Last month, I became the first Israeli businessman to sign a memorandum of understanding with the Azerbaijan Investment Company on the historic occasion of the opening of the Azerbaijan Trade and Tourism Office in Tel Aviv, said the founder and CEO of OurCrowd, Jon Medved.
According to him, the projected agreement will promote strategic cooperation in the field of investment by the Government of Azerbaijan in OurCrowd’s portfolio: “OurCrowd will encourage startups to establish a presence in Azerbaijan. Our modest memorandum is a small step in the march toward the true globalization of entrepreneurship. The Azeri government has wisely seized the opportunity to be part of the innovation investment revolution. The entrepreneurs and the investors of the future will come not just from Silicon Valley, or Midtown Manhattan, or the City of London. They will come from anywhere because the world has shrunk to the dimensions of a Zoom screen. The people who make California such a high-tech hotspot are not just the local population but the newcomers who bring their skills from across the globe. More than half of the startups founded in Silicon Valley between 1995 and 2005 had at least one immigrant founder, and many of its flagship brands are headed by immigrant executives. All the key figures in the development of the Moderna vaccine against Covid-19 came from outside the US. The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine was developed by Turkish immigrants to Germany,” Medved said.
The Israeli businessman said that Covid had redrawn the innovation map: “Location really doesn’t matter anymore. There is no map – just an infinite variety of instantly accessible people with an infinite variety of skills, cultures, and education. With the globalization of entrepreneurial activity, the next big companies can come from anywhere in the world. My company is all about democratizing access to the private investing asset class. We are not just committed to helping the wealthy citizens of rich countries write checks but to truly making access to capital global. Entrepreneurs will come from anywhere, and investors should come from anywhere. In an interconnected world, where you can complete a venture deal with Brazilian or Japanese venture funds you will never meet because it’s all done over Zoom, why not Azerbaijan – either as investors or as entrepreneurs?”
“From Jerusalem, we became interested in Azerbaijan because it has become such an important strategic ally of Israel and a major oil supplier. The positive and warm treatment by Azerbaijan of its small Jewish community and its ties to Israel demonstrate how Muslims and Jews, who thrived together during the Golden Age, can cooperate to forge a new future. We are excited to be doing this with our new friends in Azerbaijan. We hope that by helping to develop the high-tech ecosystem in Central Asia, we will also be helping the rest of the world,” he said.