Dov Moran (Hebrew: דב מורן; born 1955) is an Israeli entrepreneur, inventor, and investor best known as the inventor of the USB memory stick, and one of the most prominent Israeli hi-tech leaders in the world.
Background and early years
Moran was born in Ramat Gan, Israel, to a family of Holocaust survivors who immigrated to Israel from Poland. His father, Baruch Mintz, came from a well-off family from Krosno. The only Mintz family members who managed to survive the Holocaust were Dov's father and grandfather who began a new life in Israel. Dov's mother, Bina Gever, immigrated to Israel with her family who escaped Blonie.
His interest in technology was obvious from his childhood days. At the age of ten he used to order electronic components and digital watch parts from MAD magazine, with the intention to create new improved devices, however, as he later testified, no significant results were achieved. In the following years, his curiosity and talent started to lead to breakthroughs. At the age of 16 he was sent to an annual course in computers held in Tel-Aviv University. Back then, in order to write a program you needed to mark cards dedicated to that with a pen. After three months of struggling to deal with that system, he wrote his first program. His programming skills improved while obtaining a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering (with honors) at the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa. That was when he decided "to start his own company”.
Moran served in the Israeli Navy for seven years and was commander of its advanced microprocessor department. Prior to becoming an entrepreneur, Moran was an independent consultant in the computer industry.
Moran formed M-Systems in 1989, a pioneer in the flash data storage market. The company invented the USB flash drive (DiskOnKey), the FlashDisk (DiskOnChip) as well as several other innovative flash data storage devices. Under Moran's leadership, M-Systems grew to $US1 billion revenue within 18 years, and at the end of 2006 it was acquired by SanDisk Corp (NSDQ: SNDK) for $US1.6 billion.
After the sale of M-Systems, Moran founded Modu, a company with a new modular phone concept, which eventually sold its patents to Google in 2011. These patents are the basis for Google's modular phone project, called Project Ara. After Modu was sold to Google, more than 30 hi-tech innovative companies were founded by Modu's ex-employees.
During his time at Modu, Dov was also the chairman of Tower Semiconductor, a developer and manufacturer of semiconductors and integrated circuits. During his tenure, he turned the struggling company around towards profitability. Moran was also chairman of Biomas, a developer of innovative pharmaceuticals.
In 2011, Moran founded Comigo, a company with a vision of revolutionizing the TV viewing experience. The company developed a multi-screen platform for Pay TV operators. Moran is acting as the chairman of the company.
Moran has been involved with a number of inventions, mostly in the field of infrastructure technologies. He says he has filed over 40 patents and patent applications. Inventions he's been involved with include:
- USB flash drive (DiskOnKey)- small Flash memory device
- the FlashDisk (DiskOnChip)
- Modu 's revolutionary modular phone - the basis for Google’s modular phone Project Ara
- Lightest mobile phone - Modu (weighs 40.1 g) world held the record for the world’s lightest mobile phone.
- Smartype - revolutionary smart keyboard
- Comigo's smart interactive TV system - patented hardware and software solutions
In January 2015, after several years of successful angel investing, Moran founded Grove ventures, a $US100 million venture capital fund primarily investing in early-stage startups with сutting edge technologies such as semi-conductor, sensors, artificial intelligence and Digital Health. In October 2017, Grove Ventures raised $110 million in commitments.
His personal portfolio of companies include:
- Consumer Physics, A thumb-sized spectrometer which acts as "digital materials analyzer", enabling a user to identify products' source, freshness, ingredients, the mix of materials and nutrition value.
- Sensible Medical Innovation Ltd., Absolute lung fluid monitor based on sensing and monitoring technology providing data for the management and treatment of several chronic medical conditions.
- GlucoMe, develops a blood glucose meter that provides an interface to the cloud through a phone or tablet to allow data gathering and analysis, alerts and patient monitoring.
- Geneformics, focused on computing for genomics (DNA sequencing). Geneformics aims to provide savings in the storage, communications and cloud processing of DNA sequencing.
- RapidAPI, a company that developed APIs (Application Programming Interface) to thousands of programs existing in the web.
In addition to several investments (till Feb. 2018, the number is 7) made by the fund.
Community involvement and public sector
Moran perceives education as the grounding for innovation. As such, he mentors Israeli entrepreneurs, assisting in converting research and innovation to business. He lectures extensively in universities and schools and sits on the advisory board of Tel Aviv University Momentum Fund. In addition, Moran has invested in Learni, which brings technology into everyday learning system, and enables rich digital textbooks, in a managed interactive classroom environment.
He is an active member of the Korean Israel Business Forum, having spoken at a number of conferences, and in 2014, was asked by the Korean government to spearhead a project aimed at growing innovation in Seoul, the capital of Korea.
His book, 100 Doors - An introduction to entrepreneurship, was published by Yedioth Book on September 2016.
- In 2003 he was named Entrepreneur of the Year by Ernst & Young, and "CEO of the Year" by the IMC.
