Itai Sadan is the founder and CEO of DudaMobile, a company that turns desktop websites into mobile sites. Itai has over 10 years of experience in business development, partner management, program management, and development. Prior to founding DudaMobile, Itai was a director at SAP, where he managed the SAP Discovery System program and was in charge of relationships with IBM, HP, and Fujitsu. Prior to that Itai worked for Amdocs, Finjan, and InterSight. Itai has a BSc. in computer science & mathematics from the Ben Gurion University in Israel.
Sramana: Itai, let’s start with the beginning of your personal journey. What is the story that paved the way for your entrepreneurial journey?
Itai Sadan: I was born and raised in Tel Aviv, Israel. I did have a six-year stint in South Africa, where our family lived for a while. I went to high school in Tel Aviv and met the person who is the co-founder and CTO of DudaMobile during my high school years. After high school I went to the army and served in the anti-terrorist school. After I completed my three-year army service, I traveled the world a little bit.
When I returned, I attended Ben Gurion thanks to a scholarship I received to study computer science. My co-founder, Amir, also received a scholarship to the same university. We did not plan to attend the same university, but it was a great coincidence. We got a lot closer during our university years and we started working on projects together. We eventually became roommates.
Sramana: What years did you attend college?
Itai Sadan: I was there from 1998 to 2001.
Sramana: The Internet was in full swing, and right as you left school the market was thrown into turmoil.
Itai Sadan: Definitely. During my last year of school I worked part-time for a startup company as a software engineer. That was my first real-world job. I remember releasing a product and the next day we had an actual person giving away free Ben and Jerry’s, and we had alcohol everywhere. Two weeks later, half of the company was let go. I saw the ups and downs of that period of time in tech, and it was very interesting to live through that.
A lot of people I went to school with did not work during their third year. They were at a disadvantage when we finished that year because tech was in a slump. It was really hard for them to find a job, and I already had a full year of experience.
After that startup I got a job at a bigger company called Amdocs. They are a software billing provider and have a couple of thousand employees. It was nice to see how a bigger company operates. I worked at Amdocs for several years before getting recruited into SAP. That is where I worked with very large companies such as IBM and Fujitsu. I got to understand how large companies buy software and the processes they used. I learned how to sell into big companies.