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Ofer Shapiro and Vidyo: Bringing New Jobs and Innovations to America
January 9, 2012 | Hogan Keyser
Ofer Shapiro believes the place he was born shaped the way he views obstacles. Ofer was born in Nahalal, a type of Plymouth Rock for Israel. According to Ofer, the settlers of Nahalal, founded in 1921, needed to make a livable place and build a community out of virtually nothing: "My grandfather's generation said, 'We have to live there, so let's figure out how to drain the swamp.'" Ofer notes the first building the settlers constructed was a library.
Around 2005, after working for an Israeli company in the United States and taking some time off, Ofer Shapiro decided to tackle the problem of delivering high quality video conferencing over the Internet. He saw it as the wave of the future but also admitted to potential investors that everyone said it couldn't be done. "Constraints make you think outside the box," said Ofer. And he believed the only way to make high quality video available over the Internet was to think about the problem in a new way.
To help think outside the box Ofer worked with Israeli-born Avery More to secure an initial round of venture capital and later added to the mix Alex Eleftheriadis, a Greek-born professor, along with other experts. Alex and Ofer assembled a small team and literally got in a room and thought about how to solve the problem. That was in June 2005. By October 2005, less than four months later, the company had a prototype.
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