CoolTech Club with Gili Raanan : Building companies in the US with an Israeli base


June 13, 2007


Gili Raanan will talk about his successful experience of building 2 new VC backed ventures (nLayers Inc, and Sanctum Inc), and selling them eventually. The discussion would cover the challenges of operating in the US market while having a major non-US group (in this case Israel based R&D group), considerations before forming similar companies, and a proposed empiric model to decide when to scale up the Sales team, and the rest of the US based operation, avoiding some common mistakes.


 Gili Raanan serves as VP Strategy at EMC Corp, for its system management software division. Between 2003 and 2006 Raanan served as CEO & President of nLayers Inc. Raanan led nLayers from inception to about 50 employees company and the recognized leader in the Configuration Management market just before the acquisition by EMC. Between the years 1997-2002, Raanan founded and served as the General Manager & SVP Products of Sanctum Inc, till the acquisition by

Watchfire Inc. Prior to that Raanan led several key Internet projects at Amdocs Inc. and worked for the Israeli government in several key innovative software projects - For that work Raanan was awarded with the Israel Security Award of 1996. Raanan is also the recipient of the Israeli Defense Forces' Innovation award of 1992. Raanan has a Bachelor's degree in computer science and economics from Tel Aviv University, with honor, and MBA from the Recanati Business School, with honor. Raanan owns 4 US patents and 1 Israeli patent, with few pending applications.


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Ron Conway, Founder and Managing Partner of the Angel Investors LP funds, early stage investor in Google and PayPal

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Esther Dyson, Founder, EDventure Holdings

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Richard Guha, President of the Marketing Executives Network and Managing Partner at MaxBrandEquity

"As Stanford MBA students, we were exposed to a lot of VC firms both from the Valley and abroad. It is at Stanford that we met Anna Dvornikova, an absolutely amazing business leader and (by our big luck) our friend, who was the center of the Russian Silicon Valley professional community, and was doing a huge work to connect Russia and the Valley. Anna helped us a lot with kick-starting Wikimart, put us to our first-ever conference, introduced us to most of Russian VCs. And all that happened in a very short time span! It was the beginning of a six-month journey that despite the particularly tough times resulted in an extraordinarily group of investors backing our start-up."

Maxim Faldin and Kamil Kurmakayev,
co-CEOs, Wikimart