Here are the 100 most influential people in the world of Israeli startups in 2015, a Geektime project we are pleased to share with you
Israeli hi-tech now not only impacts the local market, but also well beyond the Mediterranean. This year we decided to identify and map the key figures in Israel’s startup scene. These entrepreneurs, investors, founders, journalists, and startup professionals shape where Israeli hi-tech is going more than anyone else. Here are the 100 most influential people (by alphabetical order) in the world of Israeli startups in 2015, a Geektime project that has taken several months and we are pleased to share with you.
Photography: Yoram Reshef; Makeup: Shai Lee Cohen, Yossi Levi; Photo editing: Yarmi Arieli; Video: Maayan Diskin; Translation from the original piece: Shalom Shore; Editing: Laura Rosbrow-Telem; Production: Reut Shechter. Design: David Luria
1. Adam Fisher — Partner, Bessemer Venture Partners
Adam Fisher is responsible for Bessemer Venture Partners’ investments in Israel and Europe. Before arriving at BVP in 2007, he was a partner at JVP, serving their Jerusalem, New York, and Hong Kong offices. Fisher’s specialties are in internet, SaaS, data centers, and wireless technology startups. Amongst his most notable exits and IPOs are those of Wix; Storwize, which was sold to IBM; Intucell, which was sold to Cisco; and Soluto, which was sold to Asurion.
Fisher was selected by AlwaysOn as one of the 100 leading venture capitalists of 2013. He has a Bachelor’s in economics and international business diplomacy from Georgetown University.
2. Adam Singolda — Founder and CEO, Taboola
After starting out in the technological division of the IDF’s intelligence unit, Singolda founded the content recommendation company Taboola in 2007. The company developed a recommendation engine that suggests articles from other websites to a site’s visitors. The company’s recommendations are exposed to more than half a billion people each month, and their customers include content giants like Business Insider, USA Today, and more. Since its founding, Taboola has raised $160 million, which, according to estimates, places its value at over a $1 billion.
3. Adi Soffer Teeni — Country Manager, Facebook Israel
Before Facebook, she was the director of Ginder Software — which develops technology to correct spelling, grammar, and composition mistakes in English — CEO of the B2C division of 888 (888.com), and the CEO of a development group.
Soffer Teeni serves as the director of Perion and is a shareholder in the website StyleRiver, and the Habaitta, Zula, and Ekoloko apps. Facebook also has an Israel development center that is based around Onavo, which it acquired three years ago.
4. Alon Sahar — Senior Partner at Meitar Liquornik Geva Leshem Tal Law Offices
He is in charge of the technology and companies division at Meitar Liquornik Geva Leshem Tal Law, one of Israeli hi-tech’s most prominent firms. Has more than 20 years in the technological sector and guides tech companies from their initial founding stages until they go public or exit. He has represented Israeli and international clients in a wide range of complex transactions, including some of Israel’s largest tech deals. Among these were Cisco’s acquisition of IntuCell, SanDisk’s buying of M-Systems, Facebook’s purchase of Onavo, and Infinidat raising $150 million from TPG Capital.
Before his current position, he served as senior partner in the hi-tech division of Herzog, Fox & Ne’eman.
5. Ashok Chandrasekhar — Partner, Head of Goldfarb Seligman Law Office’s International Corporate and Securities Department
Chandrasekhar, a lawyer by training, manages Goldfarb Seligman’s international corporate and securities department and is a member of the firm’s executive committee. Chandrasekhar specializes in representing clients from the hi-tech sector and has been involved in hundreds of private equity deals in which he represented investors and companies, including some of Israel’s most substantial international exits and initial public offerings. He represents acquired companies with mergers and international acquisitions, advises Israeli companies on strategic connections with foreign partners, and advises companies planning to IPO, signatories, and well-known stockholders in dozens of NASDAQ offers.
Along with his professional activities, Chandrasekhar lectures at business schools in Israel and the U.S., was a panelist at a variety of professional events, and is the chairman of the board at University of the People, the world’s first tuition-free, non-profit university offering academic degrees.
Between 1990 and 1991, he served as law clerk for District Court Judge J. P. Vukasin Jr. of the Northern California District Court. Between 1991 and 1993, he worked as a lawyer at the international deals department at Pillsbury, Madison & Sutro (currently known as Pillsbury, Winthorp, Shaw, Pittman).
6. Assaf Gilad — Technology and Hi-Tech Correspondent, Calcalist
Assaf Gilad joined Calcalist Magazine soon after it was founded in 2008, and played an active part in creating their hi-tech desk along with Meir Orbach, the column’s editor. Since then, Gilad has been covering the local hi-tech scene in news briefs, magazine articles, and reports. Included in his reports is the exposure of Muli Litvak’s porn and chat-site empire, and Google’s war against Israeli toolbars. Gilad has conducted personal interviews with industry leaders like Peter Thiel, Facebook’s first investor; super investors Zohar Gilon and Oren Zahav; and Buzzfeed’s editors. For his military service, he served as an academic in the IDF’s behavior sciences division.
7. Avi Hasson — Chief Scientist, Ministry of Economy
For the last 5 years, Avi Hasson as served as the Chief Scientist at the Ministry of Economy. In this position, Hasson is responsible for governmental projects that promote entrepreneurship and technological innovation. Among other things, Hasson is responsible for the R&D fund, the Magnet, and aeronautics projects, running technological incubators, and collaborating with established production companies.
Before working at the Ministry of Economy, Hasson served as general partner at Gemini Israel Funds for 10 years and held several key positions in the hi-tech industry, including ECI Telecom and ECL. He service in the IDF’s 8200 intelligence unit and is a major in the unit’s reserves. Hasson holds an MBA from the Recanati School of Management at Tel Aviv University.
8. Avishai Avrahami — Founder and CEO, Wix
He is the CEO and founding partner of the Israeli website building platform Wix, together with Nadav Avrahami, Giora Kaplan, and Dr. Orit Mossinson. The company, which started trading on NASDAQ in 2014, employs 700 individuals with offices in New York, San Francisco, Ukraine, Lithuania, and Tel Aviv, and is valued today at about $700 million. Before founding Wix, Avrahami was an entrepreneur who started companies like AIT, Safra, Arel, and more.
9. Avital Zer-Sincai — Partner; Shenhav, Konforti, Rotem & Co. Law Firm
Attorney Avital Zer-Sincai is a partner at Shenhav, Konforti, Rotem, and Co. which she joined in 2005 and where she serves as head of their technological and intellectual property department. Zer-Sincai has experience in overseeing transactions, mergers, and acquisitions and in advising startups and industrial companies on various topics of commercial law. Providing a wide array of services, she advises companies at every level of growth, from startups just launching all the way to leading and established corporations in the industry. Zer-Sincai also consults in the areas of information privacy, including everything to do with registering databases, composing privacy agreements and terms of services, and information security policies. As part of her specialty in privacy law, she counsels clients about matters pertaining to internet law: This includes helping companies create a safe infrastructure for virtual operations while protecting both their privacy and that of their clients.
Zer-Sincai also serves as the IP manager at Rosetta IP, which won the legal tender for managing and commercializing the intellectual property of higher education institutions and non-university research institutions under the Higher Education Council. As part of her work at Shenhav, Konforti, Rotem, and Co., she manages the intellectual property for academic institutions and works to implement and commercialize it in the best way possible. Zer-Sincai also lectures in various capacities and serves as a mentor and business advisor at select startup ventures.
10. Ayelet Noff — Founder and CEO, Blonde 2.0
Ayelet Noff is the founder and CEO of the PR firm Blonde 2.0, which specializes in the technology sector. Since its founding in 2006, Blonde has opened offices in Boston and has enlisted over 70 clients including StoreDot, Yo, Viber, Applied Materials, HP, Applause, and more. Noff was recently included in the Forbes list of most influential people in the Startup Nation.
11. Ayelet Torem – Partner, Amit Pollak Matalon
Ayelet Torem has been a partner at APM & Co. – Amit, Pollak, Matalon – since 2010 in their hi-tech and VC department. An Israeli born and raised as well as a Silicon Valley veteran, she is able to help clients from both locales with a high degree of legal and business care and expertise. Torem is involved in the formation of investment vehicles, including venture capital, private equity, and investment groups in the U.S., Europe, and Israel, and is instrumental in their fundraising from Israel’s leading institutional investors and family offices.
Torem also represents technological incubators, including Israel’s Office of the Chief Scientist franchises, advises technological accelerators and hubs about their legal and business models, and counsels multinational corporations on various issues including representation of corporate venture arms. For startups, Torem advises companies in various stages and fields about legal and business matters, and can help connect them to the various investors she is in contact with across the globe.
Before APM & Co., Torem worked as the Head of Business Development at the California-Israel Chamber of Commerce in Silicon Valley, and was Tnuva’s Deputy General Counsel. She also serves on Israeli nonprofit Machshava tova‘s board of directors.
