Who we are

Israel Tech Challenge, a not for profit company backed by the Israeli National Cyber Bureau, the Jewish Agency, corporate partners and private donors, is an expert-driven Israel set of experiences connecting students and young professionals with tools and networks meant to enrich or launch their careers in the computer science industry. The project gives students the ability to learn from leading Israeli industry players and academics, combining inspiration and networking with actual hands-on cooperation on research and development projects. 

By immersing these highly talented students in the cutting edge of the Israeli internet economy, Israel Tech Challenge not only helps them to grow as professionals, but also fosters a link between their future and the future of Israeli hi-tech, increasing the chances of their involvement in future 
innovation of the highest standard.


  • Oren Toledano, Co-founder & CEO

    Oren is co-founder and CEO of Israel Tech Challenge. Prior to his current position, Oren spent three years as Head of the Aliyah delegation of the Jewish Agency in France-Belgium, and before that served for nearly a decade as an officer in an elite technological unit of the IDF, reaching the rank of Major. Oren holds an MA in Political Science and Security Studies from Tel Aviv University, and a BA in Political Science from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. 

  • Raya Bruck, VP of Business Development

    Raya is The VP of Business Development in Israel Tech Challenge. Prior to her current position, Raya was the Director of the National Program Magshimim, There she has gained knowledge and experience in planning and designing educational programs on a national scale. Before that she served 7 years as an officer in an elite technological unit of the IDF as an organizational consultant and HR specialist in cyber, reaching the rank of Major. Raya holds an MA in Labor Studies from Tel Aviv University and a BA in Behavioral Sciences from Ben-Gurion University in the Negev. Raya is married and has three children.

  • Elinor Guetta, Head of Operations

    Elinor Guetta is the Head of Operations at Israel Tech Challenge. Elinor recently moved back from Paris where she was the Marketing Director for Masa Israel Journey for the past 4 years and where she managed as well the operations for the Jewish Agency in France. 
    Prior to that position she worked in New York for the Friends of the IDF as the program coordinator for the national office.
    Elinor holds a B.B.A in Marketing-Management from Zicklin Business School and a Master of Science in Global Affairs from NYU.

  • Chen Veiber, Head of Marketing

    Leading the Marketing efforts at Israel Tech Challenge, Chen is a former journalist, a writer and storyteller at heart; she has enjoyed working for The Jewish Agency since 2008. In her last position she worked for three years as a content marketing writer and operations coordinator at the Marketing and Communications Unit. Bringing a unique set of skills to her passion for marketing, Chen is a certified business mediator holding a B.A. in International Relations and Central and Eastern European Studies and an M.A. in Conflict Research, Management and Resolution from The Hebrew University in Jerusalem.

  • Alisa Warshavsky - Head of Education & Training

    Alisa joined ITC after managing customer relations at Matrix's Training Division, a leading Israeli IT company. Prior to that, Alisa worked for 4 years at The Jewish Agency for Israel as Head of Recruitment at the Shlichim and Israel Fellows Unit. Alisa was herself a young shlicha (an emissary), building a live bridge between Israel and the Jewish community of MN, USA. During her military service, she served as an Education Officer at the IDF Officers Training Academy. Alisa holds a B.A in Political Science and History and a M.A in Diplomacy and National Security from the Tel Aviv University.


  • Omer Rosenbaum, Cyber Security Lead

    Omer, a Networks and Cyber expert is the Cyber-Security Lead at Israel Tech Challenge. Omer served seven years in technological and team leading jobs in the IDF. He has created a lot of content for the Cyber curriculum of "Gvahim" program, teaching Cyber in Israeli Highschools, and is the author of the textbook "Computer Networks". 

  • Gilad Navot, Bootcamp Education Program Director

    Gilad, currently the R&D Manager at imcreator.com and Tech Guru at our CTO Bootcamp, found his passion for education and technology in the army as a team leader for writing course-ware for flight school cadets.
    Gilad holds a Bsc in computer engineering from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and is currently completing his Msc in science teaching at the Hebrew University as well.
    Throughout the years Gilad gained experience in teaching software development as a lecturer in the Azrieli college, Israel Arts and Sciences Academy, Merhavim School for gifted children, and Hadassah College.

  • Bar Vinograd, Data Science lead

    Bar is the Data Science Lead at Israel Tech Challenge. He is a machine learning expert and has been a lead data scientist at several startups working in the fields of Cyber Security and AdTech. He holds a B.Sc. in Math and Linguistics from Tel Aviv University. At IDF he served a in an elite technological unit as a software engineer. 

  • Bar Ginzburg, Bootcamp Manager

    Bar leads the Tech Challenge Coding Bootcamp, together with the professional and educational team. She joined ITC after working as a Strategic Planner at Adler Chomski Group (Grey Israel), a top Israeli advertising agency. Prior to that, Bar was an Educational Guide at NFTY In Israel - the URJ leadership empowerment program for Jewish American youth. During her military service, she served as an Education Officer at the Infantry Commander Training School. Bar holds a B.A in Humanity Studies from The Hebrew University of Jerusalem.    

  • Alon Rabinovich, Technological Mentor

    Alon is the general tech mentor of the Fellows program, responsible for tracking the student's progress and giving them continuous feedback in order to help them reach the best professional level.
    Alon was a security researcher at an elite technological unit, in charge of leading complex low-level vulnerabilities and OS research. Later on, he was a developer in a predictive analysis startup, and now he's completing his BSc in computer science in IDC Herzliya.

