Orthodox Israeli startup pays back initial investor in order to help next entrepreneur

Yoni Luksenberg returned the 20,000 shekels he was granted in 2013 so Amnon Shashua could help another start-up.

By Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News

A founder of a company that has become one of the most successful website-creation platforms returned the money to one of his first backers so that it could be used to help yet another startup, Israel Hayom reported.

Yoni Luksenberg is a co-founder of Elementor, a platform used by 2 percent of website builders in the world just three years after it was established.

At a party full of senior Israeli high-tech guests, he handed the 20,000-shekel check back to Professor Amnon Shashua.

“Amnon, with the help of God, we succeeded. I am returning the grant with thanks, so that you can pass it on to the next entrepreneur,” Luksenberg told his surprised backer.

Shashua had given the money to Luksenberg within the framework of the KamaTech accelerator that Shashua had helped establish in 2013 to nurture companies started by members of the ultra-Orthodox segment of the population.

The organization offers qualifying entrepreneurs apprenticeships, mentors, workshops, offices, legal advice and connections with leading investors to help them create a thriving business in the high-tech world.

Shashua is the co-founder and CEO of the driver-assistance company Mobileye, which was bought by Intel for over $15 billion in 2017.

KamaTech founder and CEO Moshe Friedman spoke at the party about the unique partnership that is creating opportunities for a segment of the public that needs to be integrated into the Israeli workforce for the good of the country, as has been widely acknowledged by the government in recent years.

“This is an exciting and powerful combination of forces for all of us. On the one hand, we strongly believe in the talent and abilities of male and female ultra-Orthodox entrepreneurs, and on the other hand the tremendous support we receive from Israeli high-tech leaders like Amnon Shashua, [party host] Tzvika Limon, and many others like them, who ensure the success of haredi startups, with God’s help.

“You’ll hear about more and more success stories like Elementor in the near future,” he said.