12. Barry Levenfeld – Partner, Yigal Arnon & Co. Law Firm
Barry Levenfeld joined the offices of Yigal Arnon and Co. as an attorney in 1988 and in 1992, became a partner. Levenfeld represents Israeli and international companies in various ventures at the firm, including managing deals, joint ventures, and IPOs. He has overseen the handling of several major mergers and acquisitions, including when Trusteer was acquired by IBM for an estimated $800 million. Additionally, he represents clients’ distribution agreements, OEM agreements, licensing and marketing, digital trading, and a variety of subjects related to intellectual property. The scope of his clients ranges from technological and life sciences startups to international tech giants.
Levenfeld also lectures at the law department at Hebrew University in Jerusalem, is a member of the management committee of the Man, Nature, Justice Foundation, and is one of the organizers and participants in the annual Israeli charity bike ride that raises money for the ALYN Woldenberg Family Hospital and rehabilitation center in Jerusalem. He has a law degree from Harvard University.
13. Ben Lang – Young Entrepreneur and Founder, Mapped in Israel and MapMe
Ben Lang, only 21 years old, began his entrepreneurial journey when he was 14. In 2011 he moved to Israel, and before joining the army worked in marketing at Kampyle, a customer service SaaS that received early funding from Yossi Vardi. He also spent time at Wibiya, which has been acquired by Conduit.
In the past Lang, worked at Lool Ventures VC, where he helped entrepreneurs find more creative ways to acquire users for their apps and platforms. Lang made headlines in 2012 during his army service when he created the Israeli Startup Map. Lang’s map became an overwhelming success, and continuously attracted additional hi-tech companies who listed themselves on the platform.
In 2014, Lang began working on his next venture. MapMe is a platform which allows any organization or community to create a visual map displaying custom information. In 2015 the company announced that it has completed an initial funding round of $1 million.
14. Ben Rubin – Founder, Meerkat
Ben Rubin is the CEO and Co-Founder of Life on Air, the company that developed the popular Meerkat app, which offers live video streaming. Rubin first got interested in video streaming when he participated in architectural studies at the Technion. In his third year of studies, he founded Yevvo, a platform for live content sharing. As a result, he left his studies to focus fully on the platform, which registered significant traction in Mexico, Iceland, and throughout the United States.
Afterwards, and as a result of the experience he gained with Yevvo, the team decided to launch a new streaming platform every couple of months. Consequently, the name of the company was changed to Life on Air, and they released Meerkat. Today, the platform is home to a varied and vibrant community of “broadcasters” from around the world, who share their personal lives on video.
The app was launched in February 2015 and quickly gained traction, becoming one of the most popular apps in the App Store’s social media category. Meerkat originally worked in conjunction with Twitter which, with the help of an attached link, allowed followers to see that a person was broadcasting live. Several weeks after they went live, Twitter removed Meerkat from its service by preventing the app’s users from accessing their follower list.
In March, the company completed a $14 million funding round, placing the total sum of funds raised by the company at $18.2 million.
15. Benny Landa – CEO, Landa Corporation
Shortly after moving to Israel in 1977, Benny Landa founded Indigo, which developed liquid ink technology that catered to the needs of the printing market at that time. In the ‘80s, an advancement based on his ideas resulted in the creation of electronic ink, a liquid ink that was meant to replace the powder in copy machines and printing presses. In 1993 he began marketing E-Print 1000, a machine that presented a significant innovation by allowing printing directly from a computer and enabling changes on individual sheets of paper, something that had not been possible until that point. In the same year, Landa sold 14% of Indigo for $50 million. Later, Landa founded two additional ventures that he is still involved with – Landa Labs, which is involved in nanotechnology, imaging, and energy, and Landa Ventures, an investment body for early-stage startups.
Landa has over 800 patents registered in his name and has been awarded honorary doctorates from the Technion, Bar Ilan University, and Ben Gurion University of the Negev. He founded the Landa Fund together with his wife Patsy, a philanthropic fund totaling $50 million that strives to promote equal opportunity through education.
16. Chemi Peres — Co-Founder and Managing General Partner, Pitango VC
Peres was a founding partner at Mofet VC, one of Israel’s first publicly-traded venture capital funds. He has also served as chairman of the Israeli-U.S. Chamber of Commerce and chairman (and co-founder) of the Israeli venture capital association. Similarly, he was personally involved in the creation of Takwin Labs, an incubator that supports and invests in ventures within Israel’s Arab sector. Pitango VC is Israel’s largest venture capital fund, managing investments totalling over $2 billion.
17. Daniel Czertok — Director, Comcast Innovation Labs
Czertok worked at Time Warner Cable and later moved to U.S. cable giant Comcast and was in charge of their marketing strategy, customer retention, and business intelligence. For the last three years, he has managed Comcast’s Innovation Labs and is charged with scouting local companies and technologies that would be of interest to the company, such as startups in sectors like TV communication, IP, telco, internet, mobile, media, content, and more.
18. David Katz — Founder, Blue Bamboo
Katz is the entrepreneur who is responsible for, amongst other things, Israel’s first iOS development companies: Mixtiles, which turns smartphone photos into hanging wall-art, and Hashchuna, a marketplace for individuals who live in proximity to one another and sees $30 million in turnover. Katz lectures often and shares his experience with the community; together with Eytan Levit he records the weekly “Shavua” startup podcast.
19. Dov Moran — Co-Founder, Grove Ventures
After M-Systems was sold to SanDisk, Moran founded Modu, which developed a modular cellphone ahead of companies like Google which is now developing a similar device based on patents they purchased from Moran. After founding smart TV company Comigo and keyboard company Smartype, he became an investor. Moran has dozens of patents registered under his name, and has an honorary doctorate. Today he is a founding partner of Grove Ventures.
20. Dror Berman — Founding Managing Partner, Innovation Endeavors
Berman founded Innovation Endeavors in 2010, a fund backed by Google CEO Eric Schmidt that focuses on early-stage startups. Portfolio companies include ride-sharing app Uber, Any.do, and recent Prosper acquisition BillGuard.
He previously worked at Yahoo and led an R&D team at NICE Systems. He has an MBA from Stanford University, a degree in Bioinformatics from Ben Gurion University and served in an elite unit of the Israel Defense Forces.
21. Eddy Shalev — Founding Partner, Genesis Partners
Shalev is considered one of the founding fathers of the Israeli venture capital industry. In addition to being a partner at Genesis Partners, he is also the chairman of the board of the Trump foundation, which was established in 2011 with the goal of improving educational achievements in Israel. Shalev played a central role in the hi-tech industry, supporting companies like Geophysical, Pardigm, Fundtech, and Orbot Instruments, among others. Currently, he is also a director at Worklight, Aternity, and Profitect.
Since 1985, Shalev has been active in venture capital. He led the Israeli branch of Oscar Gruss & Sons Inc, and following that, the branch of CIBC-Oppenheim, where he spearheaded a lot of activity in the field of corporate banking, sales and commerce, and financial analysis for Israeli companies traded on NASDAQ. He also founded Mofet Israel Technology Fund, one of Israel’s first VC funds. Shalev began his career at IBM, where he served as a manager and large-system specialist in their Israeli division, and as a strategic planner in their English offices. Also, he is philanthropically active at Beit Issie Shapiro, where he serves as the chairman of the investment subcommittee.
22. Eden Shochat — Serial Entrepreneur, Investor, and Founder of Aleph VC Fund
Shochat is a serial entrepreneur and investor in the Aleph VC Fund. Shochat founded several companies, including Face.com, which was sold to Facebook, Aternity, which developed products to improve UX, and Delavenne Enterprise.
Then Shochat crossed the road to the investor’s side. In 2010, he joined Genesis VC, where he served as partner for three and a half years and afterwards left to found Aleph VC together with Michael Eisenberg. Among other things, Shochat is in charge of investment in Commerce Science, Any.do, and Joy Tune.
Eden was one of the people responsible at Genesis for the founding of The Junction, a collaborative workspace for entrepreneurs. He is also a lecturer on entrepreneurship for the Zell program at IDC Herzliya. A year ago, Shochat published a shared list of contact information for Israeli funds and investors and the best way to contact them, a list that received a lot of positive feedback and had additional information added to it by other investors.
23. Efrat Judovits — BizDev Manager, Playtech
Judovits is the BizDev manager at Playtech, the Israeli software giant that develops platforms for the global gambling industry. Before Playtech, she worked for seven years as a business development manager, and before that, she founded the startup Xcuse. Over the years she has gained a lot of experience and developed many connections with entrepreneurs, investors, and business partners.
24. Eytan Levit — Entrepreneur, Founder of the Weekly Podcast Shavua
Levit is a serial entrepreneur who is currently working on a secret venture. He became well known after launching a viral campaign for his image sharing app, Yoovi. Together with David Katz, Levit records the weekly “Shavua” startup podcast where they interview successful entrepreneurs to discuss their accomplishments, assess the causes behind failed enterprises, and speak with famous investors. The podcast is expected to reach over 20,000 monthly listeners, many of whom are also active in their Facebook group.
