5 Israelis make Forbes list: ‘Top 50 women in tech’

Forbes’ list of “Top 50 Women In Tech” features five Israelis, including three on the inaugural global list and two on the European round-up. 

By Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News

Five Israeli women have made Forbes’ “Top 50 Women in Tech,” published earlier this month, reports the Israeli innovation news site Nocamels.

The tech specialists are divided into Moguls, Founders, Engineers, Innovators and Warriors.

Dr. Tal Rabin is one of the world’s most prominent innovators, says the American business magazine. She heads the Cryptography Research Group in IBM’s Thomas J. Watson Research Center.

A member of the prestigious American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Rabin and her team have made “groundbreaking achievements in secure Internet communications,” according to the Forbes profile. In 2014, Rabin launched the Women In Theory Workshop, a biennial event for graduate students in theoretical computer science, to expand the presence of women working in cryptography.

Rabin received her higher education, including her doctorate, at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem before going to IBM.

As a serial entrepreneur, native Jerusalemite Dr. Michal Tsur is considered a global founder. Her first success was co-founding Cyota, a cybersecurity company that RSA Security had bought for $145 million in 2005. The following year she cofounded Kaltura, an open-source video creation and distribution company that has received $166 million in funding so far from Goldman Sachs and Intel, as well as from others.

Tsur announced last month that Kaltura will be expanding operations to Jerusalem with a $5 million investment. The company already has offices in the greater Tel Aviv area, as well as in New York, San Francisco, Singapore, and soon Paris and Munich as well.

Cybersecurity warrior Limor Shmerling Magazanik lives and works in Israel.  As director of the Israel Tech Policy Institute, she works with “civic and private tech leaders to shape best practices around data protection and the digital economy,” says Forbes. This means trying to create government and company policies that will protect citizens’ and employees’ privacy and civil rights, prevent discrimination, and deal with many ethical questions that arise with the explosion of high-tech products in the marketplace both today and in the future.

European mogul in blockchain technology, Tel Avivian Galia Benartzi is also a serial entrepreneur, having already sold two tech startups for tens of millions of dollars. She cofounded cryptocurrency conversion firm Bancor last year, raising $153 million through an Initial Coin Offering. In this short time, the company has already processed one and a half billion conversions in Etherium-based currencies, says Forbes.

After Bancor lost $23.5 million worth of cryptocurrency tokens belonging to its users in a computer hack in July, Benartzi founded the Crypto Defenders Alliance, a group of leaders in the field “who pledge to contribute resources and capabilities to fight criminals together.”

The final Israeli member of the European list is in an altogether different field – fashion. An engineer in consumer technology, Danit Peleg is the CEO of Danit Peleg 3D Printed Fashion, which she founded in 2016.

According to Forbes, the Shenkar College of Engineering and Design graduate is “often credited with launching the world’s first fully 3D-printed ready-to-wear clothing lines.” As her final project at Shenkar, she made a collection of five outfits and shoes “printed entirely at home using printers that anyone can get,” she said at the time.