“First they will ask you why you are doing it, later they will ask you how you did it,” – foundr
This has been the story of Ron Kimhi’s life. This 30-year-old is a talented and experienced business development manager at ‘Florida Israel Business Accelerator’ (FIBA), who created history just a month after he joined the company. According to FIBA, when Kimhi was first hired for the job he was initially only expected to rope in about forty-odd start-ups for a three-week program. However just a month later he was able to get over 90 companies onboard.
“This was the most challenging part of my career; I would stay up all night working on it because I had such a mammoth task to accomplish and a limited amount of time to do it. FIBA had started with around 20-25 applications, but I knew that a meaningful figure would need to exceed 60 start-ups from Israel; I got ninety-nine companies to sign up. When I started, many people said I was insane, and persuading them that they had opportunities opening up for them in Tampa Florida, of all places, was the biggest challenge I faced. After going through on our value proposition over and over again and messaging back and forth a few times, I found the winning formula and reached the target I had set for myself.”
Kimhi, who was part of the founding team in FIBA also has various other venture development roles under his belt – for instance, the fellowship program at ‘Our Generation Speaks,’ an incubator based in Boston, where emerging Israeli and Palestinian entrepreneurs create high impact projects. “One of the most rewarding aspects of my career has been the opportunity to mentor young entrepreneurs with social-business goals to make a better infrastructure for hope in the Israeli region,” he said.
The young leader stated that the one thing that keeps him motivated is his passion to help Israeli businesses penetrate the US market. “It has never been easy for an Israeli company to enter the US market, and I desperately wanted to help them, because I knew they had a lot to offer and they would be able to add value to the US tech industry.”
Apart from working with FIBA, Kimhi has a lot of other successful projects under his belt for starters; he was among the top few who were handpicked for the Zell Entrepreneurship Program, which is one of Israel’s best-incubating programs. “I was chosen to take part in the Zell program, several years ago. It is one of Israel’s leading accelerators, which selects 24 outstanding individuals out of hundreds to take part in a year-long program. Its 350 alumni have established about 150 companies that raised more the $1B, which shows that it is one of the world’s major incubation programs,” he said.
Kimhi feels it is very important to know what you want in the Tech industry and whatever you choose to do should be something you are passionate about because in a competitive environment doing something you hate or aren’t passionate about will leave you drained and burnt out. His advice to young entrepreneurs, “do something you like, personally reach out to people who have done it before you, have faith in your value proposition and don’t be shy, they will be able to answer your questions.