Israel is a great place for women entrepreneurs. We are one of the few countries that has women pilot fighter jets, a past female Prime-Minister and a female Supreme Court President. Therefore it is not out of the ordinary to see women aspiring for success and thriving – many times surpassing their male counterparts in our small country.
Maybe it’s the socialist ‘kibbutz’ mentality or perhaps it is the mandatory military service, but whether it’s in politics, economics, science, media or high-tech, you’ll find many Israeli women in high places. Probably not as many women as I would like to see in those spots, but still a considerable number.
As much as I’d like to live in a world where writing a post like this is unnecessary, our world is not yet gender neutral, and as long as there’s inequality – strong, successful, and world-changing women should be noted. Looking over the Israeli startup scene, I can single out quite a few women that have founded their own companies, and succeeded. Here are ten that I think are worth noting. Some I know personally and some through their work – but they are all equally impressive.
Orit Hashay – Founder & CEO at Brayola
Orit Hashay is a female entrepreneur who is working to make the world a little bit better for her fellow females. Orit is an experienced entrepreneur who has been building successful websites for over 10 years. Her background in software and business development has led her to create an exciting website that solves real-life issues for women. Brayola.com is a personalized online bra shopping experience. Instead of using perfect-looking models and generic measurements, the site uses crowd-sourced information and real women, to find the right bra for each user’s specific body shape. In addition, Brayola offers men a tool for buying the right bra as a gift to their significant others.
Dr. Kira Radinsky – Co-founder, CTO at SalesPredict
Dr. Radinsky is definitely an impressive woman. Securing her PhD at 27, she is one of the top authorities in the world on artificial-intelligence based predictive analytics. A graduate of the Technion (the Israeli equivalent of MIT) Radinsky is also CTO and founder at SalesPredict, a startup that harnesses her expertise towards predicting consumer behavior. She was also involved in a very ambitious project with Microsoft, in which she analyzed over a century’s worth of newspaper articles and created an algorithm that can predict events such as droughts and epidemics.
Dr. Orit Mossinson – Founder & CEO at GetYou
Dr. Orit Mossinson is a seasoned entrepreneur with years of experience under her belt. She is the CEO and owner of VV VC Holdings and lecturer at Afeka College of Engineering. In addition to all of the work she already does, Orit is plunging head first into the world of social perception. Her mobile app, GetYou, is a social feedback app that lets strangers answer questions about other users based on their profile picture. The result is a crowdsourced profile for each individual user that displays how others perceive them, whether they are complete strangers or close friends.
Sharon Ezra – Designer and Product Manager at Quattrocento
Some people are just born with a passion for fashion, and Sharon Ezra, is one of them. After studying fashion in Israel and Italy, Sharon worked for some of the top design manufacturers and high fashion brands around the world. Ezra was frustrated by how industrialized the fashion industry has become, and wanted to take a step back to traditional workshops. So, she created her own fashion product, Quattrocento, an Italian eyewear brand. Sun and optical glasses are made in Italy with the highest quality products, yet, by using a web-based sales model, Quattrocento is able to avoid retail markups, making their eyewear much more affordable than other brands of similar quality.
Moran Bar – CEO GeekMedia
With so many innovations, startups and amazing high-tech developments coming out of Israel, a local news organization covering the space automatically has competition on an international level – especially one that reports in English. And yet, Geektime Media, co-founded by Bar, has been doing it very well since 2009. After years in the Israeli high-tech industry, Bar made the jump to much riskier waters – journalism. Together with co-founder Yaniv Feldman, Bar started a small blog which is now a fully legitimate news outlet, which gives other international tech outlets a run for their money.
Liat Mordechay Hertanu – Co-founder and CMO at 24Me
With three children, a husband, and a career, Liat Mordechay Hertanu is a very busy woman. It’s this hectic lifestyle that gave her the idea to create an app that helps get things done. She called it 24me. The app functions as a smart personal assistant that manages calendars, to-do lists, and notes, all in one place. In addition, 24me incorporates easy to access links in the app, like call buttons or links to pay bills, so you can actually get tasks done by using the app.
Dr. Michal Tsur – President & Co-Founder Kaltura
Dubbed ‘The Iron Lady of Israeli Tech,’ Dr. Michal Tsur is one of the most prominent figures in the Israeli startup scene. She had her first ‘exit’ in 2005, when she sold her company Cyota, which she co-founded with Naftali Bennett, who is currently Israel’s Minister of the Economy. Tsur went on to found Kaltura, which is making enormous strides in the field of online video and works with giants such as Disney and AT&T. She holds a PhD from NYU and got her post-doc at Yale.
Anat Levy – CEO and Founder at My Diet Coach
Anat Levy is a veteran of the Israeli hi-tech world. She achieved success by founding InspiredApps, an app-development studio, three years ago. However, her most recent app came from a much more personal place – her own struggle to maintain a healthy weight.
So, she created My Diet Coach, an app that helps men and women maintain a healthy lifestyle. Her efforts paid off, and My Diet Coach climbed the ranks of the App Store and Google Play.
Yael Givon – Co-Founder and CEO at Stevie
Yael Givon is an entrepreneur and experienced marketer for tech startups. After years of marketing for other products, she came up with the groundbreaking idea for Stevie. Stevie is a customizable TV viewing experience that allows users to view their social media feeds in the form of television channels. The highly personalized experience pulls information from a user’s Facebook feed and displays it as a TV broadcast. Stevie also has its own channels for a wide array of topics. Stevie aims to create a lean-back experience, in which the user simply leans back and lets the social feed come to them.
Dana Meushar – Inventor, CEO and Co Founder at Private Secretary
A former IDF commander, Dana Meushar sought to eliminate time wasted scheduling and rescheduling meetings and personal events. Founded by Meushar in 2013, Private Secretary is a mobile assistant that organizes daily life. From scheduling meetings to clearing an entire day’s worth of events, Private Secretary uses artificial intelligence to monitor user habits and perform tasks. The app aims to make the user feel as if they actually have their own private secretary, and does a pretty good job at it.
Indeed, the Israeli female entrepreneur has her hand in a variety of fields – and has achieved success accordingly. However, like I said earlier, I long for the day in which they won’t be called ‘female entrepreneurs,’ but simply – entrepreneurs.