25. Eran Yaniv– Partner, Fischer, Behar, Chen & Co.
Eran Yaniv is a lawyer and partner in the corporate division of FBC, and works for global clients with an emphasis in the fields of technology, life sciences, and venture capital investments. Yaniv specializes in the hi-tech industry and in complex international transactions, including mergers, acquisitions, and IPOs. He also consults private and public companies regarding strategic partnerships, technological licensing, and stock offerings. In 2010 he lead the negotiations for the sale of CDP by Meditechnica to Philips for 12 million euros. In February, he was involved in the acquisition of Israeli video gaming company Diwip to Canadian Imperus for $100 million.
Yaniv teaches graduate level lectures at the IDC business school in Herzliya and serves as the chairman of the corporate commission of the Tel Aviv District Bar.
26. Erel Margalit — Knesset Member, Zionist Union
Margalit is a co-founder and former chairman of Jerusalem Venture Partners, which helped create the Jerusalem media quarter, a unique combination of startups, culture, and nightlife. The fund has achieved multiple exits, most notably Chromatis and XtremIO. Margalit has been listed by Forbes as one of the 50 top venture capitalists in the world. Even in his new role as a knesset member, Margalit works to promote the hi-tech and business sectors in Israel and is the chairman of both the cyber and small business lobbies in Israel.
27. Eyal Gura — Co-Founder, President, and Chairman of the Board at Zebra Medical Vision Ltd.
Gura is a serial entrepreneur with a string of exits under his belt from companies he founded with his brother Ron and his wife Maya. Among others, Gura founded PicApp, which was sold in 2011 to the Indian company Ybrant for $10 million; PicScout, which identifies unlawfully used photos on the web and which sold to Getty Images for $20 million; and their first company, The Gifts Project, which was sold for $20 million to eBay. Gura “crossed the line” and joined Pitango Venture Capital as an independent partner, which he left after a year to found a new startup, Zebra Medical together with Eyal Toledano; the company is developing a medical research platform that relies on big data.
In 2014, Gura was named a young global leader by the World Economic Forum. He also lectures at IDC’s Zell entrepreneurship program, where he received his BA in finance and entrepreneurship. As an investor, he has invested in startups such as Taboola, AppsFlyer, Argus, Ubimo, and various others.
Gura is also philanthropically active: He serves on the executive committee of the nonprofit Latet as well as on the advisory board of Tmura.org, where he is in charge of developing relationships between startups and nonprofits. Recently, he also helped found a nonprofit called “Education Insights” with other senior hi-tech and nonprofit professionals such as Dr. Yossi Vardi and Moshe Yanai.
28. Eyal Waldman – Co-Founder, President, and CEO; Mellanox
Eyal Waldman entered the world of hi-tech after completing a Masters in Electrical Engineering at the Technion and began working at Intel. Waldman quickly understood that he was not suited for working in a large company, and in the early 90’s he founded his first company – Galileo – which sold in 2001 to Marvell for $2.7 billion. In 1999 he left the company, and after only a few weeks had the idea behind what is today Mellanox, which he founded together with Roni Ashuri, Michael Kagan, and Shai Cohen.
Mellanox Technologies supplies end-to-end communication solutions for data servers and information storage system. Since its founding, the company has acquired several companies including Kotura, purchased for $82 million. Their latest acquisition, the Israeli EZChip, was bought for an estimated $811 million.
In 2014, Waldman founded an investment wing called Mellanox Capital, which focuses on startups in Israel and abroad that are involved in storage, virtualization, cloud, big data, and enterprise ventures. Since the small VC is not a separate entity from Mellanox itself, its funding source is Mellanox’s own cash account.
29. Gal Kalkshtein – Serial Entrepreneur, Investor, and Consultant
A serial entrepreneur and seed investor, Kalkstein is involved in 16 different tech ventures in the mobile and big data sectors. In November, he founded the official startup lobby in the Israeli parliament. Among other things, Kalkstein hopes to provide governmental information and support to young startups.
Kalkshtein is considered an expert in Algo-trading. He founded Stock Tech and was involved in various roles as an investor, consultant, or entrepreneur in establishing startups such as Ringbow, Meetey, Verdata, and Student Hive.
30. Gigi Levy-Weiss — Founding Partner, NFX Guild
One of Israel’s most active and connected investors, Levy-Weiss served as CEO of gambling site 888 and became an angel with multiple successful investments in a variety of companies. Over the last several years, Levy-Weiss has invested in close to 70 companies including Kenshoo, Plarium, MyHeritage, Playtika, and SimilarWeb. This year, Levy-Weiss joined Ooga Labs and founded NFX Guild, an accelerator-like venture that helps startups developing marketplaces and networks in Silicon Valley. Every company accepted to the program receives $120,000 and enters a three-month training program. Aside from being an active and successful investor, Levy-Weiss is considered a guru in the gaming industry.
31. Gil Ben-Artzy — Co-Founder, UpWest Labs
Ben-Artzy is known for his desire to assist Israeli entrepreneurs at home in Israel and in Silicon Valley. He joined Yahoo’s Israeli business development group in 2005, working on local strategies and acquisitions, and spearheaded their first Israeli acquisition, FoxyTunes. Later on, he helped develop the company’s first R&D center in Haifa and was eventually promoted to VP of Management.
In 2012, he founded accelerator and investment program UpWest Labs with Shuly Galili and Liron Petrushka. Its entrepreneurs are awarded tens of thousands of dollars, workspace and accommodations. They also gain access to investors, venture capital firms, mentors, advisors, and potential clients. To date, the company has invested in over 50 companies with three acquisitions in 2014.
He has served as an advisor at Boston Consulting Group in New York, where he advised Fortune 500 companies. Ben-Artzy holds a B.A. in Business and Economics from Hebrew University in Jerusalem, and an M.A. with Honors from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton Business School of Business.
32. Gil Shwed – Co-Founder and CEO of Check Point
Gil Schwed is a hi-tech entrepreneur, known primarily as the co-founder, chairman of the board, and CEO of Check Point. He spent his military service in the intelligence division’s 8200 unit. After completing his service in 1991 he went to work as a software developer at Optrotech (known today as Orbotech). Two years later, he co-founded Check Point together with Shlomo Kramer and Moriss Necht. Schwed is the inventor and patent holder of Stateful Inspection technology, upon which the company’s flagship product – the Stateful FireWall – is based. He is considered by many to be “the father of the modern firewall” for his role in developing the field.
Today Schwed is on the Board of Trustees at Tel Aviv University, and a member of the board of Yecholot, an organization committed to furthering the number of high school diploma recipients and making higher education more accessible. He is also listed as one of “the global leaders of the future” by the World Economic Forum in recognition of his social contributions beyond his professional interests.
33. Gilad Novik — CTO, Lee Ka Shing’s Horizons Ventures
He managed Hutchison group’s innovation technologies, was advisor to Actix, and a senior staff member at Partner. In his current role, Novik is responsible for all Horizons Ventures’ Israeli investments, considered one of Israel’s most active funds with 23 investments and is therefore one of the most sought-after investors in the sector. The fund has invested in well-known Israeli startups like Magisto, Meekan, Crosswise, FeeX, Hola, Waze and Onavo.
34. Guy Franklin – Founder and CEO, Israeli Mapped in NY & Boston
Guy Franklin is the entrepreneur behind Israeli Mapped in NY, a dynamic map that contains information and links to Israeli startups based in New York. Due to its success, a similar map was created for Israeli startups in Boston. The site helps to share information and create many business opportunities, and has had dedicated apps developed for it. It serves as a shared social platform for everything related to Israeli startups in the city, including announcements, job opportunities, and calls for assistance and collaboration.
Franklin has also created partnerships with representatives of Shibolet & Co. Law Firm in New York and arranges monthly meetings with leading Israeli hi-tech individuals in the city, where a different Israeli success story is presented each time.
Before Israeli Mapped, he was a senior account manager at Ernst & Young in New York, where he specialized in hi-tech and startups. After seven years as an accountant at the firm, it became clear to Franklin that what he really wanted to do was strengthen the Israeli startup community in New York, and that’s how it all began.
35. Hanan Haviv – Partner, Herzog, Fox & Neeman Law Firm
Hanan Haviv represents technological companies at various stages of development, including dealing with VC funds, IPOs, mergers, and acquisitions, as well as providing support during funding rounds. Haviv works primarily with technological and life sciences companies. He has experience advising companies that must report to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Committee and comply with Sarbanes-Oxley standards.
A venture he recently played a part in was the acquisition of EZchip by Mellanox, one of the most prominent acquisitions in Israeli hi-tech, valued at an estimated $811 million. In 2013, he managed Facebook’s acquisition of Onavo and advised the Israeli company Atlantium during their $9 million funding round.
From 1996 to 2005, Haviv was an attorney at Heller Ehrman, an office specializing in VC funds in Silicon Valley. Before that he worked under High Court Judge Yaakov Turkel and was an instructor’s assistant for corporate and acquisition law at Tel Aviv University and IDC.
