Today has been a very interesting day. First the class boarded the bus to go to the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange. We had some extra time so those that needed to exchange money stopped off at the post office while I and A few others walked to the beach. It was absolutely beautiful and it is hard to belive how nice it was since it is January 8th.
Upon Arrival of the Tel Aviv Stock exchange we were not sure what to expect. Would there be traders? Would there be a tour?
We met upon arrival Kobi Avramov. He was a very interesting and was able to answer many of our questions.
We Learned that there are over 50 Companies cross listed between the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange and other stock exchanges. They have 750 Companies listed on their exchange and that number is growing. Mr. Avramov explained to us that the Tel Aviv Stock exchange became a fully automated system in 1999 which would explain that the lack of traders in the space where we were having our Presentation.
He then went into the Ownership of the exchange. There are 29 Members that own the exchange. 6 Foreign members and 1 Remote member.
The description of the remote members is what really caught my attention because it allows companies who do not want to set up the infrastructure in Isreal but still want to be a member of the exchange the option to do so. Mr. Avramov then went on to inform us that there are more remote members in the works and that we should expect to hear about them sometime in the next year.
Some fun Facts:
- 1953 Exchange was Opened
- Remote Member is Meryl Lynch
- No Capital Gain Tax In Israel
- Trading is completely Anonymous
- 140 High Tech Companies Listed
- Open On Sunday Closed On Saturday
As we headed to Better Place I was excited to learn more about this electric car company and to get the chance to drive one of their cars. It was quite an impressive operation they had set up. Their Test track is located in the space where old oil reserve tanks used to be placed. Now they have actually taken one of those large tanks and turned that into their Corporate Headquarters.
We first had a brief discussion about the company from Scott Mortman & Yariv Nornberg. Then we handed our licenses to the front desk for insurance purposes and then headed into their theater to lean more about the company’s vision.
In the theater we learned exactly what Better Place is trying to accomplish and why they are determined to change the automobile industry’s reliance on oil. It is no surprise that one of the perfect countries to test this out would be Israel since the Arab States control most of the oil that powers their country. The video went onto explain how oil is hurting our planet and it is helping fund extreme regimes. In addition Israel size also lends itself to be the perfect test before it expands to the global market.
Shai Agassi founder and CEO of Better Place spoke in the video presentation about how there is a need for innovation and change. He states that we are using the same model for cars as when they were first invented. We need to change this model and the only way to do that is to change they way we think about cars and how they run.
The part that I enjoyed the most about Better Place was how they have really thought their idea through. They are trying to change the world but they are coming up with solutions in order to let their idea progress. They want a change and they are prepared to give that change to the people that are willing to change with them.
In addition to learning about them changing the world we actually got to drive the cars which was so much fun!! The car accelerated really well and you could barely hear it!! I was in David and Daniels group to test drive the car. I was a little nervous at first to see how they were both going to drive but they both did great and we all enjoyed ourself.
After the Test Drive we went back into their offices and learned a little bit more about their car and their vision from Scott Mortman & Yariv Nornberg. I really appreciate all the time they took to answer our questions and to help educate us on their mission.