Israel has earned its reputation as the “Start-up Nation,” boasting a plethora of hi-tech entrepreneurs and leaders who have made significant contributions to the industry. This year, The Jerusalem Post has singled out four individuals who stand out in their fields.
No. 19: Ynon Kreiz and Ruth Handler, z”l >>
No. 21: Boaz Levy and Amir Peretz >>
Full list >>
Co-Founder & CEO at Wiz
Assaf Rappaport’s Wiz is focused on disrupting the cloud security space. Last month, Wiz skyrocketed to the 15th spot on the Forbes Cloud 100 list, making it the fastest-moving company on the leaderboard. Specifically, the company helps major organizations, including 35% of Fortune 100 companies, create secure cloud environments that accelerate their businesses.
“Siloed security tools and scanners – even best in class – simply can’t provide the perspective that today’s security professionals need,” Rappaport said in a statement. “Securing resources in the cloud requires a fundamentally new approach. Wiz gives security teams the insights they need to mitigate risks and unlock innovation across their business.”
Co-founder and Co-CEO, AI21 Labs
AI21 Labs chairman and co-founder Amnon Shashua recently told Globes that AI21 Labs “is the Mobileye of AI.” This comparison appears to be quite accurate given their recent successful funding round backed by tech giants such as Google and NVIDIA. In the past month, the company managed to secure $155 million, significantly increasing its valuation from $664 million to $1.4 billion. The company’s flagship product, Wordtune is used by over 10 million users around the world, and Wordtune Business is used by global companies such as eBay, Monday, UiPath, Simply (formerly JoyTunes), Transmit Security and many others. Over 40,000 developers use AI21 Labs’ LLMs, alongside leading companies across industries including finance, retail, e-commerce and more. This year, AI21 Labs is projected to experience substantial growth both in terms of business and employee growth. The company plans to hire over 100 new employees this year.
AI21 Labs stands out as the sole entity in Israel training and serving LLMs (Large Language Models) at scale. This sophisticated technology allows computers to comprehend and generate text at unprecedented precision, unlocking new possibilities and applications. Ori Goshen is the company’s young co-founder, an entrepreneur and a graduate of the esteemed 8200 IDF elite intelligence unit. His entrepreneurial journey began in 2009 when he founded his first venture, Crowdx, and developed its first product: Tawkon, a widely-used mobile consumer application.
In an interview with CTech earlier this year, Goshen said: “Every business will embrace generative AI, because if it doesn’t it will stay behind. There is a huge revolution here. This is the biggest technology shift since mobile, and maybe even bigger.
“There is great pride in being an Israeli company that is at the forefront of this AI revolution."
Corporate Vice President at Microsoft Corporation, General Manager of Israel R&D Center and CTO of Microsoft Security
Michal Braverman-Blumenstyk is the first woman to head Microsoft’s Israel R&D center. In her role, she leads the local innovation hub within Microsoft, boasting approximately 2,700 employees, predominantly engineers, specializing in Cybersecurity, analytics, AI technologies, and more. She is also responsible for the company’s Cloud and AI Security division, through which she spearheads global strategies, technology advancements, and innovations in Cloud and AI Security. Braverman-Blumenstyk has been instrumental in driving pioneering security products at Microsoft, such as Azure Sentinel, Azure Security Center, and Azure IoT security, according to her LinkedIn profile.
Speaking at The Jerusalem Post conference in 2021, Braverman-Blumenstyk said more Israelis needed to enter hi-tech: “We really have to make sure that women, Arabs and ultra-Orthodox Jews – that everyone participates in hi-tech,” she said, adding that here are 150,000 Israelis working in hi-tech abroad. If only 10% of them came back, that would infuse 15,000 people into the country’s hi-tech workforce.
Founder, Israeli Mapped in NY
Guy Franklin, the visionary behind Israeli Mapped in NY, has emerged as a key player in bridging the gap between Israeli startups and the thriving New York tech ecosystem. His interactive platform has become a catalyst for Israeli tech excellence, driving success stories that not only benefit individual startups but also contribute to the broader Israeli economy. Israeli Mapped in NY offers a comprehensive directory of over 400 Israeli startups operating in the city, creating opportunities for collaboration, investment, and growth.
In 2021, Franklin launched an investment arm to deploy funds into Israeli startups, with a primary focus on series A and B rounds. His investments span a diverse range of sectors, including cybersecurity, retail, healthcare, and more. In July, the New York Stock Exchange honored Franklin with ringing the Opening Bell.