36. Hans Shakur — Founder, Markitect
Hans Shakur is an entrepreneur and the man behind Mobile Monday Nazareth, a body dedicated to strengthening and developing the developing hi-tech and startup community in Nazareth and the Arab community in the Galilee in general. The body was established in 2013, as an official branch of the global Mobile Monday, which unifies entrepreneur, professionals, developers, and people of influence like investors and VC fund representatives, with the goal of sharing knowledge and encouraging individuals with good ideas to take action and turn a vision into reality.
Additionally, Shakur is considered a leader in the country’s hi-tech industry, and some say he knows everyone – Jews and Arabs alike. Additionally Shakur is the owner of Markitect, a project and digital product management company. Shakur is also a founder and partner in the company Games for Peace; is a mentor and activist for several accelerator programs in Nazereth, the Galilee, and “the triangle”; spearheads enrichment and empowerment projects in the Arab community; and lectures in his remaining time.
37. Hilla Ovil-Brenner — Founder, Partner, and CEO; Keydownload and Keypoint Media
Ovil-Brenner, a lawyer by training, has more than 18 years of experience in entrepreneurship, including the founding and managing of White Smoke. In the last 3 years, she has served as the CEO of Keypoint Media, which operates in the downloads industry. Ovil Brenner spearheads several initiatives to promote women in hi-tech, including Yazamiot, which includes 600 companies, as well as Campus Tel Aviv for Moms, which is geared towards mothers in the technology sector who are on maternity leave.
38. Hillel Fuld — CMO at Zula, Startup Advisor, Tech Blogger
He is the CMO of Zula, an organizational communication platform. Additionally, he serves as a mentor to startups and incubators, such as Microsoft and Google Israel’s accelerators, as well as companies like UMoove, TestFairy, Inneractive, Webbing, Curiyo, and Selarator. Fuld is a blogger whose posts have appeared on Huffington post, Business Insider, GigaOm and others. He has a vast network, close connections, and quick access to key individuals, which helps him assist other entrepreneurs.
39. Ilan Shiloah — Chairman, McCann Group Tel Aviv and Matomy Media Group
Serving as Chairman of McCann Group Tel Aviv and digital advertising company Matomy Media Group (results-based digital advertising) which IPO’d on the London Stock Exchange. He is also the chairman of the Tel Aviv incubator The Time and of the First Time Venture Capital fund. Among his most notable investments is Playbuzz, which holds the record for most online shares of any platform, as well as LogDog and FanZone.
40. Inbal Arieli — Vice President of Strategic Partnerships, Start-Up Nation Central
She is the vice president of partnerships at Start-Up Nation Central, which connects global innovation needs and centers with the Israeli ecosystem. Arieli is also the founder and head of 8200 EISP, which is aimed at graduates of the IDF’s 8200 technological unit.
She is a renown lecturer on Israeli innovation whose resume includes heading the Gammado incubator and work at companies like Modu and Rada. To date, Arieli and her partners at 8200 EISP have selected more than 90 startups to participate, which in turn have raised more than $230 million and employ around 400 people in Israel and abroad.
41. Inbal Orpaz — Hi-tech Correspondent, The Marker
She is a hi-tech, startup, and venture capital journalist for The Marker. For the last five years, Orpaz has been covering the Israeli hi-tech industry, including young startups, international companies, and VC funds. Orpaz has not shied away from revealing the less-than-stellar aspects of the industry by reporting on funds’ negative returns, the failure of the government fund to support hi-tech ventures in the Arab community, and discrimination in the IDF’s technological division against soldiers from the periphery. Orpaz is also an MBA student at Tel Aviv University.
42. Iris Shoor — Founder and CEO, Oribi
Iris Shoor founded her first startup, VisualTao, in 2006; in 2009, when she was only 28 years old, she had her first exit when the company she founded was purchased by Autodesk. Since then, Shoor has already founded several other companies, including Takipi, which creates tools for identifying complex software problems, and a new startup, Oribi, which develops a new tool for optimizing the process of publicizing and sharing content. Shoor is very active in the local startup community, speaking and writing frequently to share her knowledge and assist fledgling entrepreneurs.
43. Irit Israeli Kahana — Managing Partner, AfterDox
Holding a B.A. in Psychology and M.A. in Mathematics and Computer Science, Kahana has served in various senior positions at hi-tech companies in the U.S. and Israel, including serving as VP at Amdocs. Kahana also serves as the director of Donate and PresenTense, as well as an advisor to NaserahTech and StartHub.
44. Izhar Shay — General Partner, Canaan Partners Israel
Several months ago, Shay completed a $60 million round for the new Canaan Israel fund and in April 2015, Shay led the fund’s first investment in a company called Rollout from Yokne’am. Before joining Canaan in 2005, he devoted 20 years of his life as a serial entrepreneur. Until recently, he served as Chairman and CEO of V-Secure Technologies, which was acquired by Radware.
Shay actively promotes the Israeli startup industry through Start-Up Stadium, a digital platform connecting thousands of Israeli entrepreneurs and investors. He also writes a weekly column for Globes, has published a book, As Beautiful As You, and is a board member of Ort Israel, the country’s largest technology education organization.
45. Dr. Jimmy Levy — Founder and Managing partner, Al Bawadar VC fund
Dr. Jimmy Levy is the founder and managing partner at Al Bawadar VC fund, Israel’s first investment fund that focuses on the private Arab sector in the country. The vision behind the fund is to expand the definition of “startup nation” to include the Arab community in Israel as well. Levy is also the founder and board member of Galil Software, a software company and leading service provider for the Israeli hi-tech industry. The company is considered the largest in the private Arab sector and employs around 200 people.
Previously, Jimmy was a senior manager at Comverse, where he led several business divisions. Jimmy has a BA from McGill University, a doctorate from Clark University, and an MBA from the International School of Management at Tel Aviv University.
46. Jon Medved — Founder and CEO, OurCrowd
Jonathan Medved is founder and CEO of OurCrowd, a leading global crowdfunding platform. He is a serial entrepreneur and investor, crowned by the Washington Post as one of the leading hi-tech venture capital investors in Israel. In 2015, he was listed as one of the 50 most influential Jews.
He has invested in over 200 startups, 15 of which have been valued at over $100 million. Notable exits include Shopping.com to eBay, Answers.com to Summit Partners, and XACCT to Amdocs. He is also founder and CEO of now publicly-traded Vringo. Today Medved is a regular guest and analyst on a variety of TV shows on CNN, BBC, and Bloomberg.
47. Liat Aaronson — Partner, Marker LLC
Aaronson served until recently as executive director of the Zell Entrepreneurship Program at IDC Herzliya and is responsible for all entrepreneurial activities on campus. Aaronson organized the Israeli TED events, such as TEDxHolyland and TEDxTelAviv. She has also served as an attorney at Naschitz Brandes and Co, which specializes in mergers and acquisitions.
48. Maxine Fassberg — CEO, Intel Israel
Vice President of Intel Global and CEO of Intel Israel. Fassberg joined Intel in 1983 and since then has held a variety of roles including a lithograph engineer and managing two Intel factories in Kiryat Gat. Earlier this year, when Intel Israel’s legendary president Mooly Eden retired from his position, the company announced that Fassberg would take his place and lead the company’s efforts in Israel. Last year, she was selected to be one of the torchbearers during Israel’s official Independence Day ceremony.
49. Merav Oren – Founder, WMN
Merav Oren started her journey as an entrepreneur at the age of 20, when she founded BTL, a company that promoted sales and produced events. In 2000, three years after founding the company, McCann Erickson purchased 60% of its shares and in 2002, it merged with Premium Marketing; the two were unified under the name BTL Momentum. After the completion of the merger, Oren, who had founded and managed the company, left her position.
She went on to found Agora, a company that oversaw and designed public sector projects. Among the company’s ventures is the concept of “open restaurants” where dozens of restaurants around Tel Aviv open to visitors and allow food aficionados to venture behind the scenes of the establishments. Oren is currently working on WMN, a female entrepreneurship center at the Tel Aviv Port that launched in May together with the accounting firm Deloitte and the Tel Aviv Municipality.
50. Michael Eisenberg — Founding Manager, Aleph
Eisenberg founded Aleph alongside Eden Shochat, a fund that has raised $140 million and invested in companies like Nexar, HoneyBook, and Freightos. Eisenberg is also the former VP of investment banks at Jerusalem Global Ventures and partner at the Israel Seed Partners fund, where he invested in companies like Shopping.com and Answers.com. He later served as partner at Benchmark Capital and has been included in Forbes’ “Midas List.”
51. Dr. Michal Tsur – Co-Founder and President, Kaltura
Dr. Michal Tsur founded Cyota with several partners (one of whom is Naftali Bennett), which offers data protection solutions and which sold in 2005 for $145 million. Immediately after the sale, in 2006, she began working with another three partners on a new project, Kaltura, a platform that allows its clients to increase profits from advertising while sharing content, reaching a broader audience and lowering costs related to video transmission. Among the first users of the company’s products were educational institutions, which use Kaltura to improve the learning experience with the help of video content. Kaltura’s clients include recognized names like HBO, Warner Bros. and SAP, in addition to various commercial and governmental companies that are among the company’s hundreds of thousand of customers.