- In 2007, the IVA (Israel Venture Association) awarded Dov Moran the Israeli Hi-Tech award as Entrepreneur of the Year.
- In 2012 Moran was awarded the prestigious Edward Rheine Award for inventing the USB Flash Drive.
- In 2013, he was named "Doctor Honoris Causa" from Moscow State Technical University of Radio Engineering, Electronics and Automation.
- In the same year he had the title Honoris Causa conferred on him by Israel’s Academic Center of Law and Science, in the company of other notable leaders such as former Prime Minister Ehud Barak, Minister of Education Rabbi Shai Piron and Canada’s Former Minister of Justice and State Attorney, Prof. Irwin Cotler.
- Again in 2013, he was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award by Geektime. Its "Geek Awards" are an annual competition to recognize and celebrate the most compelling startups, entrepreneurs and investors of the year in Israel.
- In 2015, he received the Johnson Information Storage Systems Award for pioneering contributions to storage systems based on Flash memory.
- In 2016, Moran was awarded Honorary Doctorate at Technion-Israel Institute of Technology.
- In Feb 2018 Moran received, among others, the Netexplo Talent of the Year award in a ceremony held by UNESCO in Paris.
- "דב מורן-ממציא Disk On Key".
- Sánchez Keighley, Paul (March 11, 2013). "Dov Moran, The Israeli Who Sold The DiskOnKey For $1.6B, Shares His Thoughts On Success, Startups And Working Until The Very End".
- Globes correspondent (20 May 2016). "Dov Moran sets up $100m venture capital fund". globes.co.il.
- Leichman, Abigail Klein (August 7, 2014). "20 top tech inventions born of conflict". israel21c.
- Crunchbase's editors. "Dov Moran - Persona".
- Bechor Nir, Diana (27 October 2016). "בגיל 90, בבית החולים, אבא התעקש להמשיך לנהוג: "העיקר שביום ראשון אוכל לחזור לעבוד"". Calcalist.
- Sánchez Keighley, Paul (March 11, 2013). "Dov Moran, The Israeli Who Sold The DiskOnKey For $1.6B, Shares His Thoughts On Success, Startups And Working Until The Very End". NoCamels.
- "Interview with Comigo's Dov Moran". eugro.com. 30 August 2014.
- Orpaz, Inbal (July 2013). "המפץ הגדול של מודו: החברה מתה - 30 סטארט־אפים נולדו". The marker.
- TEDx Talks team (June 2015). "The Innovation of Everything | Dov Moran | TEDxBGU". TEDx Talks youtube channel.
- 100 Doors - An introduction to entrepreneurship, "Yedioth Books" website (Hebrew)
- "Dov Moran: The man behind the memory stick". BBC News. 24 July 2017.
- Dullaway, Natasha (July 24, 2017). "An interview with hi-tech guru Dov Moran, the inventor of the USB flash drive". .4yfn.
- Editorial team (2017). "Dov Moran". 4yfn.
- yaniv Avital. "גוגל רושמת פטנט חדש של דב מורן, בדרך לכרומבוק מבוסס סמארטפון?". Geektime.
- "Lightest hand-held mobile phone". The guinness world records. 11 February 2008.
- Globes [online], Israel business news (November 16, 2005). "M-Systems' latest moves look good". Globs.
- Globes [online], Israel business news (August 29, 2012). "Dov Moran's KeyView unveils smart keyboard". Globs.
- Patents.justia. "Patents by Inventor Comigo Ltd". patents.justia.
- "An interview with hi-tech guru Dov Moran, the inventor of the USB flash drive". 4YFN. July 19, 2017.
- NoCamels Team (October 29, 2017). "Israel's Grove Ventures Raises $110 Million". nocamels.
- "Geneformics Homepage". Geneformics.com. Retrieved 2017-06-06.
- Omri Cohen (Jun 28, 2007). "Dov Moran, a Zionist With a Mission". Haaretz.
- Editorial team. "Dov Moran". london-wealth.
- 100 Doors - An introduction to entreprenuership, "Yedioth Books" website (Hebrew)
- "Winners of the Israeli Hi-Tech Awards: Dov Moran, Avi Naor and Shlomo Caine". Business Wire. 2007-06-04. Retrieved 2017-06-06.
- "Kulturpreis - Cultural Award 2012". Web.archive.org. Archived from the original on 2014-09-10. Retrieved 2017-06-06.
- "The Academic Center of Law of Science : Conferment of Honoris Causa" (PDF). Mishpat.ac.il. Retrieved 2017-06-06.
- "And the Geeky goes to…". Geektime.com. 2014-01-07. Retrieved 2017-06-06.
- "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2015-02-18. Retrieved 2015-02-18.
- Technion team (June 2016). "Dov Moran Technion Honorary Doctor 2016". Technion's youtube channel.
- ESCP business school editors (February 2018). "Netexplo Talent Forum" (PDF). en.unesco.