How Education Impacted serial entrepreneur Tal Dilian's LifeBy David Thompson, UniversityHerald Reporter
How education helped Tal Dilian become a philanthropist and serial entrepreneur in Cyber Tech
Growing up in Jerusalem as a son of teachers, Tal Dilian was fortunate to be sent to a prestigious High School. He could not have imagined himself missing out on the opportunities provided by a high school education at the time.
Opportunities that impacted and built his successful career and philanthropy.
In this Jerusalem Gymnasium, students of all backgrounds received an equal education. The school helped students reach their academic potential regardless of their socioeconomic background.
Providing all students with access to quality education is essential to fostering growth and progress in society. Tal's understanding of this concept left him with a lasting impression.
After high school, he enrolled in the military, the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF). He started as a combat fighter in an elite Special Operations Unit of the Intelligence Corps in the IDF. Later he served as Chief of Command of the Technological Unit.
While serving in the army, he was awarded the Israeli Defense Prize, the highest honor awarded to a person for extraordinary contributions to Israel's security. The knowledge he gained from a formal education made all of his military careers possible.
It was Tal Dilian's great understanding of the power of learning that helped expose him to new ideas and concepts. It was time for him to pursue advanced education. He enrolled at the Tel Aviv University and participated in the Interdisciplinary Program for Outstanding Students. During that time, he earned an undergraduate degree, a law degree, and an MBA.
Tal Dilian advanced from the Intelligence Community to the Startup Scene
After serving the Israel Defense Forces for 25 years, he retired from the military with honors. Tal Dilian was ready to embark on a business adventure that has led him to deal with everything from entrepreneurship to cyber intelligence.
Dilian has always been up for new challenges and founded SolarEdge Technologies in 2006. The company, which has its headquarters in Herzliya, Israel, produces power optimizers, solar inverters, and monitoring systems for photovoltaic arrays, also known as solar power systems.
The Israeli entrepreneur also tried his luck with the firm Vidyo in 2005, which provided consumers with video conferencing solutions.
Between 2009 and 2010 he served as Chief Security Architect at the American AGT and as a special advisor to the Chairman of Punj Lloyd Ltd.
In 2010, Tal Dilian became a board member of the 3D printer manufacturer Stratasys and later attained the title of Executive Vice President of Global Products and Technology.
His responsibilities include managing the overall product lifecycle, including global R&D and product marketing.
In recent years, Tal Dilian has had success with his newest entrepreneurial adventure, Intellexa.
In conjunction with Intelligence agencies and Law Enforcement Agencies, the company developed a technology that assists them in protecting their communities. Intellexa provides Law Enforcement Agencies with intelligence reports that assist them in catching criminals by gathering and analyzing information. This report leads to faster and more efficient results thus improving their operations.
Since then, Dilian invested and co-founded ventures in the medical and bio-med industries, such as Medovie.
Tal Dilian uses his business experience to promote quality education and philanthropy
Access to quality education is essential to fostering growth and progress in society.
In 2000, Tal Dilian co-founded and became the CEO of Atidim - a nonprofit organization facilitating education to disadvantaged youths.
Atidim is a national program operating in Israel, which seeks to narrow the socio-economic gap and create a more diverse and tolerant society. It does so by providing youths in underprivileged areas of Israel with education.
Tal Dilian believed that equal educational opportunities were essential to any country's future and, therefore, cofounded Atidim, which means "futures" in English.
Students will develop their knowledge of science, math, and English while improving their matriculation scores and performing better on highly competitive university entrance exams.
Atidim students get 40,000 NIS (12,425 USD) per year to cover tuition fees. In addition, they receive a computer, housing and living expenses, enabling youths from low-income families to get a degree.
Students gain exposure to knowledge and awareness of the learning and career opportunities available at both higher education institutions and high-tech industries.
In the beginning, 90 young talents participated in Atidim's programs, but that number has risen to 50,000 today.
Previous beneficiaries are now working in the high-tech, financial and defense sectors, advancing the country's economy and giving back to their communities.
Tal Dilian served as the CEO of Atidim for five years. The model of diversity used in the running of Atidim had successfully led to economic transformation and healthy communities.
Extending Atidim's reach by founding Daroma Tzafona
At around the same time as Tal Dilian stepped down as the CEO of Atidim, he founded the nonprofit organization Daroma with Haim Blumenblatt, Nir Gilad and Eitan Wertheimer.
The model of diversity used in the running of Atidim had created and implemented visions of economic transformation and healthy communities. All knowledge and experience Dilian had gained up to this point led him to be the Senior Director in Strategic Regional Development in the organization. One that focuses particularly on developing southern Israel and in particular the Negev region.
In 2005, the Israeli government approved a 17 billion NIS (5 billion USD) ten-year plan to develop the Negev region, which was mostly a desert area.
The Negev region covers 60% of Israel's territory, but only 8% of the population lived there when Daroma was established.
A key goal for Tal Dilian and his three cofounders was not only to encourage people to move to the area but also to attract companies and government institutions to it.
Today, Daroma is called DaromaTzafona, as it now also focuses on developing Israel's northern Galilee area.
The organization has an annual growth rate of 6% and has employed 4,000 additional people in the regions.
When looking for ways to get any community thriving again, one must consider how access to quality education can make all the difference.
Tal Dilian's education story is a tale of dedication and gratitude
Tal Dilian never lost sight of where he came from or the value of education.
He attributes his success to having a well-rounded childhood and youth, which provided the skills to enter the world of entrepreneurship and business.
He persevered through outstanding service in the military, higher education, and then in the biomedical and cyber intelligence industries.
He also gave back to society by establishing non-profit organizations that provided higher education and high-tech industries. Atidim and Daroma Tzafona focused on the socio-economic mobility of underprivileged youth from the South and North of Israel.
It can't be overemphasized how important education is. The learning experience of one person has the potential to impact the lives of many - personally, throughout a community, and across an entire state, as Tal Dilian demonstrated.