  • Eyal Roth, Senior Software Developer, Boot Camp Teacher

    Eyal is a software developer with over 7 years of professional experience. His first encounter with programming was at the age of 13, taking part in an online school program, and from that moment he became fascinated with the art of programming.
    He started his professional career at 8200, where he served for 5 years developing backend applications. Shortly after, he joined the R&D team at SundaySky, where he spent a year developing a system to serve online video ads. He is now a senior software developer at indeni, working for over a year on a platform to collect and analyze data of networks in order to detect potential failures.

  • Hagar Israeli, Talent Manager

    Hagar is the talent manager at Israel Tech Challenge and is in charge of placements and employment for our participants and graduates. She joined Israel Tech Challenge after serving as a Jewish Agency Israel Fellow at Kent State University in Ohio for two years. During that time, she recruited for many programs in Israel like Birthright, Onward, and Masa as well as led programs in Israel. Before, she worked as the spokesperson of the National Organization of Israeli Students. Hagar holds a Master's degree in Public Policy from Tel Aviv University and a Bachler's in Communication and Sociology from The Hebrew University in Jerusalem. 

  • Shy HaLevi, Group educator

    With vast experience working with Olim and diaspora Jews, Shy is a group educator at Israel Tech Challenge.
    He served for 4 years in the IDF including a role as commanding officer in the Olim unit that prepared soldiers for combat duty. Shy has experience working as a coordinator for Israel Experience's Taglit project and holds a B.A in Social Sciences from Bar-Ilan university.

  • Dotan Jakoby, Boot Camp Screener

    Dotan is the Tech challenge Boot Camp Screener. Prior to his current position he served as a Jewish Agency Israel Fellow at Indiana University. He also Co-founded and Co-managed the IDC Public Diplomacy "war room" during Operation Protective Edge. Dotan holds a B.A in Political Communications, with a major in Marketing and the European Union from the IDC Herzliya.  

  • Raphael Ouzan, Co-founder, Chairman of the Board


    Raphael is one of the founders of Israel Tech Challenge. Mobile and data product expert, Raphael Ouzan leads BillGuard's product and technology teams in its Tel Aviv R&D office. Raphael has been coding professionally since the age of 13 and has been lecturing on big-data, crowdsourcing and cyber security ever since. In 2010, he co-founded BillGuard, built its core technology and hired its team.


    Raphael received Israel's highest President's Award for technology innovation and was invited to address world leaders at The World Economic Forum 2012 in Davos, all before the age 25. Prior to BillGuard, Raphael was a decorated officer in Israel's elite military programming and intelligence units where he led the country's best and brightest engineers. Raphael is also the founder of Israel Tech Challenge, an elite fellowship for the world's top tech talent in the fields of data science, cybersecurity and CTO training. In 2016, Raphael was named Top 40 under 40 by TheMarker and 30 under 30 by Forbes. 

  • Dr. Amir Guttman, Managing Partner and Founder of Aviv Venture Capital

    Dr. Amir Guttman founded Aviv Venture Capital and serve as its managing partner since 2001.  Aviv is a venture capital fund focusing on Israel-related revenue-stage technology companies (www.avivvc.com). In addition, Amir teaches courses on the process of venture creation and new business models in the MBA programs of Arison School of Business at IDC, Israel and courses in Financial Statements Analysis and corporate valuation in the MBA programs of the Leon Recanati Graduate School of Business Administration, Tel Aviv University. Prior to founding Aviv, Amir served for 6 years as member, of the senior management of Discount Investments Corp (DIC). He initiated and executed a wide variety of investments, business development and M&A activities and served on the boards of portfolio companies including Given Imaging (NASDAQ: GIVN), Tambour (TASE), Maxima (TASE), Tradanet Electronic Commerce (a joint venture with GE Information Services), SDL Technologies, the Incubator for Entrepreneurship at the Weitzman Institute of Science, and others. Amir earned his Ph.D. and Master Degrees in Business Administration from the University of California at Berkeley, California. He holds a B.A. in Accounting and Economics from the Tel Aviv University.

  • Eran Agai

    Eran Agai is a business man form Jerusalem.

    After his military service, Eran joined a company called "Sonomed" which specializes in the distribution of medical equipment and machinery, hospital construction and consultation to governments, mainly in the developing world. Later on, he became a partner in the company, which is active mainly in Africa and South America.

    Mr. Agai also holds businesses in the real estate and Hotel industries and is busy in promoting several projects in these fields in Israel and abroad.

    Mr. Agai is also promoting ideas in the Tech Industry. 

    Mr. Agai is on the Boards of Directors of several large companies.

  • Our board is comprised of representatives from the following bodies and organizations:

    The Israeli Prime Minister Office
    The Jewish Agency for Israel
    Tech international companies and Israeli startups
    Tech advisers
    Donors 

  • PayPal

    PayPal allows any business or individual with an email address to securely, conveniently and cost-effectively send and receive payments online. Our network builds on the existing financial infrastructure of bank accounts and credit cards to create a global, real-time payment solution. We deliver a product ideally suited for small businesses, online merchants, individuals and others currently underserved by traditional payment mechanisms.

    PayPal Inc. (which is a parent company of PayPal (Europe) S.à r.l. et Cie, S.C.A.) was acquired by eBay in October 2002, and is located in California, USA.

  • Check Point

    Check Point was established in Israel in 1993 by Gil Shwed (Chairman and CEO as of 2013), Marius Nacht and Shlomo Kramer. Shwed had the initial idea for the company’s core technology known as stateful inspection, which became the foundation for the company's first product FireWall-1, while serving in the Israel Defense Forces, where he worked on securing classified networks. Soon after, they also developed one of the world’s first VPN products, VPN-1.
    Check Point's core business has historically focused on network security components including Firewall, IPsec VPN, mobile access, intrusion prevention, antivirus, anti-spam, URL filtering, data loss prevention and application control.
    Website 

  • EMC - RSA

    RSA, the Security Division of EMC, originated as an Israeli startup called Cyota. Today, the RSA security division of the EMC Israel Center of Excellence is its largest business unit, with 400 employees and over $200 million in sales. The division’s solutions are aimed at combating cybercrime, and focus on two core technologies/services: Risk-based authentication (Big Data analytics and machine learning), anti-Fraud command center (AFCC) and cybercrime intelligence.

