Who’s Who in Israel: Supporting the Women of Startup Nation

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What I got when I searched for “women in tech.” (Credit: Bruce Mars)

I like to joke that when I moved to Israel in 2011, I tripled the demographic overnight. At the time, there were so few Asian American women in the Israeli tech and venture ecosystem that I probably wasn’t far off.

Israel continues to be one of the world’s top hubs for innovation and entrepreneurship. Having spent time in NYC, London, and the Bay Area, there is without a doubt a unique magic in the Israeli tech ecosystem that I’ve never experienced elsewhere.

But what isn’t unique is the abnormally low levels of female founders and top tier investors with check-writing ability.

The movement to fix this imbalance is still in the early innings. Some folks are very vocal supporters of diversity — as long as it happens to someone else’s team.

Despite some warm interest from the ecosystem, on average the actual change is embarrassingly low. In this respect, our American and European counterparts have outpaced us by miles. They’ve built an impressive collection of tools to meaningfully support inclusion efforts, drive transparency on company diversity statistics, and have demonstrated a willingness to have uncomfortable conversations. If the Israeli community doesn’t keep up, we will see a mass departure of female talent for the more welcoming shores of California or London.

Twenty four hours ago, I started searching for a list or repo that summarised in one easy place all of the women-focused resources in Israel. I texted six industry leaders, all of whom said “I don’t know.” The list below is a first attempt at answering my own question. I hope to achieve three things:

  1. Provide Israeli women in tech and venture with a single directory of valuable resources to which they can continually refer.

This list will grow and change over time. If your organisation is missing, please comment below. Thanks to Joshua Henderson and Naomi Goldberg for the inspiration.

Disclaimer: Thoughts and omissions are my own.

Co-Working for Women-Led Companies

  1. Hub Etzion

Networks of Women Engineers and Entrepreneurs

  1. Baot

Women-led Accelerators or with an Inclusion Track Record

  1. Barclays Techstars Tel Aviv

Organisations Dedicated to Diversity

  1. Parliament 51

Tech-focused Funds with at least One Female Investing Partner*

  1. 83North (Laurel Bowden)

Others with demonstrated awareness of the need for diversity of thought: Angular Ventures

*For purposes of this exercise, I did not differentiate between Managing Partner, General Partner, and Partner. In reality, these roles range hugely in voting power and check-writing ability.

Funds Targeting Diverse Companies

  1. RED Capital Partners

Developing Female STEM Talent

  1. Cracking the Glass Ceiling

Other Resources

  1. Let’s Get to 51%

Co-founder and Partner @SenecaVC. Formerly @83northvc, @morganstanley, @sandp

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