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October 2021


⏱ Avg. Reading Time: 5 min




Connections facilitated between members


Minutes of in-depth branding interviews conducted with members


Impressions on LinkedIn


Event participants this year-to-date

9 out of 10

Average satisfaction score of events


📅 October 7:

Global AlmaSession with Betsy Cohen, Chairman of FinTech Masala: The Rise of SPACs

Join event

📅 November 11:

Global AlmaSession with Máuhan M. Zonoozy, Head of Innovation at Spotify: The Digital Transformation of the Music Industry

Join event


We know how much our members value connecting with one-another, and our decentralized COVID environment gave us an opportunity to think about how we could facilitate meaningful introductions between members in new and creative ways. AlmaConnect is a platform we developed that uses similarity algorithms to match members automatically, based on information we gather from surveys and on-boarding calls. 

The goal of AlmaConnect is to help you get to know our local and global networks, so you can build business and personal connections to help you thrive. To opt-in, sign-up here.

After you sign up, you will receive an email introduction to another member. It will be up to the two of you to schedule a time to connect, either in-person or virtually. 

As always, let us know if you have questions or ideas.

Sign up!


Noam Elharar
New York
Vice President, Finance
and Operations, Tzumi

Mor Weiss
Tel Aviv
General Manager, Binder & Partners Ltd. Private Equity Group

Avi Feldman
Tel Aviv
Managing Partner, Mobilion Ventures

Matti Perilstein
CEO & Co-Founder, Eternally

Brett Hersh
Executive Vice President, Hit Promotional Products

Michael Colson
Program Director, Edmond J. Safra Foundation

Motti Finkelstein
New York
CTO, Capital Markets at BMO
Financial Group

Michelle Martinez
CEO, Make Your Mark Digital

Gabriel Kaplan
New York
Principal, Wealth Habits

Jason Levy
New York
Senior Associate, AOS Capital



David Miller received a Bachelor of Science in Economics from the University of Pennsylvania, Wharton School, and a MBA in Finance from the University of Michigan, Ross School of Business. He worked at UBS as an equities derivatives trader and then went on to found Catalyst Mutual Funds in 2006, followed by the acquisition of Rational Mutual Funds and Strategy Shares ETFs in 2015.  He is currently focused on finding great small hedge fund managers to partner with so that together they can make their strategies available to retail investors in an easily accessible mutual fund wrapper.


Miller’s firm finds great hedge fund strategies that have historically only been available to institutional investors. Through adopting the approach of allowing for bold innovation, they have made this kind of investment available to retail investors to allow for exciting investment opportunities.


He is a big fan of Joel Greenblatt's "Little Book That Beats the Market" – a New York Times bestseller and considered one of the classics of finance literature.


He was ranked as top mutual fund manager of the year in 2013. He also has a great passion for writing and has written for The Smarter Investor since 2016.



After working for 15 years at JP Morgan and then running the capital markets division of a real estate development firm in New York, Talia is disrupting real estate development through an innovative start-up, Habio, that she co-founded in 2019. The prototype software is ready - functional for a specific lot type in New York City, and Habio has partnered with a local real estate developer there, who will be the beta client, utilizing the software to design and underwrite small lots for development.


Habio’s proprietary software makes it possible to determine the highest and best geometric design of a potential building in order to maximise financial return – prior to acquisition and prior to commencing construction. Given the way zoning is prescribed in urban markets, there can be hundreds of thousands of permissible building shapes and layouts for even a small lot. Current practice relies on the best guess of architects and developers to determine an optimal design. Habio’s software uses an algorithm to run through every permissible permutation, associates each with a pro forma, and ranks them, identifying the geometric design that will yield the best financial results.


“Destitutus ventis, remos adhibe”... If the wind will not serve, take to the oars.


Talia was born and raised in the US, but her parents are from Argentina, and most of her extended family is in Buenos Aires.



Vic previously took CrazyLister (SaaS) to $2M in ARR, and exited Weissbeerger as its first investor. He currently leads Diptera.ai, a VC-backed startup ($3M seed), combining computer vision, automation, and deep biology to fight mosquitoes with mosquitoes. Diptera.ai has signed LOI's with multiple strategic customers and is currently piloting the technology towards a US rollout. 



The sterile insect technique (SIT) is a biological pest control method, whereby overwhelming numbers of sterile male insects are released to suppress the wild pest population. Despite its high effectiveness, SIT implementation has thus far been limited due to high production and distribution costs. 

For most pests, the bottle neck for SIT is sex separation. Currently mosquitose are sex-sorted late in their development, when the mosquitoes are fragile and have a limited lifespan. As a result, implementing SIT requires building and maintaining a local mosquito factory near every release site. Diptera.ai combines computer-vision, deep biology and automation to sex-sort mosquitoes (and other insects) at the larval stage, which was previously considered impossible. This allows for a centralized mass production of sterile male mosquitoes, and then shipment to the end customers for release.


In his recent book The Mosquito - A Human History of our Deadliest Predator, Prof Timothy C. Winegard  estimates that mosquitoes have killed more people than any other single cause—fifty-two billion of us, nearly half of all humans who have ever lived.


Vic recently received his private pilot license, and is inviting Almalinks members to join him on flights exploring Israel from above.