  • Outbrain



    Outbrain is the world’s largest content discovery platform, bringing personalized, relevant online, mobile and video content to audiences while helping publishers understand their audiences through data. Outbrain serves over 250 billion personalized content recommendations every month and reaches over 557 million unique visitors from across the globe.
    Outbrain's expansion to some of the web's largest global properties is a reflection of its rapid growth and its successful innovations in supporting a new era of digital publishing. Top-tier premium publications that currently leverage the Outbrain platform include: ESPN, CNN, Le Monde, Fox News, The Guardian, Slate, The Telegraph, New York Post, India.com, Sky News and Time Inc.
    Founded in 2006, the company is headquartered in New York with a presence in a growing number of locations globally, including the U.S., UK, Israel, Singapore, Japan and Australia.

  • INTEL

    The growth of Intel Israel is closely interwoven with the evolution of the State of Israel. The Company, founded in 1974 in Haifa with five employees, today employs more than 7,800 people, in addition to indirectly impacting the employment of 23,000 workers in Israel. These large numbers bring with them great responsibility to maintain business leadership, economic stability and employment fairness.

  • Panorays

    Panorays is a startup in the field of Cybersecurity and Big Data, currently in stealth mode.
    An Israel-based company founded at 2016.

  • Ebay

    Ebay is an American multinational corporation and e-commerce company, providing consumer-to-consumer & business-to-consumer sales services via Internet. It is headquartered in San Jose, California, United States. eBay was founded by Pierre Omidyar in 1995, and became a notable success story of the dot-com bubble; it is a multi-billion dollar business with operations localized in over thirty countries.

  • Cybereason

    Cybereason is the only solution to detect, in real-time, both known and unknown attacks and connect isolated indicators of compromise to form a complete, contextual attack story. Cybereason automatically reveals the attack TRACE elements: Timeline, Root cause, Adversary Activity, Communication and affected Endpoints and Users, to enable accurate and effective response.

  • WIX

    Wix.com is the world’s leading do-it-yourself web publishing platform which enables users to design, publish, maintain and host free HTML5 websites without having to learn to design or code.

    Founded in 2006 by brothers Avishai and Nadav Abrahami and Giora (Gig) Kaplan, Wix has revolutionized the web by developing a cutting edge publishing platform that to the average user, is intuitively simple. Wix offers everyone the opportunity to develop complex, stunning and professional sites with ease; sites that previously would have only been possible through costly web designers and developers.

    Website




  • ClickFrauds

    The model of PPC (Pay per click) advertising comes hand by hand with click fraud - an extremely painful and extensive problem. In ClickFrauds, we help advertisers fight against click fraud and bring transparency to the online marketing world, utilizing data science techniques and a team of extremely talented individuals.

  • Konfidas is a cyber security consulting firm based in Israel and provides services to leading global organizations. Our focus is on improving the organization's cyber security strategy with a unique offensive-mindset approach. We bring to our clients a unique and multidisciplinary approach that comes from an experience spanning strategic, technology, business, risk management, and legal. The Konfidas Team is comprised of cyber experts with proven relevant background and knowledge. We aim to simplify the complex nature of cyberspace by uncovering relevant known-unknowns to the organization. 

  • Tapingo provides a streamlined buying process that benefits both the students and the campuses, while driving habitual purchase and eliminating operational inefficiencies. Today, Tapingoprocesses tens of thousands of transactions per day, and the average user utilizes the service more than five times per week. Serving 46 markets from Alaska to Miami,Tapingo is the ideal commerce solution for the on-the-go on-demand generation.

  • Masa Israel Journey is home to the widest variety of hand-crafted long-term international experiences in Israel.
    Participants get: A life changing Journey; a lifelong professional and social network; and a generous subsidy.

  • Elad Mallel, Head of Engineering, BillGuard

    Elad is a life-long geek, started coding at age 7, and has been doing software professionally for over 10 years. Elad spent 5 years at 8200, from an intensive 6-month training to 4.5 years of service as a software developer and team leader. Next was Soluto, a company aimed at bridging the gap between humans and technology, where Elad spent 2.5 years as a developer and team leader. In the last 3+ years Elad is at BillGuard, helping people make better financial decisions, servicing as their Head of Engineering. Elad's favorite pastime activity is jamming with friends.

  • Smadar Paradise-Avinir, Group Manager, Check Point

    Smadar 'Smadi' Paradise has been with Check Point software technologies for over 15 years, managing software development groups in both the enterprise and consumer divisions of the company. Before turning to cyber security she worked in both Silicon Valley and Israel on semiconductor process control, hardware-accelerated networks and telecommunication. She holds degrees from Tel Aviv University in math and computer science. In her hardly-existent spare time, Smadi enjoys stand-up paddling (SUP), as well as various activities to enhance involvement of women in technology.

  • Omri Ziv, Product Manager, Facebook

    Omri Ziv is a director of product at Clarizen, a startup in the Saas work collaboration field. As the main focus of his role, Omri works closely with R&D in order to enrich Clarizen’s platform capabilities . Prior to his current role, Omri worked as a senior delivery consultant managing enterprise deliveries and gained his certification as a PMP. Omri has worked with global companies such as Unilever, McKinsey, KPMG and more. For the past 12 years, Omri has been working in the software & technology space. Omri began his career path in 8200, the intelligence unit of the Israeli army. He holds a first degree in Information Systems Management, and an MBA from Tel Aviv University.

