Interview with Shay Hillel, CEO at BrainVu (recently acquired by Mantis Vision)
The company's story
BrainVu's technology was developed in the Technion by Prof. Miriam Reiner in the Neurocognition Lab. BrainVu has licensed the rights for the technology from the commercialization department of the Technion (TRDF). The technology is very impressive and allows identification from remote of bio-markers that show brain activity by innovative and advance image processing.
BrainVu secured an initial investment from a private angel investor quickly, 2 months later in mid 2017 Nielsen Innovate Fund led our seed round. The Technion Drive together with additional private investors joined the seed round as well. During the Nielsen innovate acceleration program we reached the stage of having a working Beta product. During the incubation program we received an acquisition offer by Mantis Vision. The whole M&A process went fast and BrainVu's success contradicts many prejudice in the industry, starting from an academic technology and licensing it, receiving grants from the chief scientist, and even being acquired by an Israeli company.
Did you know from the beginning that you were going to succeed?
Without a doubt. The moment I saw the technology, I believed it would succeed. This is ground-breaking technology with a real need in the market. Having said that, the technology in most cases is not the main criteria for success, it is more about the need for the product in the market, team and timing.
Did you change your work habits after the purchase?
I did not change my work habits; the purchase doesn't mark the end of BrainVu's journey, it is only the beginning. Like every entrepreneur I am driven by the need to fulfil my vision and see the product used widely in the market and create an impact.
How did you celebrate the purchase?
I took my son on a trip in the States :)
We noticed that more experienced entrepreneurs use our platform than non experienced. You are an experienced entrepreneur too. In what way did the VCforU platform help you prepare for investors?
I used the VCforU platform to prepare my one pager. As an initial step it gave me a great base for the rest of the journey. Later, as I met more investors I changed my one pager to fit my needs more.
What are your tips for entrepreneurs?
The most important thing is to believe and to be persistent. I believe persistence and believing in the company are crucial for success and overcoming “down periods”. It's important to persist despite the difficulties. Listen carefully to others, learn and improve all the time, but filter out the negative parts...
What will you do in the future?
I will keep working in Mantis, I believe it is a fascinating market with lots of opportunities for BrainVu's technology.
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