ThinkUp: an Israeli start-up is changing the way we innovate

ThinkUp “harnesses the power of technology and the innovation ecosystem to create a platform that fuels innovation,” according to its website.

 Ohad Shaked (photo credit: ThinkUp)
Ohad Shaked
(photo credit: ThinkUp)

Ohad Shaked is a serial entrepreneur and investor. But whenever he wanted to start a company, he found that it would take him months of frustration to make progress. 

“We kept spending time on research - Google, free market research reports - coming up with ideas and then looking for relevant people to talk to,” he explained to the Jerusalem Post. “Setting up meetings took weeks, and then getting back relevant, helpful feedback wasn’t always easy. We pivoted many times until we landed on a good idea.”

But two years ago, Shaked had an epiphany: “Why isn’t there a digital platform to help me throughout this process?”

So, he started his own.

He founded ThinkUp with Ron Navon, chief design and director of marketing; Hila Leizerovich, CXO and Director of strategy; and Moti Ben Yehuda, CTO.

ThinkUp “harnesses the power of technology and the innovation ecosystem to create a platform that fuels innovation and empowers entrepreneurs,” its website states.

In other words, “we identified the fact that even though every start-up has its unique story and path, they all share the same journey,” Shaked said. “There are well-known methodologies and best practices and lots of books, videos and lectures on these topics. So, if there are a lot of things that are common to everyone, we thought why not make the process digital, friendlier, more structured and easier and faster to access. That’s what we do.”

ThinkUp team And Co-founders (Credit: ThinkUp)ThinkUp team And Co-founders (Credit: ThinkUp)

ThinkUp started only two years ago and Shaked said there is no question of demand. Tens of thousands of start-ups in Israel and abroad are looking for this guidance and network. 

Specifically, ThinkUp’s platform divides the start-up journey into a series of building blocks and uses well-known methodologies and their own experience with entrepreneurship to help guide each entrepreneur. Users are provided with a series of specific tasks and trigger questions that help them understand and analyze their market and how to get there. 

Users are also provided with relevant and reliable data and reports that they would otherwise have to look up on their own. 

“It is the platform itself and also a network of entrepreneurs, mentors and experts, and our own start-up success managers,” Shaked clarified. “In other words, software, networking and support are all collaborating around the entrepreneurs to make them successful.”

Shaked offered the examples of a cement startup that wanted to get into 3D printing. ThinkUp connected the company to domain experts, helped them conduct customer surveys and research and shared a road map to keep them focused on validating their idea for a final solution. 

In another case, a gaming startup in its “Ideate” stage, joined our platform a year ago to accelerate its journey, and raised a seed round of $1M.

In the company’s vision, the majority of start-ups in the world will start their journey with ThinkUp by 2030. It seems a stretch for a company with only 50 clients, but Shaked and his team are confident.

“We aim to be a household name,” said Hagai Goldovsky, ThinkUp’s head of content. “When someone needs to search for something - anything - they say, ‘I’ll Google it.’ Google has become a part of our vocabulary. We want to get to the point where every entrepreneur who has an idea turns to ThinkUp.

“We want people from any spot on the globe to know that if they have an idea, an access to WIFI, and a laptop - They can “ThinkUp” and start a venture,” he said. 

“Within the next few months, ThinkUp will be making a bold move by showcasing its users to the world,” said Navon. “While most tech companies take out a floor in a high-rise building and its clients are anonymous, ThinkUp understands that its entrepreneurs and users are both heroes and its face to the world.”

ThinkUp will be opening a new office space in the heart of Tel Aviv, with a window that faces the busy street and looks into the company’s podcast studio, where the team plans to create original content with entrepreneurs and other ecosystem stakeholders every day. The window will be a platform for showcasing the entrepreneurs, experts and investors who gained value from ThinkUp.

Although the office space is based in Tel Aviv, Shaked said the majority of its user base is international. 

“We want to create an infrastructure for the entire world,” he said. “And Israel is a good place to start.

“I think it is symbolic that a company like ours, which is trying to change and accelerate the entire global innovation ecosystem, would come out of the Start-up Nation,”he continued. “It is a big mission and a big vision and a big responsibility, and we believe we can bring the knowledge of the Israeli ecosystem to the world.”

This article is taken from The Jerusalem Post Israel Technology and Innovation Magazine 2022. To read the entire magazine, click here.

This article was written in cooperation with ThinkUp