  • Inbal Porat, Team Lead, Akamai

    Inbal has been part of the Israeli tech industry for 10 years, most of them as a Java developer and in the last 4 years she moved to management positions. In the last year she works as a team lead in Akamai, responsible for a BigData platform in the security intelligence group.Inbal holds an MBA from Tel Aviv University and a BSC in Information Systems Engineering from the Technion.

  • Maxim Kogan, CTO of Segmanta

    Maxim started his career by writing computer games for his own pleasure when he was just a kid. He later shifted to other fields including web development, OS internals and cyber security.
    After serving in 8200, Maxim worked as a freelancer for multiple companies, mainly in the field of cyber security.
    Nowadays, Maxim is the CTO of Segmanta, a company developing a market research platform used by some of the biggest brands in the world.

  • Rachel Brender-Ziv, Co-Founder, PitayaLife

    Rachel is an experienced business development professional for B2B productivity SaaS solutions.  Rachel made Aliyah in 2009 from her home town in New Jersey, USA, after participating in MASA.  She earned her first degree at Oberlin College, and her MBA at Tel Aviv University. She has worked in Israel, London, and throughout MEA. At her most recent role in Microsoft Israel, Rachel led the channel sales for CRM Dynamics by way of developing marketing and sales initiatives for SMB, Corporate, and Enterprise customers.  Currently, Rachel is the co-founder of an early stage startup called Pitaya, which aims to increase engagement and diversity amongst the employees of tech corporates. Rachel lives in Tel Aviv with her husband Omri, and loves to spend time outdoors.  When she's not outside in her spare time, you can find her cooking up new recipes at home for shared meals with friends & family!


  • Omri Bruchim - Co-Founder & CTO, Wisor


    Omri started coding before his Bar-Mitzvah and since then has become a technology specialist with over a decade of experience in leading development projects in both small startup companies and big corporations. He enjoys diversity, in his personal life as well as in his workplace and he is passionate about running innovative projects with a strategic impact on the market. Omri has a multidisciplinary background which includes engineering, product, programming and entrepreneurship. After 4 years of developing real-time systems at 8200 unit, he joined BetterPlace to try and fulfill the dream of an electric car. Next, he joined Soluto as a senior full-stack developer and tech lead to empowering millions of people to get the most out of their technology. In his current venture, he was involved in the establishment of a Fintech company named Wisor as a CTO, a position which included designing and implementing a system from scratch, managing product delivery, strategy development and fundraising. Omri holds an M.Sc degree in Mechanical Engineering and studying MBA at Tel Aviv University.

  • Dr. Micha Breakstone, President & Co-Founder, chorus.ai

    Micha Breakstone is an entrepreneur with broad experience designing Natural Language and Machine Learning systems and holds a PhD in Cognitive Science (focus: Formal Semantics). He previously helped build two successful startups: Summly, an automatic summarization start-up which was acquired by Yahoo!; And Ginger, where he founded and managed the VPA Platform Business Unit which was spun out and acquired by Intel. He is passionate about the marriage of language and algorithms and believes that building human-quality NLP technologies is a critical step towards achieving AI’s ultimate goal of empowering, rather than replacing, humans. Micha lives in Tel-Aviv and hopes to one day become a novelist and a polyglot.

  • Demi Ben-Ari, Co-Founder and VP R&D, Panorays

    Demi has over 10 years of experience in building various systems in the fields of near real-time applications and Big Data distributed systems. He spent 8 years serving in the Israeli Air Force as a Software engineer and a Team leader building a missile defense system. Demi then worked at Windward, a Maritime analytics company as a Sr. Data Engineer. He went on to co-found Panorays, a startup company in the field of Cybersecurity and Big Data, as well as “Big Things”, a Big Data community, and the lead of "Cloud Google Developer Group". Demi Holds a BS'c in Computer science and Management from the Academic College of Tel-Aviv Yaffo. He's a software development groupie, interested in tackling cutting-edge technologies and on his "spare time" does other geeky stuff.

  • Shani Ashkenazi, Full-Stack Java Software Engineer, Cyber-ark

    Shani is a full stack java software engineer currently working at Cyber-ark on a cyber threat analytics system. She has more than 10 years of experience in the Israeli tech scene, 8 of which were spent in the Israeli Air Force. As an Infrastructure engineer in the IAF she handled low-level networking systems and various databases and later served as a team leader in the field of logistics. Shani holds a B.Sc in Computer Science and Management, she loves reading and makes a mean Crème brûlée.

  • Benny Rochwerger, Senior Architect, Radware

    Benny Rochwerger is a senior architect at Radware's CTO office, where he leads the company's activities in SDN and NFV, and represents the company in relevant forums and projects such as ETSI NFV, OSM and ODL. Prior to joining Radware, Benny was a Senior Technical Staff Member at the IBM Haifa Research Lab, where he led research projects in the areas of network virtualization and cloud computing. In his role as senior architect of RESERVOIR EU project, Mr. Rochwerger was one of the early advocates for overlay-based network virtualization.  Mr. Rochwerger holds a M.Sc. in Computer Science from the University of Massachusetts and a B.Sc. in Computer Engineering from the Technion.

