Next up in our TechAviv Founder Stories series is a fireside chat with the one and only Nuseir ("Nas") Yassin, best known for his phenom video series "Nas Daily". We'll unpack the lessons learned from his improbable founding story that ultimately led to millions of adoring global fans, over 4 billion views, and the video startup he's working on now. We'll then discuss the current state of diversity in our startup ecosystem in a town-hall discussion with Nas and 200 founders and investors. In attendance will be Israeli, Arab-Israeli, Palestinian, orthodox, female and male founders and investors. This will be a special night and critically important discussion.
- 2016 Stanford University
“Diversity fosters innovation and creativity through a greater variety of problem-solving approaches, perspectives, and ideas.”
- 2015 McKinsey Research Report
We’ll also be joined by Galit Desheh, Director of Power in Diversity .
5:30pm - 6:00pm | Founder & Investor Networking
6:00pm - 7:30pm | Fireside Chat with Nas & Group Discussion
Entrepreneurs don’t wait around for others (especially not politicians) to solve our problems. One of our problems is a lack of diversity in our industry. At this event Israeli, Arab, Palestinian, Orthodox, female and male startup founders and investors gathered to discuss the problem, and solutions.
We started the night with Nuseir Yassin, better known as "Nas Daily” sharing his improbable founder story. When I asked Nuseir to reflect on what set his life on an entrepreneurial track he said “I was an angry kid. Growing up an Arab in Israel I didn’t feel like I belong. I had no voice. To feel equal in Israel I had to leave and come back with a Harvard degree and 12M followers.” Being different didn’t stop him, it got him to where he is today. How we can overcome our inherent biases to give those different than us an equal opportunity to better themselves and the world, is on us. We have a lot of work to do. It was awesome to hear about the work Galit Desheh and team are doing with the Power In Diversity initiative. If your company hasn’t signed the pledge yet, here’s the link: www.powerindiversityisrael.com. Alan Feld is a hero for starting this movement.
I’m so grateful to all the founders and investors that came out and particularly to the minority founders that stood up to tell their stories. It’s almost impossible for a white male to truly understand what it’s like to be a female founder or minority in a typical tech conference or investor board room surrounded by white dudes. But to hear first-hand accounts from female, orthodox and Arab founders, and to really listen, is a big step towards the collective empathy needed to make real change.
I’m particularly proud of and honored by the Palestinian founders that made the complicated trip to Tel Aviv from Ramallah, Nablus and East Jerusalem. They are our brothers and sisters in the arena. There is much more that we are going to do together. And no, this is not about politics. This is about entrepreneurship.