Grad Year: 1974
Faculty/Degree: Electrical Engineering
Current Location: Toronto, Canada
Professional Highlights: My career has been incredibly diverse and exciting. After completing engineering studies at the Technion and a nine-year-long service as an officer with the Israeli Air Force, I become a serial entrepreneur. As such, I built more than a dozen tech companies. In 1984 I pioneered the speech recognition industry, which brought me to Canada to serve as an Executive VP of Magna International. Later, in 1999, I built a company that I took public in Nasdaq that invented and produced the world's first hand-held GPS navigation systems. Later, a company that developed and patented a tele-health technology used by the US military and the Veterans Administration.
Q & A
I made Aliyah from Chile in 1970 and went straight to Technion. At that time, the Israeli tech industry was at its early development stage, so I was lucky to live through the transformation from an agricultural driven economy into a Start-Up Nation with a rich tech ecosystem.
Technion provides excellent education, not only by teaching you technical knowledge but also by stimulating students to be creative and to think out of the box. This factor, plus the typical Jewish Chutzpah, molded me into an engineer/entrepreneur. In 1974, shortly after the Yom Kippur War, I joined the IAF, where I earned enormous responsibility and authority. With that in hand, I was able to develop ideas and deliver inventions that possibly saved lives.
When I was sent along with other engineers and pilots to the US in 1980 as part of the F16 project, I still remember how surprised our counterparts were when they saw that Israel sent young people for this project of significant magnitude and strategic importance. But that's the secret of Israel. At the military service, soldiers and officers get tasks and responsibilities requiring leadership and creativity at a very young age. As a result, these same people gain confidence that they incorporate and use throughout their lives.
Thanks to the Technion, I have been inspired to create technologies in multiple disciplines, including healthcare, life science, and others. The Jewish genes, the Chutzpah, plus the formal Technion education, and, in my case, the IAF formation helped me to become innovative and to participate in the buildup of the tech industry in Israel that nowadays drives the economy.
Technion is not just another university. It’s a part of a tech ecosystem of the kind few countries have. It is an institution that forges engineers who are creative and productive, and entrepreneurs who shape the future. In summary -- Contributing to Technion can have a tremendous impact.