By Abigail Klein Leichman

“I don’t think there is any industry that generative AI will disrupt more than the creative industry,” DreamWorks Animation and WndrCo VC cofounder Jeffrey Katzenberg declared at the opening of the two-day Silicon Valley Comes To Tel Aviv (SV2TLV) summit on June 25.


“What and how it will change is unimaginable at this point, but I know it will be stunning,” the entertainment industry legend told 1,500 attendees.

DreamWorks and WndrCO cofounder Jeffrey Katzenberg at Silicon Valley Comes to Tel Aviv, June 2023. (MENASH COHEN)

The second annual summit was hosted by Tel Aviv-headquartered international venture capital firm Sarona Partners to connect leading VCs, unicorn founders and thought leaders from Silicon Valley and Israel.

Katzenberg and WndrCo cofounder Sujay Jaswa were among the keynote speakers.

Katzenberg revealed that “media and entertainment is not a growth market, due in large part to the fact that the consumer standpoint is unclear: consumers are undecided on what they want, when they want it, for how long and how much they are willing to pay for it. I would also say that, out of all the industries, the media industry is the number one lagger in coming out of Covid.”

 

Chief Executive Officer of DreamWorks Animation Jeffrey Katzenberg (JUAN PABLO RICO/ AFP) (JUAN PABLO RICO/AFP via GETTY IMAGES) 

His decision to enter the high-tech investment arena, Katzenberg said, came from a desire to find fresh solutions proposed by the startup world.

“I look at each decade as a chapter in my life. The last decade, in which I was involved in high-tech, is very interesting and exceptional because of the impact you bring to people with the help of technology. That’s how I realized how important technologies are and affect every area of our lives.”

Don’t Lie

SV2TLV also offered lectures, panels, and master-class workshops led by world-class high-tech executives.

Or Lenchner, CEO of web data collection platform Bright Data, had some advice for companies looking to be acquired:

“Don’t lie,” he said.

“The days when money was cheap and a good story was enough to recruit or make an exit are long gone. In the last two years, the situation in the market was unbalanced, and the market ignored the basic laws of physics, according to which a business should be profitable. The change we are experiencing in the market right now is not easy, but it will lead to a healthier industry.”

Eliran Glazer, CFO at monday.com, spoke as part of a panel on IPOs.

“When you talk to analysts, you understand the change that the market has undergone,” Glazer said.

BRAZIL – 2022/05/31: In this photo illustration, a silhouetted woman holds a smartphone with the monday.com logo displayed on the screen. (RAFAEL HENRIQUE/SOPA IMAGES/LIGHTROCKET/GETTTY) 

“Two years ago, it was much easier for everyone to raise money. Today, people keep more of their money and as a public company the focus shifts mainly to profitability. As a company, there is a desire to show a certain percentage of profitability and growth, so we go back to the beginning to make sure that we are taking the right steps to build the right future for the company.

Reason for Optimism

Sarona Partners Group CEO Toot Shani said that despite everything, Israeli high-tech is blooming, and not only in Israel.

“About 35 Israeli unicorns, over 550 startups, and 93 Israeli companies that are issued on the American stock exchange are currently operating in Silicon Valley,” she said.

Shani added that in the post-pandemic period, “the Israeli innovation industry is still kicking, [and] our goal is to connect investors from all over the world to Israel, precisely in this period.”

Produced in association with ISRAEL21c

Edited by Kyana Jeanin Rubinfeld and Joseph Donald Gunderson