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YKC: Breaking free

Freedom is not worth having if it does not include the freedom to make mistakes

Yoni's Kitchen Cabinet

April 16 · Issue #53 · View online
Sharing meaningful experiences, impactful ideas and career + event opportunities in the NY/TLV tech ecosystems

Freedom is not worth having if it does not include the freedom to make mistakes

Curated by YKC
Curated by YKC
Welcome back {{first_name}} … Wishing those celebrating a happy Passover and Easter.
Check out my latest article Esports: Is this Israel’s next ‘athletic’ frontier? for Israel21c. I cover this briefly in the article, but with a new government being formed in Israel, now is the time for the incoming government to take a serious look at launching an initiative to groom Israeli gamers to complete in future Olympics (esports are going to be a part of the Olympics in the next decade).
Community Offer: I had positive conversations with a number of you in the past two weeks covering topics such as partnerships, content strategy, and even changing careers. In case you missed it last time I’d like to offer complimentary phone sessions to members of the YKC Community to offer my advice in order to help you work through any digital marketing and content strategy challenges you may have. Click here to book your phone session.
Some inspiration
Some inspiration
“Between stimulus and response, there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.”
-Vicktor Emil Frankl
What I'm reading
What I'm reading
How to Think Like a Roman Emperor: The Stoic Philosophy of Marcus Aurelius by Donald Robertson: I was searching for a story in honor of Passover and the ancient Israelites’ struggle to break free from bondage in Egypt but kept coming back to the idea that the story has been retold so many times. So much of contemporary bondage is in our own minds so I thought to cover it from a different angle. While the ancient Romans and Greeks were no friends of the ancient Israelites (who where constantly rebelling against their oppressive rule) many of the ideas of Stoicism are relevant for contemporary society’s challenges.
In our minds we really haven’t changed since the Hebrews toiled under Pharaoh’s rule, or when the protagonist of this book, Marcus Aurelius, the philosopher-emperor, ruled over Rome. The author of this book looks to connect many of the mental practices the Stoics espoused in order to live the Good Life such as current psychological techniques like CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy). Marcus Aurelius, considered one of the Roman Empire’s last just emperors faced number personal challenges (the death of many of his children, betrayal in his royal court) as well as threats to his rule such as the plague, civil war, and barbarians invading his empire from all sides. Despite these harsh conditions with the right mindset and mental tools he was able to rule effectively during some of Rome’s most challenging times.
We’re searching for answers these days, and the wisdom of leaders from millennia past has become popular for this very reason. Mental operating systems such Stoicism and Buddhism seem to offer answers on how to deal with rapid cultural and technological change. Sometimes the answers are part of who we are; in this case I keep going back to the works of Viktor Frankl, particularly one of the most important works in the 20th century, Man’s Search for Meaning. Many of the mental tools he developed during his time in the concentration camps were ideas influenced by the Stoics.
Key Takeaways:
⚪️ The Inner Citadel: Cultivating the inner fortress in our minds, that no matter what goes on outside those walls we will stand strong. Marcus didn’t have the luxury when he was leading his armies on Rome’s northern frontier for a vacation. He had to learn to seek peace within himself using techniques we now call cognitive distancing; it’s not things themselves that upset us, it our about judgement of them.
⚪️ Philosophy as a way of life: Philosophy comes back full circle to it’s original purpose as an operating system for life. It was relegated to academic study over the millennia but has come back to the tactical in order to help people lead a meaningful existence.
⚪️ Breaking free from our bondage: We live in a hyper material and socially interconnected society so rejecting those values would be hard. Still, we don’t have to be slaves to things we own, what people think of us, and our past. This Passover is the time to reflect on how we can break free.
10 Stoic Teachings Of Marcus Aurelius We Need Today (Practical Stoicism)
Life; squeeze that lemon
Life; squeeze that lemon
⚪️ Vimeo: Intellectual Property Counsel - Vimeo is looking for an Intellectual Property Counsel who will play a critical role in developing Vimeo’s IP strategy. The role will be responsible for managing and building upon our existing IP portfolio, developing and implementing IP best practices, and negotiating license agreements. Apply here.
⚪️ WeWork: Labs Manager Tel Aviv - PropTech Lab. WeWork Labs is a new business unit whose mission is to make WeWork the long-term friend and partner to early-stage startups, helping them fulfill their destiny, and to power all organizations that share the same intention. They offer a global platform that helps startups grow and succeed through a community, education, mentorship, investments, press and more. Apply here.
⚪️ OnRamp Insurance Accelerator: Each year, the OnRamp Insurance Accelerator, with Allianz Life and Securian Financial, invests in five insurtech startups who participate in a three-month, concierge accelerator program in Minneapolis-St. Paul. Each startup receives a cash investment of $100,000, office space and access to gener8tor’s global network of mentors and investors. Deadline April 28th. Apply here.
