As we say goodbye to the year 5781, Jewish Business news recounts the stories of three of the most important women in Israeli startups over the past year. These are Jessica Rosner, Jennifer Elias and Keren Leshem.
Israel would not have become Startup Nation without the hard work of a great many people who helped new companies get off the ground and Israeli entrepreneurs realize their visions. This work was not performed solely by the venture capital firms or by the innovators themselves. It was done by hard-working, dedicated, and idealistic young people like Jennifer Elias and Jessica Rosner who established Tech It Forward.
Founded in 2016, Tech It Forward is that very bridge. It acts as sort of a travel agency for business people looking to invest in Israel. The firm does all of the leg work in putting together the trips, conferences, networking events, pitching events, mentorship programs, and meetings, connecting international startups, large corporations, technology consultants, and private investors with Israel’s startup ecosystem.
The success of any new company or venture is determined largely by its founders and their vision. Tech It Forward has two women at the helm who have a strong vision and who are surely going to succeed: Jennifer Elias and Jessica Rosner.
The duo call themselves ecosystem “bridgers” in that their goal is to aid Israeli startups to get off the ground through the partnerships and collaborations which Tech It Forward makes between Israelis and people from outside of the country.
Jennifer Elias was born and raised in France and graduated with a Double Masters’ Degree in Strategic Management and Business Law from EM Lyon Business School, in France. After working at Ernst and Young Paris she moved to Israel.
While Jennifer admits that the lure of Startup Nation for her was the knowledge that the country would offer greater opportunities than in France, she made the move to Israel primarily to make an impact.
The other person behind Tech It Forward, Jessica Rosner, is originally from New York and came to Israel with her family when she was young. Jessica holds an MBA in Business with a concentration on Marketing and Strategy from Tel Aviv University. After spending a few years working in the corporate arena, she decided to explore the startup world and join this exciting ecosystem as well.
A French Jew who came to Israel on her own as an adult and an American Jew from New York who grew up in the country got together to help build up new Israeli companies. If this is not the perfect example of Startup Nation and Israel’s story as a whole… Read More on Jennifer and Jessica Here
Then there is Ocon Healthcare, an Israeli FemTech startup, manufactures and commercializes innovative 3D intrauterine devices (IUD) for women who wish to conceive based on its patented IUB (Intra-Uterine Ball) platform, and its leader Keren Leshem.
The company has a woman as its chair, Dr. Anula Jayasuriya.
Keren Leshem OCON’s CEO has over 20 years of experience in the medical device and pharmaceutical industries.
Keren is a straight talker who likes to get right to the point. Once in her office, she spoke all about OCON’s signature products with the focus and determination of a sales rep. She joined the company about 18 months ago and saw its great potential.
Leshem says that she understood something that its team at the time did not. It was a precarious time for OCON and it may have closed. But Leshem was determined to not let that happen and explained to the investors why the company had such great potential. She recently sat with Jewish Business News for an interview.
“I believe in diversity. We are 85% women. Overall of the departments, no exclusivity,” Leshem told JBN. “It’s not fair, but you really have to let women do the work when you’re talking about a product made for women alone.”
And as women, they have to have more flexible schedules, especially if they have families. “A lot of us take a break at 4 PM, go home and take care of the kids, and then come back at 8 PM to finish work.”
“I want to build OCON as a women’s health hub,” she said.
Women working in firms developing medical products for use by women, fill the need many women have all over the world… Read More about Keren Leshem and Ocon Here