  • Yaeli Cohen, Data Scientist, PayPal

    Yaeli works for the Israeli tech industry as a data scientist for the last 3 years. Before starting in the tech industry, Yaeli worked in education, mostly non-formal education in the Jewish Agency and in the Technion. Yaeli's passion is for turning data into meaningful insights and allow it to tell its stories, especially ones with social impact. Yaeli spent her last summer in Chicago, participating in the "Data Science for Social Good" fellowship at the University of Chicago. The idea of the program was to work on data science projects in partnership with nonprofits and government agencies, to tackle data-intensive, high impact problems in education, public health, public safety and criminal justice. She holds a B.Sc. degree from Haifa University in computer science and “Ofakim” Honors program. Yaeli volunteers as high school teacher, teaching data science as part of her passion for encouraging girls to pursue careers in computer science.

  • Yaron Hagai, R&D Director, Fiverr

    Yaron has 16 years of diverse experience in high tech. Yaron has worked 3 years in a technological unit in the IDF intelligence corps on image processing and parallel computing, 4 years in 8200 in cyber security R&D and team lead roles, and has been leading a large group of web developers at Fiverr for the last 4 years - in charge of delivering new features to Fiverr's users on a daily basis. Yaron currently left Fiverr to found a new startup. 
    Yaron's favorite hobby by far is snowboarding. 

  • Dror Trieman, Co-Founder and CEO of Mazor Cyber Security

    With over 7 years of cyber security and IT experience at 8200 unit, including the head of cyber security section, Dror had led the cyber security startup "Mazor" which participated the prestigious "Cyber London" Accelerator. "Mazor" startup was the first company to deal with attacks targeting the network infrastructure elements, such as firewalls, routers, internet gateway etc. Dror holds an M.Sc from the Herzliya Interdisciplinary Center and a B.Sc from Tel Aviv University, both in Computer Science.

  • Ofir Chakon, Co-founder and CTO, ClickFrauds

    Ofir graduated his BS.c and MS.c from the Technion, Haifa while taking a deep dive into the entrepreneurship world. After his first experience as a developer of a mobile app called Squeeck, graduating the ITC Fellows program and interning at CheckPoint, he co-founded ClickFrauds. ClickFrauds helps advertisers to avoid spending budgets on fraudulent clicks.

  • Alexandre Ohayon, Data Scientist, Google

    After a Master's degree in Engineering from Mines Paristech and MIT, Alex Ohayon joined Google Israel as a Data Scientist in the Waze Team, working on reducing everyone's commutes using Waze. His team builds all the algorithms that optimize your routing and predict at what time you'll arrive at your destination. He's also personally behind all the speed limits predictions algorithms, models of carpooling and the growth forecasts of the company.

  • Noam Kfir, Independent Software Architect and Consultant

    Noam Kfir is an independent software architect, consultant and trainer with more than 15 years of professional experience building desktop, mobile, web and cloud applications using a wide array of client and server technologies. His current focus is on front-end development and automated testing. Noam helps facilitate and organize community events, often speaks at local user groups and Israeli and international conferences. Noam is a Telerik Developer Expert and an author.

  • Omer Brookstein, Director, Technology & Business Development, Crestron Electronics

    Omer has been working at Crestron Electronics for over 15 years in different roles in Israel and abroad. He started at the age of 14, and ever since has been hooked to Crestron. At his current position, Omer and his engineering team works with Crestron’s customers, to design and build advanced AV and UC solutions for their organizations. He spent 5 years as an intelligence officer, and holds a B.Sc degree from the Hebrew University.


  • Matan Cohen, Software Development Team Lead, Windward

    Matan has over 10 years of experience in the industry, started his way in the Israeli Air Force as a software engineer, after graduating the Mamram program, then went on to be a Team leader in the IAF.  Matan worked for a few years in Conduit, and now Leads a software development Team in an awesome Start-up in Tel Aviv - Windward. Experienced Backend application development, a big fan of SOA, and in the past few years Mastering backend engineering With Big data, working on high scale distributed systems, Huge map reduce processes and high scale services. Matan is also a big fan of Scrum management methodology and Continuous Deployment processes.

  • Irad Dor, Director Singtel Innov8 VC Israel

    Irad is currently Director Singtel Innov8 VC Israel and is focused on Open Innovation, Investments and Strategic Partnerships. Previously Irad was the Director of Singtel’s Israel Innovation Center and led all Open Innovation and partnership activities in Israel and Europe. Irad has 20 years of R&D, Operational and Business Development experience in the Israeli and European ecosystems in a variety of industries including Telecom, Cyber Security, finTech, and Enterprise Software. Before joining Singtel, Irad was the CTO of EdgeCI, a High-Frequency proprietary trading company in London and a consultant to GSA Capital – one of the best FX Hedge Funds in the UK. Prior to that, Irad led Innovation Management for the CTO of Neustar, and also held Presale, Product, R&D, and Systems Engineering positions in startups such as P-Cube and YCD as well as - Cisco and Applied Materials. Irad started his career in an elite technology unit of the IDF, where he received an Honor Commendation for Innovative Thinking for the development of cutting edge systems and products. Irad has an MBA from the London Business School where he was also the chair of the Student Association Assembly and holds a dual B.Sc. in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from the Tel-Aviv University.

     

  • Ofir Makmal, Senior Consultant & Instructor, SELA

    Ofir Makmal is a Senior Consultant and instructor at SELA Group, with over a decade of development and management experience in software companies. Since he graduated from Mamram, the IDF unit, he had worked on a wide variety of projects, from mobile to cloud and everything in between, teaching and mentoring developers in training centers and accelerators. Ofir also co-authored a cloud-computing book.

  • David Habusha, Co-Founder of MyPermissions

    David is a Product Management executive with extensive background in taking new ideas to market. Over the past 20 years, David held senior positions in Product Management and R&D management. He has also led product management teams for more than 10 years for large ISVs (Precise, Veritas, Symantec, and OpTier) and startups, taking products from concept to market leading products. David is the Co-Founder of MyPermissions, a world leader in online privacy protection and was the founder of iMesh.com, a p2p file sharing network, the 4th most downloaded software for more than 8 years. David holds a B.Sc in computer science cum laude from the Tel Aviv Open University. 