Tsur’s role at Kaltura is in managing their product, strategy, marketing, developer community, and their open source project. To date, Kaltura has raised $116 million over six rounds of funding, and in May 2014, the company acquired the Israeli startup Tvinci.
52. Michal Waltner Levi – Program Manager, Google’s Tel Aviv Campus
Waltner Levi represents “Google for Entrepreneurs” in Israel. The company provided its Google Campus compound for the use of startups, entrepreneurs, and technological enthusiasts at their Tel Aviv offices, where they can listen to lectures and take part in relevant workshops.
In the past, Waltner Levi was the community manager at Google Israel’s developer relationships department, and the manager of international relations for the Israeli Bar Association: She is a lawyer by profession. She has a Bachelor’s in law and Bachelor’s in communications, both from Tel Aviv University.
53. Mickey Boodaei – Entrepreneur and Investor in the Cyber Industry
Boodaei is considered one of the most active investors in the cyber industry in Israel. Two of his biggest successes are Imperva, a publicly traded company valued at $2 billion, and the founding, management, and sale of Trusteer to IBM in 2013 for $800 million.
Surprisingly, Boodaei did not serve in the IDF’s 8200 unit, and it could be said that he ended up in the world of cyber security by accident. After studying at the Technion for a bachelor’s degree in computer science for his military service, Boodaei found himself assigned to a unit which was at the time part of the communications unit, where he served as the first officer in the unit to be tasked with information security. After completing his service in 1999, Boodaei founded a security consulting company, which worked primarily with banks, and in 2002, he founded Imperva together with Shlomo Kramer and Amichai Shulman, and the rest is history.
Since then, Boodaei has focused on investing, mostly in Israeli startups. Among the companies he has invested in are Skyfence, which was sold to Imperva, Aorato, which was sold to Microsoft, WatchDox, which was sold to Blackberry, and Hyperwise and Lacoon, which both were sold to Check Point.
54. Modi Rosen — Managing Partner and Co-Founder, Magma Venture Partners
Serving as a managing partner at Magma since its founding in 1999, Rosen is known for his sense for sound investments and ability to grow a startup from the seed stage and transform it into an industry leader. Rosen has over 25 years of experience in the field, primarily when it comes to strategic management of technology companies. Before establishing the fund, Rosen served as a strategist at Monitor and Shaldor, where he specialized in communications consulting for leading companies like Siemens, ECI, and Tadiran. Today he serves a member on the boards of Nipendo, TabTable and AppsFlyer and in the past, was a board member during Broadcom’s acquisition of Provigent and Gemalto’s acquisition of Trivnet.
55. Moshe Friedman — Co-Founder and CEO, KamaTech
After founding Clipop and encountering the unique challenges facing the Haredi (Ultra-Orthodox) demographic, he founded KamaTech, a venture aimed at accelerating the sector’s integration into the hi-tech sector. The venture organizes conferences and meetings among successful Haredi entrepreneurs and includes a coalition of dozens of hi-tech companies such as Cisco, Google, Microsoft, IBM, Verinet, and others. As a result, hundreds have started work at hi-tech companies. Earlier this year, KamaTech launched the first round of its accelerator, featuring six carefully selected companies picked from over 220 applicants.
56. Moshe Hogeg — Serial Entrepreneur, Investor, CEO at Mobli
He is a serial entrepreneur and investor in Singulariteam VC. Hogeg founded Mobli, a picture-based social network with 12 million users and several celebrity investors like Leonardo DiCaprio, Tobey Maguire, Lance Armstrong and Serena Williams; Sirin, which is developing an advanced, prestigious smartphone with a price tag of tens of thousands of dollars per device; Yo, a messaging and notification app that made waves when it launched; and EyeIn, a visual search engine. One of Singulariteam’s most investments is in Israeli StoreDot, which developed a smartphone battery that charges in seconds.
57. Moshe Yanai — CEO and Founder, INFINIDAT
Moshe Yanai, an electrical engineer by profession, is a notable entrepreneur with an internationally recognized reputation for anything storage-related. In the ‘90s, Yanai led the development of Symmetrix, the flagship product of EMC, which he joined in 1987. The product he developed is the central force behind EMC’s transformation into a giant company, with a market value of billions of dollars.
Yanai led the funding and founding of the Israeli startup XIV, which creates various storage devices and was sold to IBM in 2008 for about $300 million. After the company’s acquisition, he was appointed as a research associate at the company’s global offices – the highest non-managerial position at IBM.
Shortly afterwards, IBM purchased another startup that Yanai helped found, Diligent, which also dealt with information storage. In 2010, Yanai left IBM.
Currently Yanai runs INFINIDAT, a startup he founded that provides storage solutions to large organizations. In 2015 the company completed a funding round worth $150 million based on a valuation of over $1 billion. In 2010, Yanai donated 40 million shekels to the Technion to promote academic excellence. Similarly, he committed to donating 1 million shekels to the ‘Hoopoe Fund’ for the research, education, and preservation of birds and their habitats in Israel.
58. Nadav Zafrir – Co-Founder and CEO, Team8
Nadav Zafrir is a retired military officer with the rank of Brigadier General. Zafrir served as vice commander of the IDF’s 8200 military intelligence unit until he was appointed as its commander in 2009. During his service in the unit, he was awarded a special medal of recognition by chief of staff Benny Gantz.
In 2013, he left the military and devoted himself to his next project. Zafrir founded Team8 together with Israel Grimberg, former commander of 8200’s cyber center, and Liran Grinberg, an entrepreneur and technologist who served in the past as product manager at Conduit and eToro. Team8 is a combination of startup, VC fund, and accelerator under one roof.
Team8 identifies action areas ( or “vectors”) in the cyber industry in which the amount of effort and resources being spent by companies and investors is rising steadily, while the amount of work required from an attacker is dropping. As soon as such an area is found and deemed promising, the managers of Team8 select an entrepreneur that could develop a related venture and help them select their team members.
The venture has been backed by communication giants Alcatel-Lucent and Cisco, as well as U.S. VC firms Marker, Bessemer, and Google CEO Eric Schmidt’s Innovation Endeavors. To date, the company has raised $18 million.
59. Nir Zohar – COO and President, Wix
Despite his lack of experience in the hi-tech industry, Zohar together with Wix’s other founders succeeded in making the Wix platform for easy website creation become a public company. It has attracted tens of millions of users and profits in 2015 are expected to total more than $200 million. Zohar and Wix are pioneers of the initiative to create large, long-term companies in Israel that go public, instead of sufficing with a quick early exit.
Wix went public on NASDAQ in November, 2013. Currently, it is valued at $865.8 million.
60. Nitzan Hirsch-Falk — Partner, H-F & Co. Law Offices
Nitzan Hirsch-Falk is one of the leading attorneys in the Israeli hi-tech industry and is a linchpin in many of the biggest deals. Nitzan is known for his unique approach to business, creativity, and original thinking. Among other activities, he oversaw the acquisition of XtremIO by EMC, the sale of Waze to Google, represented the signatories during Mobileye’s IPO in New York, represented Adgorithms in their London IPO, supervised the sale of Aorato to Microsoft, and more.
Two years ago, he founded the law offices H-F & Co., which provides legal services to the best players in the hi-tech industry, from giant global companies to startups and entrepreneurs, VC funds, and investment banks. Earlier on, Hirsch-Falk was a senior partner and head of the hi-tech department at Gross, Kleinhendler, Hodak, Halevy, Greenberg & Co.
61. Noam Canetti – Senior Partner, Ernst & Young
Noam Canetti is a Senior Partner at Ernst & Young, the largest accounting firm in Israel. Canetti consults entrepreneurs, startups, investors, public companies and international companies on business, financial, tax and accounting matters – and specializes in mergers and acquisitions and IPOs in Israel and abroad. In the last couple of decades, Canetti worked with many of the leading companies and took part in many transactions. Canetti founded the Israeli Business Advisory Group at EY offices in the Silicon Valley, Palo Alto, where he spent a couple of years in the late ’90s. In recent years, in addition to his position in Israel, Canetti runs a special joint venture between EY offices in Israel and Russia that addresses needs of Russian hi-tech companies and investors. He is known for his role as a consultant to entrepreneurs and investors, as well as his involvement in transactions.
Among others, Canetti participated in various Nasdaq IPOs such as Varonis, which raised $116 million, acquisitions of IBM, Facebook, PayPal, Cisco, Sandisk-mSystems, Conduit-Perion, and many others. He also took part in private equity investments such as Viola’s investment in Aeronautics and others.
62. Oded Distel – Director of the Investment Promotion Center, Israeli Ministry of Industry, Trade, and Labor
Oded Distel is the head of the department for investment promotion and the Israel NewTech program, a national program that encourages water and energy renewal in Israel. In the coming years, Distel is interested in replicating the water program in other sectors while simultaneously fine tuning the Israeli government’s investment policies to serve national interests better. Among the department’s goals are the founding of a group and partner network to handle foreign investors, ongoing personalized support of foreign investors, and furthering Israel’s global brand. Distel served in the Nahal brigade as a combat medic and has a BA and MBA from the School of Business Administration in Tel Aviv.
