ENTREPRENEUR’S PORTRAIT: SHAI RONEN, CEO AT NAVIN

Shay Ronen

How did you come up with the idea of Navin?

After many years flying F-16 planes as part of the military service at the Israeli Air-Force unit, you become fascinated with the world of navigation, including being able to pinpoint precise locations. I thought it would be interesting to bring this type of navigation to the daily life of people. Even more, I thought navigation technologies should work everywhere- indoors and outdoors, and GPS wasn’t doing the job. That’s how Navin was born. Navin uses F-16 navigation technologies, which are not dependent on GPS, together with crowd-sourcing, and can be utilized today with any smartphone. What Navin does, is solve the pain around indoor navigation and help people find their way everywhere.

What does Navin do and why is it unique?

Navigation should be seamless, and work anywhere, not only when we are driving or outdoors. Navigation should be global and available in every city. Today, you can get exact positioning with GPS outside, but not inside buildings. There are a few apps that succeeded to build indoor maps per building, but these solutions cannot provide scalability- they will not go global. Our unique technology and USP is that we focus on large scale. Our technology’s breakthrough is that it uses a unique patented algorithm that can understand movement- and through that- map, give an exact position and update your position in real-time. We are using the fantastic combination of smartphones, F-16 navigation technology, and the Waze concept of utilizing crowd-sourcing and the concept of crowd power to scale worldwide.

What are you most proud of with Navin?

Personally, I am most proud of Navin’s patents. Patents are a stamp that you are an innovator. That is a great achievement. We are recognized as innovators and have created an invention.

What is your vision?

My vision is to enable door-to-door guidance and navigation to millions of people in thousands of cities worldwide. The world is becoming more complex and urbanized, buildings are becoming larger and more complex as well. We want to provide a solution that will help people navigate anywhere and everywhere. I believe that Navin will become a unicorn within the world of indoor navigation, and I’m looking forward to the road ahead of us.

Who inspires you?

They may not be known, or famous figures, but I’m most inspired by figures I’ve met personally at the Israeli Air-force. Throughout my service, I met with some extraordinary and impressive people. Their dedication, flexibility, determination, and the way they achieve their live’s goals, left me with a lot of respect toward them both as professionals and as human beings.

Which startups do you admire?

As I’m interested and inspired by navigation technology, I admire and think Waze is an amazing startup. They managed to achieve brilliant things and survive through rough times. In terms of vision, they are similar to us- helping people get to their destinations. If we achieve some of the things that they have, that would be great.

Best advice that you received?

I’ve received both professional advice and personal advice.

What do you do for fun?

For me- Family always comes first. I spend a lot of time with my family. We love travelling and being together, without following the general and accustomed guidelines. We actually have just spent this past summer in Japan!

Favorite tech gadgets or apps?

I love Netflix and Spotify, they bring joy and fun to my life and therefore I think they are brilliant. I also use LinkedIn a lot. Of course as I’m fascinated by navigation, I’m fascinated with all types of GPS technologies.

What do you think would really surprise people to learn about you?

I always wanted to become a stand-up comedian. It will happen :)