  • Yaron Dinur, Full Stack Software Engineer, Yotpo

    Yaron is a proud alum of the first Tech Challenge Fellows cohort. After his service in the 8200 unit, he graduated from the Hebrew University and worked for 2 years at BrightSource in Jerusalem, delivering clean solar energy to the world. Then, Yaron joined the first Fellows cohort and helped his non-Israeli mates to make their first steps in the Start-up Nation. Following the program, he joined Checkpoint as a member of the Capsule Cloud group, bringing Checkpoint's technology stack to the cloud. In the last year, Yaron is a full stack developer at Yotpo, making User Generated Content available to the masses.
    For the past 3 years, Yaron has been volunteering in the Public Knowledge Workshop. On his spare time he cooks, runs on the coastline, practices yoga and meditates. 

  • Chen Kinnrot, CTO, ClusterTV

    Chen has over 11 years of hands-on experience, most of them in companies he founded.
    His experience ranges from rich client applications, distributed systems, web apps and mobile development. Nowadays, Chen is fully invested in ClusterTV, which brings performance advertising to linear TV for the first time. When not programming, Chen likes to be with his daughter and skateboard with his dog.

  • Gilad Dayagi, Independent Software Consultant

    Gilad has over 15 years of software development and R&D leadership, most of them in start-up companies. 
    Programming from a young age, his experience ranges from IOT devices to mobile apps, but his main focus is web-based systems of all shapes and sizes. Before his recent entrepreneurial adventures, he was VP R&D at High Gear Media and at OMG Studios. Gilad was an officer in 8200 and holds a B.Sc in Computer Science and Statistics from Tel-Aviv University.
    When not reading / writing / thinking technology, he likes to climb on walls on a regular basis.

  • Ariel Assaraf, Co-founder and CPO, Coralogix

    Ariel Assaraf is a co-founder and CPO at Coralogix. Previously Ariel was a GL at Verint and a Product Manager at an elite Israeli intelligence unit. He is into data analysis, software design, UX, growth hacking and basketball. Ariel holds a BEc in Economics and Math from the Open University of Israel.

  • Agam Rafeli, Fullstack Developer, Epistema


    Agam Rafeli is an entrepreneur focused on creating networks to bring together business, government, and non-profit people. He currently works as a full stack developer for Epistemaan Israeli startup building tools for large groups of analysts doing knowledge analytics. He has experience as a software team leader for Tapingo, an Israeli startup working in the food delivery industry. In April of 2015, he founded the Israeli chapter of House of Genius, an invite-only event that brings geniuses and entrepreneurs together with the twist of asking people to not introduce themselves. He is also currently a board member for the Public Knowledge Workshop, an Israeli NGO working to promote government transparency through open source coding. In his spare time, he is an editor of Wikipedia, a coder for open-source open-government initiatives. In 2013 he founded CodeM3lim, an Arabic online school for coding and had 1500 Egyptian students. Agam is also an AMENDS fellow at Stanford, an Atkin fellow at King’s College London and an IVLP fellow with the US state department. Every Passover you can find Agam at the Israeli Juggling Convention where he is the head coordinator of workshops. If you wish to meet him and it isn't Passover, just ask him to meet for hummus.

  • Asaf Maor, Head of Server Development, Tapingo

    Asaf, A.K.A Safo, began playing with software at the age of eight, then turned pro during his four-year service in 8200. With his service completed, Asaf served as the Analytics Platform Manager at Pontis, which has since been acquired by Amdocs. Today, Asaf leads the server development team at Tapingo, a mobile ordering startup that has transformed the college dining experience. Thanks to Asaf’s contributions, Tapingo is now live on more than 150 college campuses across the U.S. and Canada. In addition to helping his team reach their full potential, Asaf enjoys cycling at TLV Park, traveling the world, and experiencing new tastes and flavors.

  • Ilan Wagner - Senior Educational Advisor

    Ilan was born in New Jersey and made Aliyah to Israel in 1986 after years of activity in the Young Judaea youth movement. In 1996, he worked as a Shaliach for college students around North America and as the Educational Director of Tel Yehudah- a national senior leadership camp. From 2002 until 2004 he directed the Jewish Agency’s Department of Education's global student activities, before returning to the United States as the Jewish Agency's representative to Hillel and Student Affairs in North America. Beginning in August 2007, he served as the Director of JAFI's educational efforts in North America and directed MAKOM, the Israel Engagement Network in North America. His current position is the Director of Content and Programing in the Jewish Agency.

  • Melissa Horwitz, Google

    Melissa currently lives in New York City, where she works at Google, Inc. She graduated from Cornell University in May 2011. While in university, she spent 6 months living in Tel Aviv, studying at Tel Aviv University. Her passion for both Israel and technology makes the Israel Tech Challenge the absolute ideal program for her to be a part of. Melissa also loves Broadway, photography, and would travel for the rest of her life if she could!

  • Yael Cohen

    An original member of the Israel Tech Challenge founding team, Yael was born in Israel and lived in the US as a child. Passionate about science and technology and profoundly skilled in both sectors, Yael works as an analyst in Pursway - a start-up company involved in influential marketing. In addition to her participation in the Israel Tech Challenge team, Yael is a Computer Science student at the Hebrew University and a Visual Communication student at Bezalel Academy of Arts in Jerusalem.