⚪️ CleanTech Open Accelerator: The world’s largest cleantech accelerator, providing entrepreneurs and corporate innovators the resources they need to launch and grow successful cleantech businesses. Up to $75K cash, $50 in-kind services, and a mentor network. Deadline May 1st. Apply here.
⚪️ WeWork Food Accelerator: To propel the We Company’s global commitment to sustainability, WeWork Food Labs will invest over $1M in food and agriculture startups through the Food Labs Accelerator. This program focuses on critical issues within the food industry, advancing solutions in an expedited timeline. Deadline May 15. Apply here.
⚪️ The Junction: The Junction is the leading pre-seed program for startups in Israel. They offer elite teams the guidance, network and capital to validate your vision and close a venture round. They look for: B2B deep tech companies, full-time founders (CEO & CTO), Israel based. Sectors: EnergyTech, FinTech, InsureTech, Artificial Intelligence, Big Data Analytics, Immersive Computing, E-Mobility and Industry 4.0, IT infrastructure and Network, Cyber, AR/VR. Wave 17 due to begin June 2017. Apply here.
Solving real problems
Solving real problems
ZORA Ventures: ZORA, a Tel Aviv-based impact fund, is backing the world’s next greatest impact tech companies as they solve challenges across the UN Sustainable Development Goals including hunger, health, climate change and the environment. With five investments and one exit to date, ZORA’s new fund will add another twelve Israeli impact tech companies to its portfolio, multiplying its impact across social and environmental targets and highlighting the growing role of Israel’s tech scene in producing the world’s most exciting impact startups. For more info email
I love what my friend Vanessa Bartam, the Managing Partner at ZORA, is doing in the Israeli impact space with her thoughtful approach. As I’ve stated on numerous occasions I believe we’re still at the nascent stages of social impact focused startups coming out of Israel, and this space will continue to grow.
Upcoming events + opportunities
Upcoming events + opportunities
⚪️ Sit-Down Breakfast with Dorothy Ren, Investor, NextView Ventures: Dorothy Ren is part of the investment team at NextView and is based in its New York office. She is focused on finding and supporting the next generation of visionary entrepreneurs creating impactful change. NextView is an early-stage thematic venture capital firm investing in founders who are using technology to redesign the Everyday Economy. Thu, April 18, 8:30 AM, KettleSpace @ Baar Baar 13 East 1st St. #100. Tickets here.
⚪️ Travel Startup Happy Hour: Come unwind from the week and connect with like-minded travel innovators and enthusiasts! April 18, 6 p.m. Voyager HQ, 137 West 25th Street, 11th Floor. Tickets here.
 ⚪️ Amazon AWS Database Scaling Strategies for Startups: When Felix Gray’s website started growing from hundreds to millions of requests per day, they knew that slow load times and service failures could cost the company thousands of dollars in revenue every minute. Learn how Houtan Fanisalek, Chief Technology Officer of Felix Gray - an ecommerce startup, scaled their infrastructure and planned for massive traffic spikes using Amazon Aurora and Elasticache. AWS Loft, 350 West Broadway. April 24 4:30PM. Register here.
⚪️ NYC Innovation Bootcamp and Mixer: In this exciting, interactive workshop, you’ll build a foundational skillset of core innovation skills that are a must-have for any 21st century employee. This will be followed by drinks, networking, and an open discussion on some of the challenges that today’s organizations face. This workshop is ideal for anyone working in a large organization who’s looking to jumpstart their understanding of some of the most popular tools and methodologies of innovation in a hands-on, practical learning environment. Wednesday, April 24, 5:30 PM, Gateway, 900 3rd Avenue, 29th Floor. Tickets here.
⚪️ FED Seders: Two Nights of Seders: April 19-20: Join them as they move from slavery to freedom in an uplifting celebration of creativity and empowerment. RSVP for Night 1, April 19 / RSVP for Night 2, April 20. I’ll be joining them for the second night and hope to see you there.
⚪️ Jon Ronson shares stories from the adult film industry and its impact on innovation and tech: Jon will recount his recent adventures in the adult film world - based on his hit podcasts The Butterfly Effect and The Last Days of August. It’s a mysterious, funny, sad tale about the adult film industry, innovation, tech, kindness, violence, bad thoughts, call-out-culture, and the wonders of remaining curious. There will be never before heard stories and audio, coupled with some (PG rated) bespoke clips. Company HQ, 335 Madison Avenue, April 30, 6:00pm. Tickets here.
⚪️ TechDay: The largest startup event in the US. Like every good founder, the organizers of TechDay are constantly looking for new ways to maximize growth opportunities both for the event and the exhibitors who participate in it. That’s why they’re very proud to announce that TechDay New York will make its debut at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, home to some of the largest and most successful trade shows in the world, on May 2nd, 2019. Register here.

If you enjoyed this newsletter please forward it to someone you feel would benefit from reading it,
Jonathan ‘Yoni’ Frenkel
+1 (908) 616-9776 (Whatsapp)
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