Tom Bar Av Director of Marketing and Ecosystem at MassChallenge

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Tom Bar Av (you can call him Tommy) is MassChallenge Israel’s Director of Marketing and Ecosystem.

In his role, Tom is responsible for the development and execution of MassChallenge Israel’s marketing strategy, and for building and cultivating MassChallenge Israel’s community.

What are you working on these days?

On a regular day, I support 52 startups as part of our accelerator program in Jerusalem and help cultivate the MassChallenge community in Israel.

In my spare time, I co-host the “Yet Another Podcast for Startup” with my best friend Guy Katsovich (he told me to say that).

What was your first position In the Startup-Nation?

Six years ago, when I was a student at the Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya, where I founded and managed the Start Up Class IDC, a program for 120 student entrepreneurs.

It was both terrifying and exciting, all at once.

What was your first job ever?

I was a karaoke DJ (yes I know, awkward).

What life event or moment affected your life the most?

Not so long ago I was a young musician, moving to Tel Aviv with the goal to conquer the world (or maybe Israel) with my band.

After some successful gigs at local clubs in Israel, I was able to attract all my friends and family to support me.
But not for long.

One gig I remember in particular.

I remember it because no one came. Zero. Just some waiters and the club’s manager, who was mad as hell.

I was so embarrassed. But the feeling of embarrassment led to what I consider to be my best performance.
Why? No idea.

Maybe because I understood for the first time that I don’t need to satisfy anyone, but myself. It felt like true redemption.

Best advice you received or would like to share?

I once heard a quote from the founder of IKEA.

Something along the lines of – “The most dangerous poison is the feeling of achievement. The antidote is to think each day, what can be done better tomorrow?”

Don’t rely on shiny titles and lists.
Try to be the best version of yourself, and immerse yourself in a culture of continuous learning.

I admire people who see themselves as lifelong learners.

Also, don’t take everyone’s advice too seriously. Including this.

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