Tech Talk: Lean On – A new mentoring app for women

A cool new Israeli app and a look at the new Israeli startups on display at CES Las Vegas.

January 20, 2016 10:50
Lean On

THE LEAN ON team was so inspired by Mark Zuckerberg’s letter to his daughter, Maxima, in which he and his wife announced their pledge to donate 99 percent of their Facebook shares to the cause of human advancement, that they sent the baby a birthday gift with a letter thanking Zuckerberg for his con. (photo credit: Courtesy)


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In 2016, going to work is no longer just about putting bread on the table or having somewhere to go every morning.

More and more, people are viewing their work as a career, a job that’s meaningful and fulfilling.

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This has changed the way employees view work and the rate at which they switch jobs when they don’t feel like they’re growing and learning in their current position.

But what happens when your growth is blocked by a glass ceiling? For women, this is still a very real problem. Even in this day and age, women in the US earn only 79 cents to each dollar earned by men, and almost a third of working women in the UK have been passed over for promotion due to gender.

At this rate, according to the AAUW, the gender wage gap won’t even come close to disappearing for at least another 100 years.

So, what’s the solution? Israeli tech startup Lean On believes it all begins with mentorship from other women that is timely and constantly available.

“There are already so many networks and conferences for women in the workforce,” Lean On CEO and cofounder Chedva Kleinhandler says.


“But when a woman actually needs help and advice, there’s not always someone available to help.”

Lean On’s founding team includes cofounder Nadav Raviv, lead developer Elit Maoz and creative director Daina Reed. They set out to solve this problem by creating an on-demand app matching women to female mentors.

The app uses machine learning and data from LinkedIn to find the most appropriate mentor who happens to be online at that moment for the specific issue the user is facing.

After receiving a list of mentors, the user can filter them by location, industry and other parameters and start a one-onone chat with her chosen mentor to get quick and relevant advice privately and securely.

This Israeli startup was inspired by Facebook’s COO Sheryl Sandberg, who wrote the book Lean In.

“We wanted to take the philosophy discussed in Lean In and turn it into a tool that’s available and accessible to all women, every day,” Kleinhandler says. “The app was not only created for women in the tech industry in mind. It is targeting the 1.5 billion working women around the world. We are already in talks with companies interested in using Lean On as an internal tool for their female employees, in order to curb high employee turnover.”

Lean On’s connection to Facebook, however, doesn’t end with Sandberg. Its Israeli founders were touched by Mark Zuckerberg’s letter to his daughter, Maxima, in which he and his wife announced their pledge to donate 99 percent of their Facebook shares to the cause of human advancement.

The Lean On team was so inspired that they sent baby Maxima a birthday gift with a letter thanking Zuckerberg for his contribution to the world, in which they explained how investing in the potential of women around the world would actually advance both men and women. They even quoted the Facebook CEO’s own words: “We must build technology to make change.”

Lean On is currently bootstrapped and is about to launch a closed pilot in the US this winter.

Israel at CES

For the second year in a row, the Israel Export Institute and the Economy Ministry’s Foreign Trade Administration organized a pavilion at CES Las Vegas. Sixteen Israeli startups showed their new products and schmoozed with visitors who were excited to catch a glimpse of these exciting new Israeli devices.

Here are the 16 Israeli startups from CES:

• The Upright posture trainer is a discrete wearable device that you attach to your lower back. Every time you slouch, it gently vibrates, reminding you to sit up straight. Using it for just 15 minutes a day is enough to help you strengthen your back muscles, making it easier to sit with good posture all day long.

Icetron is a wearable personal thermostat that helps cool your body while you exercise.

Equipped with sensors that monitor pulse, temperature and humidity, Icetron is worn on your wrist and cools your pulse point.

GreenIQ is a smart watering system for gardens that takes weather conditions and forecasts into consideration, saving users up to 50 percent on their water bill. It can be controlled remotely from a smartphone, tablet or PC.

• Unlike other voice-interaction interfaces, Wonder Voice works as your personalized voice assistant for social networking and messaging.

It exclusively offers quality, hands-free interaction that is not confined to a limited number of apps defined by your OS provider.

Digisense offers real-time monitoring of baby and geriatric care and can prevent crib death (SIDS). It monitors nourishment and hydration levels, urine quality and quantity, without ever having to come in contact with the user’s skin.

Contact people can receive the data remotely on their smartphone.

Extreme Reality is the only company that has succeeded in developing 3-D fullbody motion control on any 2-D camera for both Windows and iOS. Extreme Reality has patents in 21 different countries.

HumanEyes is a video camera that creates 360-degree 3-D spherical videos. Viewers can watch the video using virtual- reality glasses or 3-D TVs.

KIDOZ is a content-discovery platform that helps children find content online that they enjoy, which makes more money for publishers.

KIDOZ uses leading OEMs and voice-activated software to connect kids with a personalized content recommendation.

Lexifone allows users to make and receive calls in their native language. It carries out simultaneous translation for telephone calls for 15 languages and 24 dialects.

MUV Interactive is a device you wear on the tip of your finger that transforms any surface into a multi-touch interface with 3-D interactive capabilities.

SnapAid has sensors that help take the best possible picture.

It understands the scene and your wishes and finds the ultimate moment to snap the shot.

BreezoMeter provides advanced air-quality data worldwide in real time.

SwitchBee makes it possible for everyone to live in a smart home. No wiring, drilling or batteries are necessary, and it fits every switch bracket and voltage.

Sensibo turns every air conditioner into a smart device. As a result, users save energy and electric bills are reduced drastically. It can be controlled remotely from your smartphone.

Alango has developed software for Bluetooth headsets that greatly improves sound quality.

Nano Dimension offers advanced 3-D printing that enables users to print inexpensive, cutting-edge prototypes with a high level of freedom.

If you run a young startup, have developed an interesting app or have a question, please feel free to contact info@

Translated by Hannah Hochner.

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