Quick Bite Interview with Oded Grinstein, the Deputy Economic Minister at the Israel Economic Mission

Hands on Matrix Screen

by Lauren Keyson

Oded Grinstein is the Deputy Economic Minister at the Israel Economic Mission in NYC. He works in NY but actually lives in Israel.

What is your mission about?

We promote and facilitate bilateral trade and business between Israeli and U.S. companies in various sectors. I lead the high-tech activities, which is one of the leading and most exciting sectors in the Israeli economy. I introduce Israeli technologies and innovation to U.S. companies, partners and investors, and am highly involved with the Israeli tech scene in NYC.

What are your favorite television shows and movies?

This past year I really got into Homeland (based on an Israeli TV series), and it’s always a good day for The Matrix.

Any favorite books?

Start-up Nation (by Dan Senor & Saul Singer).
Born to Run (by Chris McDougall).
Unbroken (by Laura Hillenbrand).

iPhone or Android or what?
iPhone. I just upgraded but the truth is that I’m a bit disappointed. If Apple can’t “re-WOW” me by my next upgrade, I’ll switch to an Android.

What areas / opportunities are ripe for startups to tackle?

For the new media sector I would point out Big Data (monitoring, measurement & analysis – especially from multiple screens), Content Curation (mobile & offline), and Gaming.

Outside of your work, what are you passionate about?

My family 100%. Our jobs are temporary but our families aren’t. Live healthy, do good.

Who has been or currently is an inspiration to you?

Scott Jurek – Ultra-marathoner. Runs more than 150 miles straight. Vegan.

With your concept currently in prototype stage, what is one problem you are addressing?

From my work as a liaison between start-ups and leading U.S. companies, I notice that large companies often don’t have the right mechanisms in place to work with small start-ups. This is especially frustrating when we see the gap between the decision maker’s enthusiasm and the ability of his organization to work with that start-up.

What led you to this right now instead of anything else?

Life works in mysterious way. I have over 15 years of business development experience in the private sector and never expected to find myself working for the government. However, my current position is one of the most exciting jobs one could wish for!

What is your current biggest challenge?

Promoting our events and generating traction from local U.S. partners to the great stuff we are dealing with, using very limited to zero budget.

How can our readers help you get to your next step?

If you know CTOs, CIOs, VP Digital, VP Mobile and alike, please tell them about our services. We usually have events at least once a month, where we introduce Israeli companies and solutions to local U.S. partners from various sectors. Aside from high tech we also work with medical & bio, clean energy, consumer products and more.

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