Event Insights

Serial Entrepreneurship and Social Change-AlmaSession with KIND founder Daniel Lubetzky

Daniel launched his business, KIND, to create healthy snacks for people on the go, but it evolved to become much more than this, and today the company uses its business as a vehicle for social change. Daniel’s philosophy is that business provides the answer to tackling all of the problems the world faces.

All businesses should have a clearly defined brand, strategy, and growth path. Daniel attributes KIND's success to these three factors.

To successfully balance people, the planet, and profit in a business, one should adopt a strategy of isolating false compromises. When considering whether to pursue one goal versus another, one often finds that you can actually accomplish both - like having a product that is both healthy and tasty, as well as socially impactful, and profitable.

Finally, simplicity is key, especially in marketing and branding.

AlmaSession with Fighter Pilot Ophir Bear

Ophir gave us some valuable insights about the importance of learning in corporations, based on methodologies adapted from the Israeli Air Force. He emphasized the need to establish an organisational learning culture that is tolerant of mistakes and non-judgemental. His motto: “Never let a good crisis go to waste – leverage it to accelerate and learn.”

When recruiting new talent, look for people who are able to adopt a steep learning curve. The capacity to learn quickly is more important than the degree or experience people have.

Learning takes place when we develop new insights that result in a change in our behaviour.

The cycle of learning occurs in four phases: the act, the event, the root cause analysis and then behavioural change.

This action - feedback loop is vital for learning and generating insights, so it is important to minimise the time between action and feedback, and to reconstruct the event to maximise learning and produce meaningful insights. Debriefing should be planned for in advance and should address both successes and failures.

AlmaSession with Founder, Investor and Philanthropist Joe Lonsdale

Joe Lonsdale, General Partner at 8VC, gave us investment and business advice based on his phenomenal experience as an entrepreneur and investor.

When it comes to making investments, Joe recommends finding top-talent - individuals who have a high IQ and are hardworking.

As far as where to invest: look at what is possible now that wasn't five years ago.

Highly regulated areas, for example, tend to be more broken, which creates opportunities for entrepreneurs. Industries that are ripe for disruption include biology, data infrastructure and AI (particularly in industries like logistics and healthcare).

AlmaSession with Michael Rudin, Senior Vice President at Rudin Management Company

Michael Rudin explained how technology is disrupting the real estate industry. To tackle the challenges of the pandemic, Rudin Management Company implemented a range of technological solutions, including touchless access control monitors, real-time indoor air quality monitoring, mobile healthcare checks /questionnaires, and thermal scanning for elevated body temperature.

Rudin has also created a data-rich platform driven by machine learning and AI to take internal and external data (like real-time occupancy, weather, and utility data) and make informed, proactive decisions.

Up-and-coming trends in the real-estate market include climate tech (where there is a lot happening but which is still very much untapped), environmental and sustainability goals (including carbontech), and using technology to provide more information to tenants. 

AlmaSession with Amit Karp, Israel’s Leading Venture Investor

Amit shared his annual top three predictions for Venture and Tech in 2021:

  1. There will be an increasing dissonance between the ‘real’ world and the world of technology. This will accelerate post-Covid, and it will become increasingly difficult for older companies to keep up with the big tech giants. Companies that do not stay ahead with technology will fall behind. 

  2. VC funding will skyrocket

  3. The rise of China tech

Additionally, easier access to public capital means that more people can take risks. Many companies that are not a traditional fit for an IPO now have the SPAC (Special Purpose Acquisitions Company) option. This includes second-tier start-ups and tech companies that may have been slow-growing or not ‘sexy’ enough for investors. 

The electric vehicle sector, which will undoubtedly be a large industry but will require capital and will take some time to generate sufficient revenues, will also benefit from SPACs.

AlmaSession with Tal Elyashiv, former CIO of Bank of America and CapitalOne

Tal, founder of and managing partner at SpiceVC demystified and explained how blockchain technology is changing the landscape in many industries. Blockchain is one type of technology within the broader umbrella of ‘Distributed Ledger Technology’ (DLT)”, and has become synonymous with the term. According to Tal, “DLT is to transactional industries what the Industrial Revolution was to production.”

 It represents a significant change in the way information is gathered and communicated by moving record-keeping to a decentralised system where all role-players can securely verify, execute and record their own transactions without relying on intermediaries. It is cheaper, faster, decentralized, transparent, immutable and massively enabling for businesses.

The key components of DLT / blockchain are a single shared ledger, smart contracts that code the rules by which the transactional universe is maintained, and tokens which are programmable units that include the smart contracts and data about the entity in question. There are a range of token types that have become part of the success and impact of this decade-old technology.

Event Insights

Bruce Silverstein worked with Howard Schultz when Starbucks was just an idea in his head, with Andy Grove on Intel's marketing strategy, and helped Steve Jobs launch Macintosh.

Bruce has been helping AlmaLinks with our rebranding project:

"AlmaLinks gets to a basic human need for connection. A lot of people spoke about connection; facilitating connections with professionals around the world, community, people with similar values, friendships, business connections, knowledge.

This is a theme that runs through these interviews, so this is a real bedrock of why AlmaLinks members choose to be in it and what it offers for people."

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