  • Gil Efrati, Google

    Gil is an account strategist at Google, helping businesses determine their strategy and grow online.
    He has diverse experience in both marketing and product management, as well as a masters degree in law (and a member of the Israeli bar association). Gil served in the IDF for 5 years as an officer in an elite intelligence unit.

  • Jessica Cohen, Representative, France

    Jessica was born in Paris, France, where she grew up and completed her studies at the Institut d'Etudes Politiques de Paris - "Sciences-Po" - from which she graduated in 2004. For eight years she then worked at UNESCO's Headquarters in Paris, in the Sector for External Relations, and was in charge of relations with non-governmental organizations and foundations. She lived a year and a half in Israel, first completing the "Israel Government Fellows" MASA program and in this context, working at the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs on issues pertaining to the delegitimization of Israel. She then worked for six months as Project and Research Coordinator for the European Leadership Network (ELNET) and returned to France where she joined the Jewish Agency and now serves as the French representative of Israel Tech Challenge.

  • Yaniv Eyal Lubling, Former Data Science Lead at Israel Tech Challenge

    Yaniv, pursuing his PhD in Computer Science at the Weizmann Institute of Science, is the Data-Science Lead at Israel Tech Challenge. Yaniv served five years in an elite technological unit of the IDF, where he was a course instructor and a team leader. He later earned his BSc in computer science and general humanities studies at the Tel Aviv university, worked as a software engineer for a couple of years and earned his MSc at the Weizmann Institute of Science, in a computational biology lab, where he currently continue his research.

top

"This program helped me make strong connections with Israeli academics and entrepreneurs that will be very helpful in the future"

Bradley Goldstein, CS student at University of Michigan (July 2014)

"It is important that young Jewish people have the opportunity to connect to Israel and with each other, and providing an opportunity to do so in the context of a shared passion is an amazing way to bring us together. "

Savannah Kunovsky, Software Engineer, HackReactor (December 2013)

"The Tech Challenge trip was incredible. I can't thank you enough! The program was phenomenal"

Josh Grinberg, CS MS student, Stanford (Experience, December 2013 - Interns, July 2014

"There is no program like this one! I had the chance to learn about hi-tech not only from all the startups and big companies, the guides (which by the way are amazing), and also from my colleagues all around the world! I came with zero expectations and I left with new friends, a better knowledge of the IT world and who knows, maybe a future business partner! Thanks for this chance Israel Tech Challenge! "

Gerardo Grinman, CTO at Clickway Software IT (June 2014)

"Going to Israel with a group of tech-minded peers for Israel Tech Challenge meant that I was in a place I love with people I love doing things I love. It was *the best*!"

Dina Betser, Google, Software Engineer (Experience, December 2013)

"You could read and hear about "Israel hi-tech" hundreds thousands of times, but you will never understand it until you experience it by yourself!! Thanks Israel tech challenge for this opportunity. I hope this trip will be available for a long time and for the whole IT Jewish community around the world so they can enjoy this unique experience as well!"

Ariel Szneiberg, Senior Software Developer (Experience, June 2014)

"The mentors, fellow participants, Israeli peers, and activities were all well-beyond expectation: there are very few programs in the world that can gather together this degree of talent and experience."

Eric Pelz, CS student, CALTECH (Experience, December 2013)

"ITC was the perfect combination of a cultural, professional and social immersion into the Israeli hi-tech scene. This program allowed me to grow in many ways by introducing me to top professionals in the industry, as well as a group of inspiring Jewish peers. The relationships I made through ITC will continue to play a role in my future. Thanks ITC for this incredible experience"

Melissa Weintraub, Informatics student at University of Michigan (June 2014)

"This program exceeds all expectations. To meet the high-tech side of Israel; to meet young Jewish people from all around the world, with the same passion and the same love for Israel and technology, to create and be part of a network of entrepreneurs, colleagues and friends. Israel Tech Challenge is an experience full of learning and magic. I recommend to join this program to everyone who can. For me it was a loving, rewarding and enriching experience."

Aída Tamara Lach - System Analyst student at ORT Argentina (June 2014)

"Had a superb time on the Israel Tech Challenge trip, hanging out with a turbo-talented group of nerds from around the world and visiting the best of the Israel high-tech scene. This was a really unique and fun trip."

Miriam Huntley, Harvard University PhD student, December 2014

"I was inspired by the 'Startup Nation' book to join the Tech Challenge Experience program. It was a fun, interesting and educational trip which consisted mainly in visits to hi-tech companies, startups, institutions and other cultural places. I wanted to know the technological part of Israel and it really exceeded my expectations. "

Denisse Bronsoiler, Interactive Designer Student, Universidad Iberoamericana, Mexico

"In the Israel Tech Challenge I met an incredible group of developers and innovators, and we created a really strong bond while getting to know the Israeli start-up high-tech scene.
"

Luis Voloch, MIT Graduate Student, December 2014

"This trip is an excellent opportunity to get to know the Israeli tech scene and to make connections with other entrepreneurs from around the world."

David Andrews, Software Engineer, Duolingo, December 2014

"The trip was a blast and the people were incredible. I have no doubt that I'll end up starting a company with, hiring, or being hired by someone I met on ITC!"

Adam Reis, student, Columbia University, December 2014

"The Israel Tech Challenge Experience was an incredible trip! It brought together a group of awesome developers with a range of different skills and provided us with an incredible introduction to the Israel high-tech scene. My connection to Israel has never been stronger."

Gil Chen-Zion, Interface Developer at Thrillist Media Group

"It was an amazing trip that not only taught me about the tech scene in Israel but also introduced me to unforgettable people from all over the world. We will forever be Schwarma Time!"

Aaron Rosenberg Senior Software Engineer, December 2014

"It was an awesome experience being able to see the Israeli tech sector up close and personal and to meet incredible people from around the world with whom we'll be shaping the future."