63. Ofer Sela — Partner, KPMG
Ofer Sela has over 20 years of accounting experience in the venture capital sector and in public corporations. Sela focuses on providing services to companies in the technological market, with an expertise in the fields of communications and software. His areas of expertise include income recognition, stock compensation, SEC reporting, strategic partnerships, due diligence, licensing arrangements, and more. Sela joined KPMG in 2006 after working for a decade at PwC (PricewaterhouseCoopers) in Boston.
64. Ofir Leitner — Founder, Israel Mobile Summit and MobileMonday
The former founder and CTO at mobile games personalization engine GamearraY, Leitner is the founder of industrial conference organizer Israel Mobile Summit and MobileMonday Tel Aviv. His foray into events also includes bringing the Europe-originating DroidCon and CodeMotion to Israel. He has also served as a senior adviser for UI at Oracle. He holds a BA in Computer Science and MBA from the Technion.
65. Or Offer — Co-Founder and CEO, SimilarWeb
Or Offer is the CEO and founding partner (together with Nir Cohen) of SimilarWeb, which develops analytic and measurement tools for sites and apps. Since its founding, the company has raised around $65 million and is valued at $400 million; they have offices in London, New York, and Kiev, and a development center in Tel Aviv. Before SimilarWeb, Offer was a founding partner of Spot.IM, Moon Active, and AfterDownload, which was purchased by the Israeli company IronSource for $28 million in 2013.
66. Ori Glezer – Co-Founder, Elevator
Ori Glezer’s main professional focus is creating strategic corporate partnerships in Israel for the Elevator Fund, which he founded with Tom Bronfeld. In the beginning, the fund acted as an accelerator until it raised $10 million and continued as a full-fledged fund.
Before founding Elevator, Glezer was a corporate lawyer at Ron Gazit, a firm specializing in commercial litigation. Previously, he was VP of Business Development for 2Plus Wireless Solutions, a Wi-Fi infrastructure developer and Linksys’ Israel distribution partner, where he oversaw a major deal with Bezeq.
Glezer also co-founded Shark Group, one of Israel’s leading companies in the fields of international business and marketing research, content creation, and management.
67. Ori Lahav — Co-Founder and GM Israel, Outbrain
Before founding Outbrain, Lahav and Yaron Galai lead the development team at Shopping.com, purchased by eBay for $634 million. Outbrain lists content giants like Time, CNN, Fortune, New York Post, Mashable, People, Le Monde, Sky News and Fox News among its clients. Outbrain has made over 200 billion content suggestions so far and reaches 557 million users every month.
To date, Outbrain has raised $149 million in seven rounds. Its headquarters are located in Netanya.
68. Dr. Rafi Gidron — Founder and Chairman, RondinX
Dr. Gidron is responsible for one of the biggest exits in Israeli history, Lucent’s $5 billion acquisition of Chromatis. Gidron was also a founder and managing partner at Precede, an entrepreneurship and investment company in the field of cleantech. In 2015, Gidron pivoted to the biomed sector after founding Xonovo to treat Alzheimer’s Disease and other degenerative brain diseases.
Today, Gidron is most active as an angel investor, supporting and investing in tech startups and nonprofit activities at Israel Brain Technologies. He is the author of best-seller Incitement, a hi-tech thriller about the dangers of the technology industry with undertones of memories from the Holocaust. Gidron has a B.A. from Tel Aviv University and a Ph.D. from Columbia University where he served as an administrator and partner in the center for NSF communications.
69. Rami Beracha — Managing General Parner, Pitango VC
Several of the companies Beracha invested have exited, including Anobit, dbMotion, Convergin, and Dune Networks. Beracha was one of the founders of SOSA, a shared startup workspace located in southern Tel Aviv. Pitango VC is Israel’s largest venture capital fund, managing investments totalling over $2 billion.
70. Ran Harnevo — CEO, Bkstg
Harnevo, who started his career as a journalist, founded 5Min in 2007 together with Tal Simantov and Hanan Laschover. The service allowed for the creation of instructional videos that were shorter than 5 minutes in length. In 2010, the company was sold to AOL for $65 million. After the acquisition, Harnevo joined AOL and was appointed as global president of video at the company, where he led their video strategy. He was behind the production of various web series, and developed a financial model based on an advertising platform that automatically matched ads with relevant content. After 4 years, Harnevo left his senior position at AOL, driven by an entrepreneurial spirit to launch other projects.
At the end of 2014, Harnevo founded Bkstg together with Ron Zuckerman and Ori Birnbaum. Bkstg is a platform that allows artists and fans to have personal interactions, which they refer to as ‘Straight-to-fan’ communication. Last July, before the platform had even launched, Bkstg announced they had completed a funding round with the sum of $20 million.
71. Roi Tiger — CEO, Facebook Israel’s R&D Center
Roi Tiger leads Facebook’s development initiatives here in Israel. He manages a large and varied team of developers that work both independently and in conjunction with Facebook’s central management out in Menlo Park, CA. Tiger and his team operate within Facebook’s Growth Team, headed by the company’s VP, Javier Olivan.
Tiger, who founded Onavo in 2010 to help individuals and companies work better in the mobile sector, took his current position after Facebook acquired Onavo in 2013, a move that led to the opening of their R&D center in Israel.
The Israeli center leads innovative initiatives which have a large global impact. One of their central projects is Internet.org, whose goal is to provide web access to parts of the world that are still disconnected. Another one of their highly publicized projects is Safety Check – a tool that is activated in emergency situations which allows individuals to notify their friends and family that they are safe. This feature has made headlines following the terror attacks in France and the earthquake in Nepal.
Tiger served in the IDF’s 8200 unit and has a Bachelor’s in computer science from IDC Herzliya.
72. Rona Segev-Gal — Co-Founder, TLV Partners
She started out as an entrepreneur and later became an investor in BRM and a partner at Evergreen VC. In 2004, Segev-Gal moved to Pitango VC and served as a partner there until 2015, when she left and founded the TLV Partners Fund together with Eitan Bek.
Segev-Gal is considered one of the leading venture capital investors in Israel, and is responsible for a large number of successful companies, such as Itemfield, which was sold to Informatica for $65 million; Aduva, which was acquired by Sun MicroSystems; Identify, which was bought by BMC for $150 million; Traiana, which was purchased by ICAP for $247 million; Worklight, which was sold to IBM for $75 million; as well as one of the most talked about Israeli IPOs of the year, Varonis, which opened on NASDAQ with a valuation of $500 million.
73. Rubi Suliman – Head of the Hi-Tech Division, PwC Israel
Rubi Suliman is the head of the technology division at PwC in Israel and a member of the company’s board of directors. Suliman joined the office in 1997 and advises companies in the process of mergers, acquisitions, financial considerations, stock purchases, and more. Additionally, he works as an accountant and advises many startups regarding accounting, fundraising, and taxes.
Between 2002 and 2004, he worked at the New York offices of PwC, where he served as a senior manager and was responsible for VC funds and private hi-tech companies. He has a BA in accounting and law from Tel Aviv University.
74. Ruth Polachek — Head of Israel’s Citi Accelerator and External Innovation
Polachek serves as the head of Citibank’s Israel accelerator and is the chairwoman and founder of She Codes, an organization that encourages and supports women in technology. A serial entrepreneur, she founded and managed companies like LoopJoy, ChatDemon, RootClaim, and Flakkes; she also lectures about entrepreneurship, software development, financial entrepreneurship, FinTech, and more. In the past, she worked as an analyst for Lehman Brothers. In her last position, she served as Entrepreneur in Residence at SW Ventures, with two of her ventures being included in Saar Wilf’s investment fund.
75. Sarit Cohen – Business Development Executive, Technology Group; KPMG Somekh Chaikin
As part of Sarit Cohen’s role as manager of business development and fundraising for startups, she advises and assists the firm’s clients raise money so they can run, expand, grow, and accelerate their companies. Cohen uses her connections with private investors, incubators, VC firms, strategic investors, and investment bodies in Israel and abroad to aid her clients. As part of her services, a strong emphasis is placed on the common business and financial models in that company’s specific sector while analyzing competitors in the field and the state of the current market. Her previous position at KPMG, which she originally joined in 1996, was head of marketing and marcom.
76. Saul Singer – Co-Author, ‘Start-Up Nation’
Singer is most well known for his book Start-Up Nation, which he co-authored with Dan Senor in 2009. It describes Israel’s transformation into a global innovation superpower and an entrepreneurial paradise. In line with coining the country’s branding catchphrase, Singer has contributed greatly to Israel’s positive publicity and helped present Israel’s startup model to the world.
Before writing Start-Up Nation, Singer was a journalist at the Jerusalem Post (like someone else at Geektime.com).
