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Jacques Benkoski, Partner USVP with Shuly Gailili. An international business man, Jacques was born in Belgium, educated in Israel and the U.S., held executive positions in Europe and the U.S. prior to moving permanently to the Bay Area more than 15 years ago. Jacques sees himself as an innovator-creator. He likes to roll up his sleeves and get to work helping companies grow. He is often sitting down with entrepreneurs at companies he is presently working with, or even with those in which he is yet to invest. Sharpening business strategies, brainstorming for new ideas and polishing execution plans is what Jacques enjoys the most and ultimately what led him to USVP. @JacBenko
Shuly Galili is Co-Founder UpWest Labs. Shuly is a passionate entrepreneur and the co-founder of UpWest Labs, the only US based Accelerator serving Israeli entrepreneurs and founders. She spent the past decade building Silicon Valley’s gateway to Israel working with the Valley’s leading tech giants, investors and business leaders through the California Israel Chamber of Commerce (CICC) where served as Executive Director. Under Shuly’s leadership, the CICC had significant impact on its members’ success in securing millions in venture capital, establishing US/Israel offices and R&D Centers and branding Israel’s emerging tech industry in Silicon Valley. The most significant impact of Shuly’s work is on advancing Israel’s leading tech entrepreneurs. Recognizing their challenge in opening new markets overseas, bridging cultural divide, acquiring business know-how and raising capital, Shuly created and implemented multiple programs that accelerated over 500 Israeli startups innovating across diverse tech sectors. Prior the CICC, Shuly held marketing and program development roles at various international NGOs focusing on economic development programs and educational initiatives. She studied for her B.A. of International Relations at San Francisco State University and French Studies at Grenoble University in France. She currently serves on Board of The California Israel Chamber of Commerce the the Advisory Board of The C100 – A Canadian Entrepreneurs Network. @shulygalili
‘Entrepreneur View’ Jacques Benkoski, Partner USVP with Shuly Galili: Entrepreneur turned VC, Jacques Benkoski of USVP will discuss his journey, perspective and experience as an investor in US and Israel. In a fireside chat with Shuly Galili, Co-founder of Silicon Valley Accelerator UpWest Labs, Jacques will provide background to the challenges and opportunities in investing in global teams. What are the lessons he learned as a VC weighing in successes and failures and how they shaped his approach to early and later stage investments. Focusing on Israel, Jacques and Shuly will bring in their understanding and experience of “what it takes to build and maintain a successful tech ecosystem”.