fall 2013

27 Years Old and Co-Founder of a Multi-Million Dollar Company

...continued from previous page.

While creating an award-winning search engine, founding a company, studying in an undergraduate program at OUI in computer science, (which also featured "taking some fun electives") Amit felt he had to find a balance in his life. "I had other interests besides computer programming. I loved swimming, and would swim three times a week". Also, a social life was important to Amit.

"I realized that it's not important if I get 100 or 85 on my exams. What became important for me at the OUI was to learn the content and that I did. So, I was satisfied being a B+ student instead of an A+ student. I also found that the University faculty were working together with me -- helping to synthesize my needs with the courses".

After six months at the OUI Amit decided to take a break from studies, but he did not remain idle during this time. Instead, he began working as a software engineer for other Israeli startups.

The Launching of a Multi-Million Dollar Company

One company under his wing, and a high school diploma, Amit went to serve in an elite military unit of the Israeli Defense Ministry. Here he was part of a team researching and developing innovative technologies. Here, Amit also found a group of peers who were studying at the Open University of Israel. That's when he decided to resume his studies. So, by the time he received his discharge papers from the IDF, Amit also had in hand his undergraduate degree in computer sciences.

Shortly after, Amit began to investigate trend algorithms in greater depth. His interest was in figuring out how he could apply these algorithms to the dynamic fields of advertising and marketing. Taykey (www.taykey.com) was launched with $11 million in funding from Sequoia Capital, SoftBank Capital & Marker.

Taykey uses trend algorithms to help advertisers take advantage of topical trends among their target audiences and find 'hidden customers' in real-time. "We check trends 300 times a day." Then, based on the results, "we purchase media on Google, Twitter, Facebook and Youtube, and others." But Taykey doesn't just recommend and purchase media. They have a carefully formulated matrix in place which measures advertising results. "We set up a success matrix with the client, and monitor the results in a timely and accountable fashion."

Taykey's clients, many of them major international advertisers, are able to nose ahead of their competitors thanks to timely, topical media purchasing.

With a few minutes to spare in his extremely busy day -- factor in the number of clients times 300 daily trend checks per client times dozens if not hundreds of media purchases you can understand how busy Amit's days must be -- Amit gave us some insight into what he thinks is crucial for achieving success.

"You must have the ability to learn material by yourself, digest content, understand it thoroughly and then produce something". In a nutshell, "that's what the Open University of Israel is all about."

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