Originally published on https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/2019-has-just-started-what-welcome-been-uncle-sam-moshiel-biton/
I had not fully managed to process my New Year resolutions when I found myself on a plane to New York City. Just after saying goodbye to 2018 and Yotpo’s @Omri in Israel, I met with @Tomer in NYC, aka the best business school in town, with whom I discussed business, fundraising and much more.
I also had the privilege to spend quality time with the driving force behind the automotive ecosystem in Israel, Ecomotion CEO @Orlie. If you are a startup operating in Israel in the auto tech /smart mobility space, the FIRST step in the Israeli startup bible is to join Ecomotion; don’t ask why, just do it. It’s by far the most valuable community and even if you are not operating from Israel don’t miss the Ecomotion main event - a MUST.
Then it was time for wheels up and touch down in the city of lights, Las Vegas. #CES2019 what an event! This hashtag may well have broken the LinkedIn record for 2019… thus far. However, if you are looking to read more about the new gadgets and trends showcased at CES, I would advise you to look elsewhere.
@Ahmed, an investor friend from London was among many to tell me that CES was the place to be, where the amount and density of the relevant people are unreal. He was totally right. This was our first CES appearance.
Big, overwhelming, scary and yes, very easy to get lost regardless of one’s networking or orientation skills. We didn’t have a booth this time, probably next year. Honestly, I preferred it this way. Lack of a booth gives you the freedom to be proactive and mobile and thereby able to approach relevant companies and individuals directly. It is similar to entering the biggest supermarket in the world, with an enormous variety of products and you can try to pick the best for you. It such a privilege that even if you have a booth, you should have those runners – real-time Biz Dev people, who can make the most out of the crazy number of new leads. Also - spread the word loudly that you are at #CES in advance. Do a CRM for CES. Make a point to catch up with old/current acquaintances but also to make new ones. If you are in the #AV #EV #automotive space, connect to @PlanetM, who organised a dedicated day during CES for B2B meetings and matchmaking - they did an incredible job with extremely relevant connections. I was proud to see that there more Israeli startups than any other country. Watch out for them!
So sure, CES will generate for you many leads and potential for follow-ups but how do you maximise them?
That’s when I made my way to the third leg of the trip - Silicon Valley.
I suggest spending some time in the Valley and SF following CES. It gives you the opportunity to follow up and understand better the bulk of participants at CES, especially those who are happy to move fast. It’s not an easy task, so you better prepare this in advance as well. I'd also recommend for you to connect with @Nadav, for a soft landing in the Valley, especially if you are in the Automotive space.
It's essential to make sure the other part of your team is fully ready for your long absence. I'm lucky to have an incredible team at @Addionics, both in Israel and in the UK - it's vital to have their back and always to keep the plates spinning.
Bottom line, don’t have too high expectations from #CES2020, be there, maximise your time by going to many events as you can and enjoy Vegas or California - whatever makes you happy. For me, it was hiking and surfing.
Lastly, don’t do Friday at CES, it’s dead! Unless you like to do shopping, just ask @Yaron, who j