Today is International Women’s Day – an opportunity for all of us to mark the accomplishments of women all around the world. For me personally, I have the privilege of knowing so many amazingly talented women here in Israel. Whether they are entrepreneurs, founders, or developers, these women are helping drive forward not only Israel’s tech industry, but also the lives of people all around the world through the new technology and experiences they are helping to bring to reality.
So on this day in 2017, it seems especially appropriate to highlight the accomplishments of 17 super talented Israeli entrepreneurs, and one more for next year:
1. Moran Nir – Zell Program
Moran is the Executive Director of The Zell Entrepreneurship Program at IDC, which gives final year students an opportunity to get first hand experience in real world entrepreneurial settings. She helps the students in the program to step out of the bounds of the traditional classroom setting in order to get a close and personal view of Israel’s startup and business scene. In a country where entrepreneurship is both celebrated and in some ways expected, helping students learn this valuable skill is critically important.
2. Maya Gura – Missbeez
Maya is the Founder of MissBeez, a startup that provides an on-demand platform that gives women a simple, mobile solution to find services nearby with a focus on lifestyle and beauty. The app also empowers the service providers themselves and helps them promote their businesses. This model, which taps into the trend we’ve seen with some “sharing economy” style apps, is an interesting example of how tech trends can be used to empower female entrepreneurs.
3. Moran Bar – GeekMedia
Moran is the Co-Founder and CEO of GeekMedia, the publisher of Geektime, a popular site covering tech news, as well as Geektime Israel which focuses on the wider Israeli startup ecosystem. For anyone looking for an insider’s perspective on Israel and tech, Geektime is a top destination, and Moran brings a unique perspective coming to the role of publisher after working in the tech industry herself.
4. Liat Mordechay Hertanu – 24me
Liat is a Co-Founder of 24me, a personal assistant that leverages machine learning and AI to connect with services and help you get stuff done. Liat has helped propel the app to numerous accolades and attention for the way it helps users actually complete the last step of the tasks they want to accomplish. Personal assistant tech is one of the most exciting areas of the industry, so I look forward to seeing how 24me will take our AI experience to the next level.
5. Maria Green Povarchik – Supergirls
Maria is the Founder and community manager at “Supergirls”, a group of more than 50,000 members who discuss everything from fashion to technology and everything in between. The amazing thing about Supergirls is the way the group creates a positive atmosphere and one that encourages its members to help each other either by offering advice or stepping up to help out.
6. Merav Oren – WMN
Merav is the Founder of WMN, a space for female-led ventures in Tel Aviv. WMN is made up of a community and coworking space that aims to help bridge the gender gap in the startup ecosystem. I think that providing a physical space for women to come together, work, network, and innovative is a truly unique direction and will help encourage female entrepreneurs to collaborate.
7. Shira Weinberg and Dalit Heldenberg – LeadWith
Shira and Dalit are the Founders of LeadWith, a non-profit organization with the goal of promoting female leadership in technology. The organization puts on events and provides other tools and services to help women advance their careers. With the organizations focus on events, getting people together for discussions, and a unique “accelerator” program, this team is helping women discover new ways to succeed.
8. Orit Hashay – Brayola
Orit is the Founder and CEO of Brayola, an innovative service that gives women their own personal bra shop that helps them “discover their next favorite bra.” Brayola uses crowdsourced information to build a powerful recommendation engine based off the choices of all the users on the platform. The wonderful thing about Brayola is the way it builds off of the idea of women helping women – in this case to buy a better (and more comfortable!) bra.
9. Yifat Yudovsky – Vent
Yifat is the Founder and CEO of Vent, a video platform that encourages teens to create videos relating to various educational subjects as a way to express themselves. For young people, video is a natural platform for self-expression and Vent helps them channel their creative ideas in a way that can help themselves and others.
