Jiu-Jitsu, Salsa, and Startups: A One of a Kind Olim Story

Written by: Perry Fried

Meet Max Finder. Max is 30 years old; he is originally from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; he studied mechanical engineering at McGill University in Montreal; and he made Aliyah to Israel 3 years ago. Max currently resides in Tel Aviv, Israel where he is living out his dream working on a couple of his own startups.

Max Finder

I had the pleasure of interviewing Max earlier this week to learn about his experiences making Aliyah and being an entrepreneur in Israel. His transient lifestyle made for an interesting story, and he shared with me some wisdom he has acquired from his startup experience, which I will elaborate on later. But first let’s explore Max’s Aliyah journey.

So how did Max end up in Israel? His Aliyah story is not your typical one. Max has always wanted to work in the environmental technology industry.

Shortly before moving to Israel, Max embarked on a trip to Israel with the FIDF (Friends of the IDF). He decided to extend his visit for a few weeks and look for job opportunities in Israel. He made up his mind that he would stay in Israel if he could find a desirable job that pertained to world-saving technology in the Holy Land. Max crashed on his friend’s couch for three weeks and spent his days biking around Tel Aviv taking as many meetings as possible with environmentally friendly startups. Max eventually found an attractive job with a wastewater treatment company, so he ate up his plane ticket back to the United States and continued sleeping on his friend’s couch until he could sublet an apartment. He applied for a work VISA and found himself an Israeli girlfriend, so it made sense for him to stay in Israel; he later decided to officially make Aliyah.

After a short tenure with the wastewater treatment company, Max was presented with an amazing opportunity at a company called Lishtot, where he helped design a consumer device that detects contaminants in drinking water. Max enjoyed working at Lishtot, but he left the company a few months ago to begin working on his own projects. He currently dedicates a majority of his time towards his venture, Direct Current Appliances Company. He is developing products such as hair clippers, rice cookers, refrigerators, etc. that run on direct current rather than alternating current. Few appliances in the world today operate using direct current, although most developing countries only use direct current electrical systems. Max is also working on a side project called Gedalyah Innovations. Gedalyah is a vehicle that extracts intellectual property from universities and spins it out to companies. According to Max…

To conclude my interview with Max, I asked him what advice he would give to an aspiring entrepreneur, to which he replied…

Rather than sharing advice, Max shared with me an inspirational analogy. He put entrepreneurship in a context of Jiu-Jitsu and Salsa dancing; two new hobbies of his that he is trying to get good at.

Max explained that the same applies to Salsa dancing.

Max shared with me that he still feels as if he sucks at Jiu-Jitsu and Salsa, but he knows that today’s version of him doing these activities would absolutely destroy day one version of him doing them.

Thank you, Max, for sharing your advice and your Aliyah story, and best of luck moving forward with Direct Current Appliance Company and Gedalyah Innovation!

Check out some of Max’s posts here on medium!

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