Together with his wife Wendy, Singer recently founded StartUp Nation Central with the goal of connecting foreign investors and international technology companies with the local ecosystem to help them identify potential portfolio companies and partners. The organization has already raised $20 million.
77. Sharon Amir – Senior Partner, Naschitz, Brandes, Amir & Co.
Attorney Sharon Amir is a senior partner and head of the mergers division at Naschitz, Brandes, Amir & Co. Amir is considered one of the leading attorneys in his field in Israel, specializing in the fields of mergers, acquisitions, and private equity and VC funds. Amir is a graduate of Tel Aviv University and studied for his graduate degree in New York, following which he worked there for four years at a large firm. When he returned to Israel in 1996 he started working at his current office. Amir also lectures at Lahav, the center for the training of academics.
As part of his work at Naschitz, Brandes, Amir & Co., he has been involved in several notable transactions: representing SanDisk when they acquired M-Systems for $1.6 billion; representing Check Point when they acquired the Swedish company Protect Data for $615 million; handling the sale of Plus500 to PlayTech for $750 million; representing Waze shareholders when it was acquired by Google; and representing PrimeSense shareholders when it was acquired by Apple for $350 million.
78. Sharon Schreiber — Startup Advisor
Sharon Schreiber is a graduate of the IDF’s Mamram unit, with a Bachelors in psychology and an MBA from the Recanati School of Management at Tel Aviv University. She has vast experience in sales and business development from companies like ICI, Telecom, and Red Group.
A former entrepreneur, she founded a company that commercializes technology for universities. She also served as VP of business development at Xfone Inc., which is traded in the U.S.; and founded Zezebra.com, which enables the digital transfer of large files. Currently, she serves as a consultant to other startups, and is well-connected with angel investors, funds, and many entrepreneurs.
79. Shaul Olmert — Founder and CEO, Playbuzz
Olmert served as the VP of marketing at Conduit until he founded Playbuzz in 2012 with Yaron Buznach and Tom Pachys. The company provides content sites, blogs, and brands with tools for creating interactive content like questionnaires, surveys, trivia quizzes, personality tests, and other viral tools. As a result, companies benefit from increased user engagement and greater interactions from their readers.
In the last half a year, the platform reached a peak, with their content becoming increasingly viral and transforming it into the most shared platform online, accumulating more shares than sites like Huffington Post, the New York Times, or BuzzFeed.
80. Dr. Shimon Eckhouse – Co-Founder and Chairman, Syneron Medical Ltd
Dr. Shimon Eckhouse is a serial entrepreneur, active primarily in the medical equipment industry with 20 years of specialty in cosmetic medicine. He started his career at RAFAEL, where he worked for close to 20 years as a physicist and manager of (in his own words) “all sorts of things.”
In 1992, at the age of 47, he founded ESC Medical, which used IPL (intense pulsed light) technologies to treat cosmetic problems. The company, now known as Lumenis, is publicly traded in the U.S. Since 1999, he has founded several medical companies, including cosmetic treatment-focused Syneron Medical. In 2014, Eckhouse founded biotechnology incubator Alon MedTech Ventures in Yokneam, Israel.
81. Shlomo Dovrat — Co-Founder, Carmel Ventures
In 1999, Dovrat founded Carmel Ventures VC fund together with his father and other partners. The first fund was established in 2000, and in October 2014, Carmel Ventures raised $194 million for its fourth fund. Among the investments this fourth fund chose is Playbuzz, which overtook BuzzFeed with the largest number of online social shares, and the gaming site LuckyFish, which enjoys one million active users every month. The new fund joins three existing ones which manage a total of over $800 million invested in 35 active companies. In 2003, Dovrat was appointed by the Israeli government to be the chairman of the national taskforce to promote education in Israel (the “dovrat commission”). Additionally, he was one of the founders of the “Israeli Venture Capital Network”, a philanthropic organization founded by entrepreneurs and managers from the hi-tech industry in Israel and abroad. Dovrat has received multiple prizes for his business contributions and social initiatives.
82. Shlomo Kramer – Founder; Cato Networks, Check Point, Trusteer, and Imperva
Considered one of the leading experts in the field of information security, Kramer helped found both Check Point and Imperva. Kramer started out in the security sector as one of the three founders of CheckPoint (together with Gil Schwed and Marius Nacht) 20 years ago. The company became one of the global leaders in the field of cybersecurity. In 1998, two years after Check Point first IPOd on Wall Street, Kramer left the company.
In 2002 he founded Imperva, which develops security solutions for organizational databases, which also IPOd on Wall Street in 2011. A third security startup that he founded in 2006, Trusteer, sold to IBM in 2013 for $800 million. In October, Kramer raised $20 million for a new company he founded together with Gur Shatz called Cato Networks. The company’s goal is to simplify internet security through the recognition that data security based on hardware boxes situated throughout an organization are not effective.
Kramer has also established himself as an angel investor. This year alone, several companies in which he invested performed successful exits – Hyperwise and Lacoon Security were acquired together for $180 million by Check Point. Another exit he was involved in was the sale of WatchDox to Blackberry for $100 million.
83. Shuly Galili — Co-Founder, UpWest Labs
Shuly Galili is an integral part of the powerhouse team over at UpWest Labs, the accelerator and venture capital fund based in Silicon Valley that supports Israeli startups looking to break into that crucial American market. Galili has spent the last decade building a gateway between Silicon Valley to Israel, during which time she worked with leading companies, investors, and business people to found the CICC – California Israel Chamber of Commerce. In her leadership role at the CICC, Galili has been involved in the guiding many successful companies, was responsible for the establishment of the organization’s offices and R&D centers in the US and Israel, and helped to make the Israeli brand a focus in Silicon Valley.
Before CICC, Galili served in marketing and development roles in several international organizations that focused on economic development and educational initiatives. She studied International Relations at San Francisco State University, and French studies at the University of Grenoble in France. Shuly is part of the magazine Women 2.0 and serves on the advisory board of C100 – a Canadian entrepreneurship network.
84. Tal Chen – Head of Hi-Tech Sector, Deloitte Israel
Tal Chen joined Deloitte in 1998. Between 2001 and 2005, he was part of the company’s global hi-tech group. In 2009, Chen was appointed as the head of technology, media, and communication sectors at the company. Chen is a partner and handles everything related to mergers, acquisitions, and technological collaboration in the hi-tech world.
In the last several years, he has worked with global companies seeking Israeli technological innovation to help them identify companies to collaborate with, invest in, or acquire, including Panasonic, Credit Suisse, Komatsu, and USCC. Additionally, Chen serves as a mentor for several accelerators, such as Technoart and Inn-Negev, among others.
He received both his BA in Accounting and Economics and his MBA from Tel Aviv University. Chen also serves as chairman for the Israeli branch of JDRF, which fights childhood diabetes, and as a mentor at IBM Alpha Zone.
85. Tamar Reshef Bezalel – VP of Business Development and Investment Fund Manager, Adler Brands
Tamar Reshef Bezalel has over 15 years of experience in strategy, management, and digital roles. In the last decade, she has filled several positions at Adler Chomsky. In 2013, Reshef Bezalel was appointed VP of Business Development at the group and served as joint CEO of the branding company Adler Brands, where she lead the company’s strategic department. Before Adler, she served as manager of strategy at an advertising agency. Reshef was introduced to the world of startups after she was given the opportunity by Eyal Chomsky to oversee the startups he invested in. She of course agreed, despite not having any experience nor knowledge in the field. Currently, the focus is on investing in hi-tech companies, as well as in the fields of research, networking monitoring, big data, and more. To date, she has lead the funding rounds for three companies.
Notable companies in Adler Chomsky’s portfolio are Zoomd, which offers a more engaging search engine, as well as Namogoo, which protects content and commerce sites from client-side injected malware. Reshef has a BA in economics and MBA with a focus on marketing, strategy, and entrepreneurship from Tel Aviv University.
86. Teddy Sagi — Businessman and Investor
Teddy Sagi made most of his fortune through PlayTech, a software company for online gambling websites, which IPO’d on the London Stock Exchange with a value of close to $1 million. Since then, Sagi has a carried out a series of acquisitions across the tech world. In 2008, Sagi joined as a partner with the British gambling initiative William Hill. Then in 2013 he invested in Sync.me, a cloud-based contact-sharing platform. In 2014 he acquired the Israeli company Adience which specialized in big data and app user management for $20 million, Finally during May 2015, he purchased Israel-based Stucco Media which develops technological advertising platforms for ecommerce sites for $43 million, as well as investing in the Israeli company Soomla.
87. Tomer Bar Zeev — Co-Founder and CEO, IronSource
Tomer Bar Zeev is the head of IronSource, considered a technological giant which allows users to connect with relevant apps in the best possible way. In 2010, when the company was founded, it numbered only four people – the founders. Today the company employs over 500 people in Israel and abroad.
To date, the company has raised $105 million in two funding rounds, and has made three acquisitions, the last one being in September 2015 when they acquired Supersonic.
Bar Zeev is also the founder of FoxTab, a Firefox extension for managing tabs in the browser which was added to IronSource in 2011. In the past he served as VP of Payoneer and Atlas CT.