10. Lital Leshem – Reporty
Lital is the Co-Founder of Reporty, a platform that takes a basic, essential service and brings it into the modern world. Reporty changes the way users report emergencies to call centers (like 911) by bringing in video and other modern features. Lital and Reporty are using tech in one of the best ways possible, to help us build a safer world. Tech has the power to help emergency services do their job better, and that means better outcomes for all of us.
11. Ilit Raz – Joonko
Ilit is the Co-Founder and CEO of Joonko, an app that is working to promote inclusion at the workplace. Joonko helps team members track bias, whether it’s intended or not, and uses AI to ensure that all employees are given an equal opportunity. Bias, despite our best efforts as a society, is a persistent problem that is proving difficult to eliminate. Technology gives us the opportunity to tackle bias since it can account for the human element that keeps bias alive.
12. Adi Eckhouse Barzilai – RealFace
Adi is the CEO and Founder of RealFace, an AI startup that has focused on facial recognition. The company released an app that uses machine learning and AI to find the photos where you look the best. In February, it was reported that RealFace was the latest Israeli company to be acquired by Apple. This is another win for Israel’s tech industry and Adi deserves the accolades that come with such a prestigious exit.
13. Ruth Polachek – she codes;
Ruth is a serial entrepreneur and the Founder of “she codes;” – a community of over 10,000 female software developers that is looking to boost the ranks of female coders across the tech space. If there is one area that is all too often stereotyped as a “boys club”, it’s coding. This is not only damaging to the tech industry, it’s simply not true. Ruth is working to break down this perception of coding and make sure that female coders receive the credit and opportunities they deserve.
14. Sharin Fisher – TechLift
Sharin is the Founder of TechLift, a youth program operated on behalf of Israel’s famed 8200 intelligence unit that looks to encourage entrepreneurship. Sharin is also the Managing Director of 8200’s EISP program, a startup accelerator run by alumni of the tech-heavy 8200 unit. The accelerator is open to any startups and looks to tap the experience of 8200 veterans. Sharin’s work is a great example of the way Israelis leverage their army experiences to help propel both tech innovation and entrepreneurship here.
15. Chedva Kleinhandler – Emerj (Lean On)
Chedva is the Founder of Emerj (formerly Lean On), an app that helps businesses and organizations tap the talent of more experienced senior team members in your organization to mentor newer members. Emerj has built a white label app that enables this experience, bringing the idea of mentorship to additional businesses and organizations where it may not have made an impact yet.
16. Darya Henig Shaked – WEACT
Darya is the Founder of WEACT – Women, Entrepreneurs, Act – a community looking to promote equality amongst the entrepreneurial community. The idea is that entrepreneurs can come together to share their stories and help each other find ways to succeed and to promote the advancement of female entrepreneurs specifically. I love how WEACT focuses on storytelling and community to help push us forward.
17. Liraz Lasry – Tel Aviv University
Liraz is an Academic Manager and Lecturer in the MBA and executive programs at Tel-Aviv University. Her experience and talents go beyond the university, though, as she helps a number of startups and other businesses with their marketing and branding strategies. I think Liraz shows how telling stories and crafting messages is a critical component of leadership and success.
And one more for next year … Noam Klinger – EatWith
Noam is the Head of Operations at EatWith, a kind of “Airbnb for food”. Imagine traveling to a foreign country and enjoying a meal with locals, that’s the promise of EatWith. What I love about the startup is the way it can leverage technology to bring people together. Sitting down and having a meal is such an integral part of every culture, but one that is often missed when traveling to another country. The fact that Noam and EatWith are using tech to make this happen makes me want to travel right now.
Of course, this is just a small sample of the incredible women who are an integral part of Israel’s professional and tech ecosystems. All of these women are using the power of today’s technologies to change lives and build amazing new products and companies. Beyond that, each of these women, in their own way, are making the world a better or more interesting place. Keep your eye on them and the amazing work that they’re doing. I hope that this article will help inspire other females to take that step and make their ambitions a reality.
This post is part of our contributor series. It is written and published independently of TNW.