Where to Work with Ben Volkow, CEO of Otonomo

Interview conducted by Stephanie Hagen, Head of Conferences & Digital Content, Autonomy

Where to Work is an interview series brought to you by the Urban Mobility Daily and Hyperion Executive Search. We speak with top CEOs in the mobility sector to get the inside scoop on their companies’ work cultures, values and the types of candidate they are looking to hire.

In terms of growth, where do you see Otonomo in 5 years?

In this fast-moving world of technology, 5 years is a long time.  That said, if we grow as rapidly as we have in the last few quarters, I expect that by 2024 Otonomo will be the market leader of our industry with hundreds of millions of cars on the platform that enable tens of thousands of services to be delivered to consumers.  We will grow to an established global company with full-service operations in the US, Europe and Asia.

Can you tell us a little about Otonomo’s culture and work environment (such as dress code, lunch routines, workspace & office layout, after work socialising etc )?

Otonomo has great people and a great team – the environment is friendly and warm. The employees like to spend time together in the office – eating lunch together, taking coffee breaks and sharing their lives together . There are also many joint company activities: BBQs, competitions and company trips. This closeness is not limited to office hours. Our employees are friends: they work out together, go to bars and travel around Israel.  In fact, we just came back from a weekend trip to the north of Israel.

On a professional level, the employees are enthusiastic about their work and the company. They care about each other on a professional level and work hard to help each other succeed as a team. The dress code is informal, and often includes other special and furry friends: the employees’ dogs. Seating is also casual – each employee has their desk but most often, employees sit together in meeting rooms and open spaces to brainstorm and work as a team.

A growing trend among Millennial job seekers is that they are looking for jobs that don’t just provide a paycheck, but also meaning or purpose. How do you think Otonomo’s mission and vision line up with providing a feeling of fulfilment for its employees?  Otonomo

We are an ambitious company, creating a new category: automotive data services platform. Our work affects the whole automotive ecosystem. In fact, in the future it will positively affect all drivers and passengers, which means everyone will benefit from what we’re creating.

Our company is part of the revolution that is turning the low-tech industry of cars into a high-tech, innovative industry. This market is changing rapidly, and we are a part of it. Because of the fast growing nature of our ecosystem, there are many opportunities for our developers and all employees to grow, influence and create.

We are dealing with two exciting worlds: cars and data. We deal with huge amounts of data that come from connected cars and make them usable for creating the most interesting and beneficial services for consumers.

Israel has been nicknamed the “Startup Nation” while Tel Aviv is being referred to as a “new Silicon Valley”. What has your experience been like running a company in such a rapidly-growing, tech-centric environment?

Israel is transforming from a “start-up nation” to a “high-tech nation.”  Let me explain. Historically, Israel was viewed as a place where companies started and then moved overseas to grow.  Today, that is no longer the case. Israel has been producing quite a few impressive unicorns and we have the ecosystem in place to make more.  We now know how to start, as well as scale and grow companies, and we have the seasoned executive talent to keep doing it. Otonomo is the third company I have started, and we are growing faster than ever before.  I am ready and excited to scale and grown this “unicorn on wheels.”

What are some of the key characteristics that would make a candidate a good fit for Otonomo?

We are looking for talented & humble people , who are great team players, and have a “can do” attitude. We value those who take ownership over their choices and actions and are constantly looking to learn & improve.

Think Otonomo sounds like a great place to work? Head over to the Urban Mobility Job Board to apply to one of their many open positions!