In our latest edition of Bright Founders Talk, we delve deep into the world of startups and tech with the innovative Evyatar Shoresh, Co-Founder of WellyBox. Known for pioneering solutions for SMBs, Evyatar and his team’s passion for product marketing and messaging is unmistakable.
But behind this innovation lies an engaging tale of pivoting ideas, trusting one’s gut, and listening to the market. Evyatar speaks candidly about the company’s initial ventures, their journey from Israel to the East Coast of the U.S., and how they ultimately embraced a problem they were personally familiar with.
Join us as we uncover the story of WellyBox, a virtual AI assistant revolutionizing the way small businesses manage their financial documents.
Evyatar: The Journey from Biblical Roots to Tech Startups
It’s not every day you meet someone with a name rooted in the Bible. Evyatar, a name tied to King David’s priest, is such a rarity even in Israel. But for Evyatar of WellyBox, it’s not about a unique name but the journey of an Israeli-born tech entrepreneur. As he jokingly mentions, if you can’t pronounce it, “just call my mom and complain.” Based in the bustling city of Tel Aviv, Evyatar, along with his partner Nadav, has been innovating in the world of internet startups, e-commerce extensions, and more for the past 15 years.
WellyBox’s inception was out of personal frustration. An AI assistant that aids small businesses in organizing financial documents, it addresses the drudgery of chasing after receipts and invoices. What began as an internal solution to tackle their own paperwork hassles led to a broader vision after realizing its potential. Their initial pivot took them to the American healthcare system, looking for ways to maximize reimbursements. However, after spending time and resources on the East Coast, a realization hit – stick to what you know best.
Returning to their roots, the duo focused on solving their own problems and those familiar to them, like filing VAT reports in Israel. The beauty of startup life, as Evyatar points out, isn’t just about falling in love with ideas, but about recognizing when to adapt, pivot, and move with the market. And when a product, even in its initial rough stages, has customers calling you to pay for it, you know you’re onto something worth pursuing. It’s a dance between the romanticism of ideation and the realities of the market. And for Evyatar and his team, it seems they’ve found their rhythm.
Navigating Business Across Time Zones: The Evyatar Story
For Evyatar, drawing parallels between business partnerships and marriage doesn’t seem far-fetched. He speaks with a calmness that belies the complexities of managing a joint venture where one co-founder resides half a world away. The onset of the pandemic wasn’t the start of their remote working routine but rather a reinforcement. “At the beginning, we were working remotely and didn’t meet each other, even though we were just 500 meters apart due to lockdowns,” he reminisces. The brief one-hour time difference between him and his partner in Copenhagen makes things manageable. But underlying all this logistical talk is a profound sentiment: “Spend time with people you like, because life is short,” he quotes, echoing words of wisdom from his grandmother.
The journey of entrepreneurship is not linear, and having built multiple ventures, Evyatar provides a treasure trove of insights. One constant in his narrative is the importance of clarity, not just in terms of an exit strategy but also about immediate goals. “It’s most important to have a clear understanding of what you’re trying to do right now,” he emphasizes. He warns against the romanticized chaos of startup culture where everyone does everything. “It’s romantic, but in this case, badly romantic.” A CEO’s primary responsibility? Ensuring everyone understands their role and the company’s direction, he opines.
With years comes not just experience but also evolution. Evyatar notes the increased emphasis on mental health and wellness, not just in the entrepreneurial realm but globally. Drawing from personal challenges, he’s embraced practices that keep him centered, likening mental exercises to “keeping your body healthy.” While ‘balance’ might be a buzzword thrown around, Evyatar prefers to view it as efficiency and integration. Happiness, he concludes, shouldn’t be an afterthought. It’s an essential goal. “You need to be happy.”
Evyatar: Navigating the Human Element in Startups and the Game-Changer with OpenAI
In the evolving landscape of startups, it’s rare to find CEOs who prioritize relationships as much as profitability. Evyatar is one such rarity. Reflecting on iconic figures like Steve Jobs, Evyatar opines that being personable isn’t always a necessity for success, but it’s crucial for his version of it. “For me, you live only once and being happy and being in good relations with people you like…For me, it’s a goal,” he says, noting the importance of viewing colleagues not just as resources, but as friends.
Diving deeper into the brand name, “Wally,” Evyatar elucidates its origins, which surprisingly stemmed from the wellness industry. The name, while not directly related to their current tech focus, has found affection among its users. A testament to how brands can sometimes carve their own identity regardless of the initial intent.
But perhaps the most significant breakthrough for Evyatar this year was the adoption of OpenAI technology. He notes that timing played a pivotal role in their success story. The technological advancements, especially the emergence of AI, became the linchpin in their journey towards product-market fit. He passionately speaks about how his platform, once only accessible to the elite companies, now serves small businesses, thanks to OpenAI. Reflecting on the year, he states, “It was really great,” affirming that with the right tools and vision, small businesses can indeed punch above their weight.
Evyatar on AI’s Evolution in Back-Office Services and the Importance of Setting Goals
When discussing the direction of technology and its influence on industries, Evyatar doesn’t hold back. The buzz is real. From content generation which has now evolved to produce images and videos, to the realm Evyatar is most passionate about: document analysis. “At the beginning we were doing it with people… now it’s becoming accessible to do this work automatically.” Evyatar shares. But it’s not just about reading words on a page. It’s the comprehension of content, understanding the context and classifying documents that’s the game-changer, especially in fields like legal and accounting. The ability to swiftly adjust to fast-changing government regulations is just the tip of the iceberg.
When the conversation turned a tad more introspective, Evyatar’s emphasis was on two key things: mental and physical well-being, and goal-setting. “Meditation, very important,” he notes, underlining the importance of looking after one’s mental health, especially in the demanding startup landscape. And while we all have dreams and visions, he stresses on the importance of setting tangible goals. “Set goals for yourself… Move forward all the time,” Evyatar advises. From creating a landing page to engaging with customers, each step counts.
Wrapping up the insightful conversation, the admiration for Evyatar’s journey was evident. From AI-powered breakthroughs to personal milestones, it’s clear that his dedication is unwavering. And as the curtain closes on this enlightening session, there’s an air of anticipation for what’s next for him and Wally Books. After all, the future looks promising, especially once that coveted 50 million mark is crossed. Who knows? Maybe there’ll be another name, another chapter, but the same unwavering spirit.