We caught up with Dean Nguyen, Co Founder of KADA, a knowledge platform which helps people that work with data, to talk about his trip to the Australian Landing Pad based in the vibrant city of Tel Aviv situated on Israel’s Mediterranean coast.
The Aussie Landing Pad was launched in 2013 and opens doors for market-ready startups by giving them access to global market and Israeli innovation ecosystem through successful entrepreneurs, corporations and investors.
Dean says during their time in Tel Aviv, they were guided around the city by Tel Aviv native and Landing Pad Manager Omri Wislizki, who is passionate about sharing the history and culture of the place.
1. Tel Aviv has an incredible startup scene
“Tel Aviv is an incredible place. The other founders and I debated what it reminded us of and we ended up agreeing it was unlike anything we’ve experienced before,” says Dean.
He says the city was awesome in the way it is filled with so many different perspectives, ideas and people, with 5,000+ startups in a country a third of Tasmania.
Tel Aviv has an international reputation for its thriving startup ecosystem with many of its Founders known for creating multiple successful enterprises. Startups like Arbe Robotics who is developing radar technology to help cars view the environment in any weather or light conditions, or Corephotonics who are creating the world’s slimmest zoom dual camera, or Knowmail who are working on a personalised AI engine that studies your work habits and helps you to focus and save time.
2. Culture of collaboration
Dean says, “I think the Israelis are not complacent, especially in the way they push boundaries.”
“The Sydney and Tel Aviv startup ecosystem have similarities but Tel Aviv does it on another level. It’s scaled and supported incredible well by founders, companies, government and VC’s.”
In 2015, James Packer commented: “The IT sector in Israel has emerged as a hub for innovation and start-ups in technology-related services. Israel now has the highest startups per capita in the world and this will provide major opportunities in the future.”
Talking about Australia, Dean says, “We’re a lot more conservative about who we talk to, how much we share, how much we collaborate with each other.”
Dean explains that in Tel Aviv they, “They treat failure and success as they same thing – lessons. And they share these lessons openly which was amazing for use.”
“It’s hyper connected. So, you can imagine it’s like Stone & Chalk, but that same feeling felt throughout the entire city of 417,000 people. That’s what Tel Aviv is like.”
3. You will learn things about your own startup
Dean says that he saw a whole new perspective on the sharing of ideas in a way that embraces knowledge from others, something which is super beneficial for startups in the same space.He says he was able to tap into knowledge from both Founders from NSW working in AI and machine-learning who are further along in their journey and also learn from the inspirational entrepreneurs he met in Tel Aviv.Dean was able to pick their brains and ask how they had built their companies and about some of the struggles they faced along the way.
By exploring these areas, he was then able to think more deeply about KADA’s relationship with data.
“Data eclipses the ability for most companies to handle,” he explains.
In layman’s terms, “The rate of growth for data is exponential, and we’re collecting more and more data every minute,” says Dean.
He believes that KADA exists because as data grows, the need to scale knowledge about that data across people, teams and the organisation is becoming a necessity.
“Knowledge about data is valuable IP that is often lost. It needs to be recorded, tracked, managed and proactively grown”, Dean says.
“I think we’re now moving into a world where it’s no longer about collecting a lot of data, it’s about how you use that data for various purposes.”
The power of data, he says, is being able to use it to answer the right questions.
4. There are awesome events and sites to see in Tel Aviv
During his time at the Australian Landing Pad, the group was able to attend Tel Aviv University Conference on Innovation and hear from a range of speakers, including a panel of Founders who spoke of the tenacity and resilience they developed whilst taking their product to market.Their group also had an opportunity to visit the Holocaust Museum in Jerusalem, allowing them to gain a deeper understanding of Israel’s complex history of its people and place, as well as its impact on modern Israel.
Talking about the trip, “I think it was an amazing program run by the Australian Government, and I would encourage everyone to be a part of it, if it’s applicable to them.”
“I think we’ll definitely be back to Tel Aviv, there’s just so much to learn, and so much to be able to contribute as part of that,” he says.
Overall, Dean explains that the most significant benefits are not immediate, but in the future, you might look back and realise decisions you made were influenced by that trip to the buzzing city of Tel Aviv.
If you would like to know more about KADA and the work they’re doing, click here.