Tonny Rosenfeld, .Net Developer at Sparco International B.V., The Netherlands

"I learned a lot about Israel and its technology scene, and I had a great time."

Aaron Feldman, CS and Math undergraduate at Caltech

"Honestly I didn't know where I was going or what to expect from the plan.
Today I can say I met amazing people, the tech environment we live in israel is awesome (startups and big companies). I absolutely recommend this experience in Israel. The connections that you establish with fellow, alumni and local businesses you can get it only in ITC
"

Sebastián Saal, Software Developer at MisionBet, December 2014

"ITC was an amazing trip that answered so many questions for me. It helped me realize what kind of companies I did and didn't want to work for in the future. The trip also put Israel in a new light. I hope to make it back to the start-up nation really soon! "

Lauren Elkin, Software Engineer, Microsoft (Experience, December 2013)

"Israël Tech Challenge est l'occasion rêvée pour ouvrir les yeux sur l'innovation made in Israël. J'en suis revenu avec des idées plein la tête et une créativité unique!"

Nathaniel Braun, Infrastructure Engineer at Criteo, France (Experience, December 2013)

"In 10 days, I did a hackathon, met with more tech people than I can count, meditated and hiked in a desert, had a lovely Shabbat in Jerusalem, visited companies/defense contractors/universities/startups and spent New Year's dancing on a boat. Where else can you do all of that?"

Anna Gommerstadt, Software Engineer, Microsoft (December 2013)

"Israel Tech Challenge gives people with a computer science and engineering background the opportunity to interact one-on-one with founders of top startups and major companies. I really enjoyed being able to visit these companies and network, which is not something everyone can say by going on a traditional Birthright trip"

Liz Miller, Robotics & Software Engineering student (December 2013)

"It was wonderful to understand Israel from a tech perspective and meet like minded young engineers and entrepreneurs who are passionate about creating beautiful and meaningful things
"

Tyson Kunovsky, Software Engineer (June 2014)

"In many ways I learnt more in this short programme than in my entire last year at university! I saw Israel in entirely new light, programmed in two new programming languages and met numerous CEOs of exciting startups. I'd highly recommend this program to anyone that can do it!"

Ben Lewis, CTO at ParTime Student and Aerospace student (June 2014)

" Israel Tech Challenge is a great crash course on the high tech and start-up scene in Israel. We got the red carpet treatment from large companies, incubators, and startups from throughout the country -- something typically only available to wealthy investors. The best part of the trip is meeting and bonding with fellow participants who come from diverse backgrounds and experiences"

Joe Schulman, Software Engineer (June 2014)

"I came in expecting an intensive tech program, but was pleasantly surprised when I spent more time meeting the future leaders of the tech industry rather than staring at my computer. The program not only provided me with the contacts I need to succeed but also the support network to make it happen. I couldn't have imagined how great these 10 days would be, it surpassed everything I thought!"

Ron Glozman, Founder of FreeingMusic and Computer Science Student at the University of Waterloo (June 2014)

"The Israel Tech Challenge program is an amazing program! From team building exercises in the Negev to experiencing the Israel Hi-tech scene around the Israel, there is no program like this. The highlight of the program is meeting like-minded peers from around the world. The staff members are also wonderful, and they all want you to succeed. Thanks again Israel Tech Challenge for the such a wonderful trip, and memories!"

Ben Krawitz, Bioinformatics Student at The University of Michigan (June 2014)

"With Israel Tech Challenge I had the opportunity to meet other Jewish people from all over the world to share a common interest in technology. The friends and connections I made are among the smartest, most talented people I have had the opportunity to meet. There is certainly no other program like it! "

Max Cohen, Computer Engineering student at University of Maryland (June 2014)

"My experience at ITC was phenomenal! It was incredible to have the opportunity to get to know both the technical and non technical sides of Israel with peers from varying cultural backgrounds who I had shared similar interests with. Thanks ITC for an unforgettable time!"

Ruth Reines, Student in Engineering, Canada (June 2014)

"I made great new friends from around the world, and important contacts in the Israeli tech scene. The Israel Tech Challenge is an extraordinary collaborative experience"

Anthony Arnold, CS student at the University of Queensland, Australia (Experience, July 2014)

"ITC was a fantastic and unique opportunity to see what Israel has to offer through the eyes of a Technologist. From stretching my skills as a Developer in the hackathon, to visiting world-leading technology corporations, start-ups and universities, the trip did not fail to impress. All the participants brought a wide gamut of interests and skills together from all over the world. Making great new friends sealed the deal!"

Andrew Davidson, University of Birmingham CS graduate and Software Developer for UBS Investment Bank.

"Travelling to Israel is awesome, and visiting leading tech companies with tech guys from all over the globe is even more amazing! Do not miss the chance to have this unique experience."

Kevin Furman, Software Developer at Despegar.com and Systems Engineering student at UTN Argentina

"Incredible opportunity to visit and learn about start ups as well as well established tech companies (such as Google, Ebay, Paypal) that reside in Israel. Making valuable connections and meeting like-minded techies that are also Jewish from all over the world was amazing experience and making life long friends in the process."

Boris Plotkin, Web developer and network administrator at Ecoline Windows and Graduate from Computer System Technology at Seneca College, Toronto, Canada

"ITC introduced me to the israeli tech ecosystem in a way that otherwise could never be possible. Meeting tech leaders, VCs and investors, successful start-ups, and getting to know leading companies, their employees and their current projects, made it a life changing experience for me. "

Kevin Natanzon, Founder of Zaluki.com and Software Engineering Student at ORT University, Uruguay (July 2014)