88. Tzahi (Zack) Weisfeld — General Manager, Microsoft Ventures Global Accelerators
Tzahi Weisfeld is the director of Microsoft Ventures’ accelerator program, the company’s investment branch. Thanks to the success of the accelerator program, which Weisfeld founded together with Yoram Yaacovi, the company has expanded the program to other development centers around the world. Before his current position, Weisfeld assumed a variety of roles, including director of entertainment products at Microsoft’s global headquarters in Redmond; managing the North American activities of M-System, which was sold to SanDisk; and was one of the founding team members of Modu.
89. Uri Levine — Founding Partner and Chairman, FeeX
Co-founder and former chairman of Waze, he has filled a variety of roles at companies like Celltrex and Comverse. Levine invests in consumer-oriented companies based on the wisdom of the crowd and big data analysis. Among other companies, Levine has invested in pension and insurance marketplace FeeX; voucher marketplace Zeek; auto expenses platform Engie; and airline tickets marketplace FairFly. Levine serves as a mentor at the Zell Entrepreneurship Program, an on campus accelerator, at IDC.
90. Vered Horesh – Partner, Shibolet & Co.
Vered Horesh is an attorney that specializes in the hi-tech and venture capital sectors, with a focus on internet, cellular, new media, and gaming companies; her clients include entrepreneurs, angel investors, and venture capital funds. As part of her role, she represented Sisense Technologies when it raised $30 million and CopperGate Communications Ltd when it was acquired for $180 million by Sigma Designs Inc.
Horesh has extensive experience in founding VC funds and representing them during their investments in portfolio companies. In 2013, she was involved in the establishment of Elevator VC, during which $10 million was raised. She also serves as a legal advisor to the international department of the military prosecutor’s office. Before Shibolet & Co., Vered was a partner at Shenhav & Co.
91. Yahal Zilka – Managing Partner, Magma Venture Capital
Before helping found Magma in 1999, Zilka served as Deputy CFO at VocalTec, one of the trailblazers of VoIP that was later IPOed on NASDAQ. Notable IPOs and exits on Zilka’s record include Waze, the sale of DesignArt to Qualcomm, the sale of Adience to Teddy Sagi, and the sale of Onavo to Facebook. Significant investments in the fund’s current portfolio include Magisto, Hola, TabTale, and AppsFlyer.
At Magma, Zilka leads the business development and financing aspects of the fund and its portfolios. Additionally, he serves as director on the boards of Valens Semiconductor, SightEra-Magisto, and Indegy.
92. Yair Goldfinger – Co-Founder and CEO, AppCard
Yair Goldfinger started out in the Israeli hi-tech industry in 1996, when, together with three partners, he founded Mirabilis, which developed the world’s first instant messaging software – ICQ. Two years later, the company was sold to AOL for $407 million. At that time, that was the largest sum ever paid for an Israeli hi-tech company. In 2011, Datomy, another startup he founded with two partners and which is involved in internet advertising, was sold for $295 million.
Goldfinger did not rest for a moment, and in 2013, he founded AppCard together with Amichay Oren, a mobile-based consumer solution that aspires to allow small businesses to benefit from a simple, segmented and managed loyalty program that requires no unnecessary integrations. This last October, Goldfinger was involved in another exit, when Odysii (formerly TVeez), which he founded with Adi Eyal, and which invented a system for increasing sales by providing personalized recommendations to customers, was sold to Gilbarco.
Today Goldfinger is an active investor in Israeli startups, and it is somewhat difficult to keep track of the sheer number of his exits, which have long ago surpassed the single digits. Additionally, Goldfinger is a member of the steering committee of the Raveh Ravid Fund for Excellence and Social Leadership, and has a BA in mathematics and computer science from Tel Aviv University.
93. Yaniv Golan — Managing Partner, Lool Ventures
Managing partner at Lool Ventures. Golan was a partner in the founding of Yedda, a startup which sold to AOL in 2011 for tens of millions of dollars, after which he served as VP of the American company; since then he has invested and served as board member in multiple companies, including Face.com, which was sold to Facebook in 2012. Aside from the investments he makes through the fund he founded with Avichay Nissenbaum, Golan is also active in StartupSeeds, an organization for youth who are interested in science and technology.
94. Yifat Oron — CEO, LeumiTech
She is the CEO of Leumi Tech, Bank Leumi’s independent unit that specializes in technological activities and collaboration with Israeli startups. As part of her role, Oron is in charge of the credit, investments, and international activities of the unit; she also managed the creation of two centers in the United States: one in New York and the other in San Francisco.
Before Leumi Tech, Oron served as a partner at the Vertex VC fund (which invested in Waze, among other ventures) and worked as an investment banker at JP Morgan.
95. Yoel Cheshin — Founder, 2B Angels
Yoel Cheshin founded 2B Angels as an investment body towards the end of 2009 with his brother Shneor Cheshin. Cheshin has a BA in Law from Tel Aviv University, where he simultaneously works on academic projects and serves as a TA in Corporate Law. The 2B Angels portfolio includes companies like Carambola, Yotpo, and GameEffective. To date, the fund has invested between $250,000 and $1 million apiece in 18 advanced-stage companies.
96. Yossi Matias — Vice President, Engineering, Google
Professor Yossi Matias is VP of Engineering at Google and the founder and managing director of their development center in Israel, with offices in Tel Aviv and Haifa. Matias joined Google nine years ago to launch a Google center in Israel after an impressive academic career that included being a computer science faculty member at Tel Aviv University and a visiting professor at Stanford, and penning over 100 academic papers and registering dozens of patents. He is also an ACM Fellow and a recipient of the Goedel Prize, an annual award for excellent papers in theoretical computer science.
Under his leadership, Google’s R&D Center in Israel has contributed greatly to the company’s various search technologies, data mining, analysis, and infrastructure capabilities. The Israeli center also launched an initiative to bring hundreds of heritage collections online. As part of his work in founding Google’s Campus Tel Aviv, he also helped create programs such as Campus for Moms and Launchpad.
97. Dr. Yossi Vardi — Businessman, Entrepreneur, and Investor
Dr. Yossi Vardi rose to fame after his founding investment in Mirabilis, which developed ICQ and was sold to AOL in 1988 for more than $400 million. He hardly stopped there: Vardi has contributed to society in various social and technological ways, including, amongst other things, the founding of TEKEM (now known as NESS) — one of Israel’s first software companies; serving as the Director General of the Ministry of Energy; and being a board member of some of the largest companies in the industry, like Scitex, Bezeq, Elite, and more.
Vardi has invested in dozens of startups, out of which, according to him, 20 have exited or gone public. Among these investments were in Answers.com and Tucows, which went public; Starnet, which IAC/InterActiveCorp bought for $20 million; Foxytunes, which Yahoo acquired for $30 million; Gteko, Microsoft purchased for $120 million; Tivella, which Cisco bought; Wibiya, which Conduit acquired; The Gift Project, which eBay purchased; and Airlink, which Sierra Wireless bought.
Today he is a sought-after speaker and mentor to both startups and investors, and appears at conferences about innovation and startups around the world. Both the Technion — Israel Institute of Technology and Ben Gurion University donned Vardi with honorary doctorates, and the Israeli prime minister gave Vardi a lifetime achievement award for his contributions to Israeli hi-tech. Wired UK included Vardi in its 2015 list of the 100 most influential people in the Wired world.
98. Yossi Vinitski — Head, High Tech at Bank Hapoalim
He is the head of hi-tech at Bank Hapoalim. Previously, Vinitski served as VP and senior partner at Etgar Venture Capital, which managed investments totaling $200 million. There, he identified investment opportunities, consolidated and led due diligence investigations of various companies, negotiated and closed investment agreements, mentored companies in the roles of president, director and observer, and represented the fund in investment meetings about portfolio funds. Vinitski holds an MBA and Bachelors with honors in mechanical engineering; he served for three terms as a member of the board of directors of the Israeli VC Fund Association.
99. Yuval Shachar — Partner, Innovation Endeavors and Marker LLC
He is a serial entrepreneur and investor. Sachar is a partner at Google CEO Eric Schmidt’s Innovation Endeavors VC fund, and one of the founders of Marker LLC. Previously, Sachar served in a senior position at Cisco and founded several companies, including Pentacom, P-Cube, and Infosys, which were each purchased by Cisco.
Before these ventures, he was one of the founders of VocalTec, a trailblazer in the global VoIP market. As part of his role today, Shachar is responsible for investments in companies like Datorama, Eyeview, Taykey, Taboola, and more. He has multiple patents registered under his name.
100. Zohar Gilon — Angel Investor
Gilon is one of Israel’s leading and most successful angel investors. Over the years, Gilon has made hundreds of investments and contributed to over 40 exits. More than 10% of the 70 companies he is currently invested in are considered unicorns, valued at over $1 billion. Included in the more reorganized companies in which he has invested are Outbrain, Conduit, Payoneer, SolarEdge, Soluto, Allot, and Taboola.