Last week, a Headstart crowdfunding campaign was launched by Hastartupistiot (Hebrew for: “Women leading startups”) which currently runs a tech industry podcast focusing on Israel’s women start-up founders.
Hastartupistiot new initiative will create an educational podcast for young girls, ages 6-12. Its’ goal will be to teach and hopefully inspire them about amazing women from the past and present who have achieved great things in a variety of fields like entrepreneurship, science, sports, space, politics, and much more. In many cases, they have been role models to us all and can now inspire a new generation as well. The new podcast will be called Inspira.
With an already strong community in Israel of female founders running technology startups, the existing use the Hebrew podcasts have been backed by inspired women like Adi Sofer Teeni, CEO of Facebook Israel, Dr. Hila Korach, host of the daily TV Science show, “Galileo”, Silvi Jean, Israel’s best all-time female football player and more.
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The community backers also include a gallery of many of the most influential Startup Nation female investors such as Yasmin Lukatz, Sarit Firon, Bat Enosh, Sivan Shmari Dahan, Michal Tsarfati Efrat, Merav Weinryb, and Yael Elad just to name a few.
The first Hastartupistiot podcast episode aired three and a half years ago, in January of 2017. Each episode highlights another female founder and her startup. Today, over 90 episodes have aired, with a massive background database of startups all led by women.
Created by first name Liblib, a serial tech entrepreneur in Israel who grew tired of hearing about how there are no women in high tech, that women are not technology-driven, that they only engage in fashion, cosmetics, and shopping rather than pursuing serious deep-tech startups. Statements like these did not fit the reality which she knew for herself through her own experience: there were startups being run by women she would witness before her eyes every day.
Liblib has met a wide variety of amazing women at leading technologies; some have won international prizes and cybersecurity awards, some have raised serious capital from top-notch investors. Many have flown frequently around the globe; met with clients and closed deals; conducted hard negotiations and acquired companies. The number of women founders with IPOs and exits is also growing, but as a rule, they still do not always receive the full credit or recognition they deserve.
“If you look for media coverage of women founders over the past decade, you’ll find a handful of stories, all covering the same phenomenal five founders,” says Liblib, the founder of the Hastartupistiot.
“Obviously there is a bias, and understandably the public will think there aren’t any other female founders if they keep seeing only those five women,” she adds.
Unlike most other podcasts and social communities operated by women, which build a brand primarily by using their founders’ own personality and story, first name Liblib has chosen to remain in the background on her podcast and have the spotlight instead cast on the tech-organizations built and the women she interviews.
“They are the real role models, the ones the public should know and derive inspiration from,” Liblib says. “To have my name and story in the news will serve only me. This is not why Hastartupistiot was founded”.
Liblib says “Today when someone says, ‘I wish to interview a female entrepreneur, but I can’t find one’, they will often be referred to Hastartupistiot website to find plenty, from newbies to unicorns, in every vertical they like.”
When asked about the lack of female founders, she insists, “The problem isn’t a lack of women entrepreneurs, the problem is that there is no real desire and intention to focus on them, to interview them or to invest in them. Currently, though there is increasingly a beginning social pressure to say you are, as a result of the #MeToo movement, and the fact that ‘Empowering Women’ has become a new trend.”
Through the years, a strong community has grown around that podcast with over 5,000 members consisting of both female and male entrepreneurs, investors, and senior executives in the industry.
In addition to the podcast, other events are taking place throughout the year to facilitate access to investors. Storytellers, acceleration programs, and industry influencers provide one on one meeting, all free of charge, as a Pay It Forward to the Hastartupistiot community and its members. As a result of these activities, four pre-seed investments were closed in 2019.
“All Hastartupistiot activities are carried out voluntarily by all parties sharing the same vision to increase the number of exits & IPO’s made by women, and to encourage more women to enter the field of entrepreneurship.”
To realize her vision of increasing the numbers of women leaders, this year Liblib decided to create this new special podcast dedicated to young girls in elementary school, to unveil the activity of amazing women with extraordinary achievements in all fields of life that are often regarded as just for boys.
Inspira – Inspirational stories for young girls leaders, covers each time one woman’s story and the adventures she went through to succeed. A story that each little girl may immerse herself in, become active, and evolve as a curious and courageous person with problem-solving ability all by using her imagination and developing creative skills.
“We’re building a platform, it’s not just a podcast, it’s a social network with positive, encouraging & empowering community of girls”, Liblib emphasizes. “In each episode, the girls can come up with their own work, and get the support and advice of their fellow community members. They’ll learn how to brainstorm, pass constructive criticism, and care for each other.”
“We educate our boys to run and take risks. When they fall we tell them to shake it off, stop crying, get up and keep going as if nothing happened,” Liblib explains. “When our girls fall, we run to them, clean their clothes and face, put everything back in order as neat, tidy & perfect as possible, and ask them not to go wild next time and to be careful!.
Later on in life, we complain they grow up hesitant to try new things and make mistakes. Entrepreneurship and science are areas where failure is certain. The determination and belief are built-in the dream. This is the base that gives us the courage to try time and time again and believe we’ll succeed at the end.”
Inspira’s goal is to teach young girls that experimenting is big fun. That without mistakes and failures new things cannot be discovered or developed. That the way is no less important than the result, and imperfection is perfection in its own way. That women’s unity is the future.
Hastartupistiot headstart crowdfunding campaign will come to an end on September 30. “We’d love to see everyone backing us,” Liblib concludes. “We made sure to offer a variety of gifts for everyone believing in our cause.”
Aside from the podcast and the platform they intend to have Inspira adopted by schools with a dedicated program & curriculum that will teach students computer skills, data mining, storytelling, and more all incorporating the stories about these pioneer women who paved the way for them.
If you too believe that this could be a worthwhile cause, don’t wait and click now on this link in order to learn more. As with all such new ideas, personal due diligence must be performed. If you wish you can translate the landing page to English by right-clicking and choosing ‘Translate to English’.