Alibaba founder and chairman Jack Ma and his entourage of 35 senior executives from the Chinese online trading giant are continuing their visit to Israel today. After yesterday's sightseeing to the Dead Sea, there is a more business flavor to today's program. The Alibaba delegation visited the offices of Jerusalem Venture Partners (JVP) in Jerusalem today. JVP became a strategic partner of Alibaba two years ago and since then the Chinese company has invested tens of millions of dollars in JVP and its portfolio companies.
As part of the visit, JVP chairman and former MK Erel Margalit presented information about some of the fund's portfolio companies. These included SaleUp, a mobile app for ecommerce founded by a 17 year-old entrepreneur, artificial intelligence company ThetaRay, satellite communications service company NSLComm, and sleep technology company Nanit, which is researching why some babies have problems falling asleep.
"I didn't come from a technological background," Ma said. "I'm not an engineer and in the past I was a teacher. What is most important to me is that employees get satisfaction from their work and have a smile on their face."
Ma asked to see sites in Israel related to Jewish culture and asked to meet some of the country's pre-eminent scientific and humanistic minds. At JVP he met Israel Nobel Prize in Economics laureate, Prof. Robert Aumann, the mathematician who won the prize for his game theory.
Tomorrow Ma will meet Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Minister of Economics and Industry Eli Cohen and on Thursday he will receive an honorary doctorate at Tel Aviv University.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on May 1, 2018
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