An interview with Noa Franko-Ohana, Head of Ecosystem Innovation, and Ruti Arazi,
Business Development at Seagate’s Innovation Center
Seagate is a public company listed on NASDAQ, with over 40k employees and factories in five continents, that manufactures over 3 ZetaBytes annually. Recently, the company launched a cloud service called Lyve Cloud that offers storage as a service for companies with large amounts of data. Lyve Labs Israel was launched in February 2020 and became the first innovation center at Seagate.
What is Seagate’s operation in Israel?
The purpose of Lyve Labs Israel, Seagate’s innovation center is to be a place to collaborate and help startups evolve, as well as learn from them. With dozens of employees and growing, the site includes an innovation team, cloud development, QA, IT, and product personnel.
As per our work with the startup scene, we have several open innovation activities. At the annual Lyve Innovator of the Year, eight selected startups get the opportunity to pitch to Seagate executives and to collaborate with us. Our Lyve Cloud for Startups program provides startups with up to 1 PetaByte free for
one year, as well as the opportunity to be a part of Seagate’s Lyve Cloud marketplace. The third pillar is ongoing POCs with startups on various domains. Lastly, Game Changers is a stage we provide for startups giving inspirational talks to Seagate employees. It's important to mention that we also attend and host meetups, manage hackathons,sponsor events and are involved with many other ecosystem-related activities.
In addition to that, we collaborate with investors and VCs both when we want to look for specific technologies as well as to consult and help startups in the investment process. An example of that is a joint WhatsApp group that includes 100 representatives from VCs and innovation centers and is a space for collaborative scouting.
Our value is making the connection between startups and corporations feasible. We are the bridge to the different business units
What should entrepreneurs know about your activity?
We are here for you: If your startup is all about data, storage, cloud or security domains - it is our focus to ignite your startup and to provide feedback, learn from your challenges and hopefully collaborate with Seagate.
How do you see the interaction between startups and corporations?
The presence of multinationals helps make the connection between the many technologies and the worldwide industry. I like to think of our value as ‘enablers’ and ‘connectors’, and feel that our role enables impact both internally and externally.
While corporations can help your company scale and could be great design partners and feedback providers, entrepreneurs are fueling innovation, and their passion, energy, creativity, intelligence and aspirations are Key reasons for a successful innovation ecosystem.
The tech industry in Israel is very dynamic, constantly growing, and flourishes as more successful collaborations between startups and multinationals are made – and this has a huge positive impact on the economy as a whole.
We invite all startup founders that focus on technologies that are relevant to cloud service and Industry 4.0 to drop us a line. Our team is well-experienced with working with startups, we know the pain and struggles, and sure we can assist - so feel free to reach us.
Erez Baum is Lyve Labs Lead and a technology enthusiast with substantial experience transforming innovative ideas to the massmarket. In addition to his work at Lyve Labs, Erez leads Lyve Cloud Product Management.
Noa Franko Ohana is Lyve Labs Innovation Group Manager. Noa manages and leads a global multi-disciplinary group of software engineers, business development, marketing and architecture. Noa has rich experience in high-tech roles working with startups ,products and technology corporate innovation, strategy and partnerships
Danny Fishler is Business Development at Lyve Labs Israel, and has over 35 years of experience in the storage and compute world.
Ruti Arazi Sheffer is Business Development at Lyve Labs Israel. With a passion and background in entrepreneurship, Ruti's focus is on finding technologies to solve pain points of the various Seagate business units, and especially on Industry 4.0, data analytics, and AI verticals. Ruti has co-founded a community of innovation center
representatives and VC, two startups, and Supersonas, a website that aggregates Israel's qualified women speakers across a variety of fields to address the gender gap.
Ophir Rom is Principal Engineer at Lyve Labs Israel. With over 20 years of consulting and architecture experience, Ophir facilitates technologies to be implemented at Seagate.
Omer Koort is Marketing at Lyve Labs Israel. His responsibilities include creative content creation, marketing strategy and social media.
Photos courtesy of Seagate