scalable reliable enterprise systems. He is an active blogger, who, according to his bio, “likes to build things that need to get big” and “believes in democratizing business creation.” He received the Media Momentum Personality of the Year Award in 2009 and in 2012 made Wired’s list of the Top Ten Cloud Influencers and Thought Leaders for the construction of Amazon Web Services.
Bernard Stolar: The King of Video Games
If you’re a fan of video games, then Bernie Stolar is probably a household name. Stolar has been a leader in the interactive and video game industry for over 30 years, serving as the President of Atari, Sega of America, Mattel Interactive and PlayStation. While serving as president of Sega of America, Stolar presided over the team that launched Dreamcast, the most successful commercial console launch in the history of gaming. Stolar has since served as a Google Games Evangelist, a unique position created for him by Google in which he was responsible for all video games and in-game advertising—overseeing the acquisition of Adscape. Currently, Stolar serves the CEO of The Stolar Group, a strategic consulting company directed at the interactive and digital distribution markets, and as Manager of Boulder River Holdings.
Marc Worth: Chairman and CEO of Stylus Media Group
Serial entrepreneur Marc Worth has been involved as a founder, executive and operational leader in the consumer and media industries for over 25 years. In 1997, he founded the world’s first online information service for the fashion industry—Worth Global Style Network (WGSN)—selling the company to Emap in 2005 for £142 million ($230 million). Currently, Worth serves as the Chairman and CEO of Stylus Media Group, his latest startup that provides comprehensive consumer research and design insights to more than 300 blue-chip companies in a variety of industries. In his free time, Worth invests, mentors and serves as the Chairman of UK Israel Business, a merger between the former British-Israel Chamber of Commerce and the Israel Britain Business Council.
Liz Wald: Vice President of Indiegogo.com
Serving as the International Vice President of popular crowdfunding site Indiegogo.com, Wald has a breadth of experience in the Internet Technology sector. Formerly the Director of Marketplace Development for Etsy, one of the largest e-commerce sites for handmade goods and crafts, Wald has experience in strategic consulting and retail management. When she isn’t busy developing Internet companies on a global scale, Wald is a natural explorer, having traveled to almost 60 countries, biked across the US and hiked mountains Kilimanjaro and Machu Picchu.
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Marcos Battisti: Founding member and Vice President of Intel Capital Europe
One of the founding members of Intel Capital Europe, a leading venture capital firm investing $300 million- $700 million in startups annually, Battisti is one of Europe’s go-to VC guys. He currently serves as the Vice President of Intel Capital, and has extensive experience in mobile sector startups. He was a crucial factor in the successful exits of startups like Azure Solutions (acquired by Subex), eTel (acquired by Telecom Austria) and Imagination Technologies (now publicly listed on the London Stock Exchange). Battisti received his BA in Marine Engineering from the Polytechnic School at the University of Sao Paulo and his Masters in Business Administration from INSEAD.
Adul Malik Al Jaber: CEO of MENA Apps
A leading Palestinian businessman and entrepreneur, Al Jaber is the founder and CEO of MENA Apps, an accelerator funding and supporting young entrepreneurs in the MENA region (Middle East and North Africa). Prior to MENA Apps, Al Jaber served as the COO of Zain Group, CEO of Zain Jordan, where he was responsible for doubling digital profit and for positioning the company as a regional leader in mobile, data and content, and CEO and Vice Chairman of Paltel Group. Since 2010, Al Jaber has made Global Telecom’s annual Power 100 list for three consecutive years, ranking #21 in the Top 50 Most Powerful People in the Media, Marketing and Advertising Sectors in June 2011. Al Jaber is also a member of the Arab Business Council, the World Economic Forum, and the Arab Technology Forum, among other organizations.
Philippe Dewost: Deputy Director of “Investments for the Future”, Caisse des Dépôts
This French native has experience in almost all aspects of the high tech industry. He serves as the Deputy Director of “Investments for the Future” program at the French financial organization Caisse des Dépôts, running a €3.6 billion investment program for the digital economy. In addition, Dewost has served as a board member at four startups and was the CEO of imsense, a UK-based company specializing in optimizing video imaging that sold to Apple in 2010. Dewost was also the co-founder of Wanadoo, France Telecom’s pioneering venture in the Internet business, becoming Europe’s #1 ISP, and saw the successful relaunch of Orange France Telecom’s home devices business. Dewost lives in Paris with his wife and four children.
Yossi Beinart: CEO of the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange
Beinart is the current CEO of the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange, a position he has held since January 2014. Before assuming the position, Beinart spent more than 20 years in prominent management positions at US-based companies such as Investment Technology Group (ITG) and ShieldIP, a company that he headed as CEO for five years. He also served as the president and CEO of NADEX (The North American Derivatives Exchange) and the Director of Technology at IG Group in the United Kingdom. Trained as a programer at Hebrew University, Beinart has extensive experience in the financial services sector, particularly as it applies to high tech companies.
