Yossi Vardi, according to Wikipedia, is one of Israel’s high-tech entrepreneurs and for over 40 years has funded or helped build over 60 high-tech companies in the fields of software, energy, internet, mobile, electro-optics and water tech. If you’ve used ICQ or the services of my old company Tucows, you’ve used something he helped fund. He’ll be speaking tomorrow evening in Toronto at the Velma Rogers Theatre.
Yossi Vardi is one of the leading individuals in the Israeli software/Internet industry.
Yossi has extensive experience in the public and private sector. In the private sector, he is probably the most respected investor in Israel; has served on many boards including Amdocs, Maariv, Elite, Scitex, Bezeq, Arkia, Elisra. In the public sector, he has extensive experience in technology, including helping to set up the VC industry in Israel via Yozma. He serves on the board of governors of Weizmann Institute and the Technion. He was the chairman of the Jerusalem Foundation, council member of the Open University of Israel and serves on the board of trustees of the Hebrew University. Vardi acted as an advisor to the World Bank and the United Nations Development Program on issues of energy policy and strategy in the developing world. He is a member of the World Economic Forum, serves on the Research Visionary Board of Motorola, and on the Future Trends Forum of The Bankinter Foundation of Innovation. He serves on the advisory board of Blackberry Ventures in Ontario, and served on that of 3i, was advisor to the CEOs of AOL, Amazon.com, Allied-signal, Siemens-Albis and others.
Yossi was the founding investor of Mirabilis, inventor of ICQ – the well known Internet-wide Instant messaging product. Among the companies he invested in, or helped to build are Answers.com, Gteko (sold to Microsoft), Airlink, Tivella, Scopus, CTI2, Foxytunes, Tucows (Toronto based), and Starnet.
In recent years Vardi has been active in fostering a culture of innovation and creativity in Israel and abroad. He founded the Kinnernet conference, an annual, three days gathering of creative people from all over the world.
Vardi won the TechCrunch Europe 2009 "Best investor personality" award; He received an Honorary Doctorate from the Technion, Honorary Fellowship from the Open University, and twice received the Prime Minister award for life achievements in the high tech area; he was nominated as one of The Most Influential International Executives by The Industry Standard.
Yossi, most recently, is an Angel investor in many Israeli startups and is now focusing on unique models of investing in startups. He is currently invested in many startups. Yossi is just returning from San Francisco where he attended the TechCrunch50 conference as one of the Panel of Experts.
This event is sponsored by a number of groups:
An Evening with Yossi Vardi takes place tomorrow night, Thursday, September 24th at 6:30 p.m. at the Velma Rogers Theatre, which is inside the Rogers building at 333 Bloor Street East (at Jarvis).
The free student admission tickets to this event are sold out as of this writing, but the regular admission tickets are a dirt-cheap $5 and some are still available – go there to purchase a ticket.