If you ever wonder what the most important networking website in Israel is for Israeli startups, it seems that Meetup.com might have more impact on a company’s success than LinkedIn or Facebook. Or at least in the initial stages of forming the startup. Without Meetup.com – which helps groups of people with common interests plan meetings - there might not be as many startups in Israel as there are right now and they might not be as successful or as promising as they are without the networking and fundraising opportunities that the different groups that have popped up on Meetup.com in recent years have offered them.
Almost certainly there wouldn’t have been the unique opportunity to create a networking group focused on encouraging and empowering female entrepreneurs and aspiring female entrepreneurs in Israel to succeed. There also almost certainly wouldn’t have been a new annual event that allows some of the most promising startups founded by females to present to a room full of venture capitalists and angel investors and to meet with them afterwards. Thanks to Meetup.com though, there’s Yazamiyot. And all this and more has become possible.
A year after Gemini Israel Funds Associate Einat Metzer started the group, Yazamiyot – which is the Hebrew plural for “female entrepreneurs” – has over 200 members and holds monthly meetups and additional activities to inspire female entrepreneurs, help them grow as business people, and give them opportunities such as today’s FundHer competition.
At least fifteen startups founded by women were in attendance at the event and five of them -Flakkes, Yubitech, Stat-Market, microSteps, and Brandsforce – presented. Aside from Yazamiyot members, the audience was primarily made up of investors who had the ability at the end of the presentations to vote for which company they liked the most.
The winner, microSteps is an educational technology company that currently provides the private school market, specifically preschools, with a web portal that manages all of the school’s communications it has with parents. One use of the portal is removing the need the need for those notes that used to be sent home with kids only to be thrown out without reading after they got crushed in the kids’ backpacks. Founded by Elanit Halevi-Yariv and Yael Goshen in 2007, the company currently has a presence in Atlanta and New York and over 50,000 registered users in 28 states across the US.
Here is a demo of microSteps solution:
The runners-up of the competition were Yubitech and Brandsforce. Founded in 2009 by Danny Weissberg and Nili Shohet, Yubitech mobilizes any enterprise application into an application that can run on any smart-phone in just a matter of days. Brandsforce, founded by Nili Goldberg-Levi, offers marketers and advertisers a social media recruitment solution that identifies relevant opinion leaders and recruits them to help promote a company’s brand and enhance brand engagement on social networks.
Here is a video of YubiTech’s solution:
Stat-Market was founded by Ilana Jucha and offers real-time analytical software that can predict customer behavior and help maximize customers’ lifetime value (LTV). Founded by Ruth Polachek in 2008, Flakkes bridges the gap between users and advertisers by enabling users to provide direct feedback on what they think of a company’s online ads. See the video below.