Bob Rosenschein: Founder of Answers.com
This American-Israeli Internet entrepreneur was the CEO and founder of Answers.com until 2011 when the company was acquired for $127 million by Summit Partner’s AFCV Holdings. Early in his career, Rosenschein worked for Data General, AMS, the World Bank and Ashton-Tate, moving to Israel in 1983 where he began work as a software consultant. In 1988, he and his brother Jeff Rosenschein founded Accent Software, the company that created Dagesh, the first Hebrew/English word processor for Windows. He was awarded the Prime Minister of Israel’s Award for Software Achievement in 1997 for Dagesh. Currently, Rosenschein is the CEO and founder of Curiyo, a 1-click discovery tool for browsers.
Keren Elazari: Security expert and hacker extraordinaire
A security expert, public speaker, industry analyst and bonafide hacker, since 2000 Elazari has worked with leading companies and organizations to improve and teach Internet security. She was a featured speaker at TED 2014, RSA Conference, NATO’s Cyber Conflict Conference, DEFCON and Wired, among others. She currently works as a cyber security industry analyst at GigaOM, a company analyzing disruptive technologies and emerging markets for subscribers. In addition, she is a teaching fellow at Singularity University in California and a research fellow in the field of national cyber security at Tel Aviv University.
Limor Schweitzer: Founder and Director of RoboSavvy
This UK native is a seasoned technology entrepreneur with experience building startups in the US, Portugal and Israel. Schweitzer is the founder and director of RoboSavvy, a startup specializing in the sales, distribution, development and support of robotic products. As part of its projects, RoboSavvy is creating the most advanced 1 meter tall research humanoid robot in the world, and is experimenting in the creation of low-cost 3D printable robots. Prior to RoboSavvy, Schweitzer was the founder of Brandmymail, ActuatedCharacter, XACCT Technologies and Xpert. At last year’s DLD Conference in Munich, Germany, Schweitzer debuted RoboSavvy’s dancing robot.
Robin Wauters: Founder and Editor of Tech.Eu
This tech junkie has pioneered technology reporting around the world, founding and editing some of the leading technology news websites, like Tech.eu. Before founding Tech.eu, the leading digital publication covering all of the latest developments in the European Union tech industry, he was the European Editor of The Next Web, a senior editor at TechCrunch and a managing editor of Virtualization.com. Wauters began his career as a techie himself, working as an Internet marketing manager for IT company HostBasket and was the co-founder of social media agency Talking Heads in 2009 (which became part of Netlash in 2010).
Yoram Yaacovi: Manager of Microsoft Israel R&D
The General Manager of Microsoft Israel R&D Center, Yaacovi is responsible for the company’s R&D sites in Haifa and Herzliya, partnering with local venture capital firms, startup communities, and Israeli academic institutions. Yaacovi began his career in the tech world at Elbit Computers, programming a real time data entry and display system for the Israeli Air Force. He has also worked for Intel, and served as Vice President and COO of Amdocs. Yaacovi is the co-author of 23 patent applications (seven of which have been approved) and a Technion Israel Institute of Technology graduate.
Peter Jungen: Entrepreneur and Founder of Idealo.com
One of Germany’s high tech icons, Jungen is the co-founder and investor in numerous startups in Europe and the US, including Idealo Internet GmbH, the leading German price comparison platform. Jungen previously served as the CEO of Strabag AG, one of the largest European Civil Engineering Groups. In 1991, he founded Peter Jungen Holding GmbH, a firm holding investments in a number of industrial and service companies. Jungen is also the founding president of Business Angels Netzwerk Deutschland, co-founder and president of European Business Angels Network, a member of New York Angels and a founding member of China Business Angels Network. In 1999, Jungen was awarded the Grand Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany by its President.
Gary Shapiro: President and CEO of the Consumer Electronics Association
Shapiro serves as President and CEO of the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), a US trade association representing more than 2,000 consumer electronics companies behind the largest annual innovation tradeshow, International CES®. Shapiro led the industry in a successful transition into the HDTV age, chairing the HDTV Model Station, and is a charter inductee of the Academy of Digital Television Pioneers. In addition, he is a chairman of the Home Recording Rights Coalition, a US advocacy group to protect the rights of consumers to view, listen and record radio and television broadcasts. Shapiro is also the author of “New York Times” bestselling books “Ninja Innovation: The Ten Killer Strategies of the World’s Most Successful Businesses” and “The Comeback: How Innovation will Restore the American Dream.”
Photos: Guido van Nispen/Bernie Stolar/Marc Worth/Liz Wald/unquote.com/ Zain Jordan/ Philippe Dewost/ foxbusiness.com/ Down the Avenue/ Ted.com/ 3dprintshow/ TechnMarketing/ DLD Conference/ Peter Jungen/ PC Mag