Meet the girls who became startup CEOs at just 16 years old

It’s never too early to start: It’s very likely that every time you heard about the CEO of an Israeli startup, you must have imagined a woman in her 30s or 40s, who served in some technological unit. The truth is, even though in recent years there are more and more CEOs “Lyut – chances are you will not guess why the young women at the center of this article are so special.

International Women’s Day, which falls today, and in fact – every day of the year, is an opportunity to answer this question. The answer is that despite their young age (17-16) and the fact that they are still in high school, they managed to start a startup company – and now serve as its CEO. They lead groups with dozens of teenage boys and girls, each from different backgrounds and sectors in Israeli society. These girls do not allow their young age (and in fact – all their opening data) to be a difficulty or an obstacle, and they are not afraid to sit in a room full of men or present their venture to women and senior businessmen in the Israeli economy.

Here are their special stories:

16-year-old Ayat Abu Tsarar has been an 11th grade student and an intern at the Unistream Center in Segev Shalom for the past three years.

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Tell us about your startup:
“Every day a worker in the construction industry is killed or injured, their means of preserving their lives are almost non-existent. Our company develops the inflatable garment – Inflatable Vest which aims to protect construction workers from falls from a height. The garment works by sensors that detect imbalances that occur When falling and opens in less than 50 milliseconds. In the first year of the program, we participated in the Project of the Year competition and received the highest score. In the second year, we prepared a business plan and worked on the design of the venture, participated in the investment committee and came out with NIS 8,000 in funding from AppsFlyer. We are currently in the process of developing a prototype. ”

What is your vision for the future?
We believe that every worker deserves to work in the safest way, and our vision is to reach every construction worker around the world. Personally, my vision is to save as many people in the world as possible.

Have you ever felt that someone is looking at you differently because you are a woman?
“Personally, I have hardly felt that way, but I have often encountered contempt for women in managerial positions.”

What is your message to young girls with great ideas?
“I hope girls my age can get wherever they want. The most important thing is not to give up, to continue to dream big and believe in themselves.”

Ayat Abu Tsarar (Photo: Private)

Avital Shlomov, 16, is an 11th-grade student and has been active at the Beersheba-Altshuler Unistream Center for three years.

Tell us about your startup:
“Together with team members, we set up a venture called Reckon-Eyes. This is an artificial intelligence-based camera that recognizes customers’ facial expressions and ranks their level of service satisfaction. The idea came from a genuine desire to enhance the customer experience each and every one of us experiences. For the moment, we are examining the size of the market, consulting with professionals and acting on the goals and schedules we have set in advance.

What is your vision for the future?
“I dream of being a businesswoman and working in Israel and abroad. “About a month ago, I was invited to speak at the home of the President and his wife on behalf of the Council for the Welfare of the Child, which made me dream of another thing – to succeed and influence the future of Israel’s youth in the worlds of entrepreneurship, leadership and leadership.”

Have you ever felt that someone is looking at you differently because you are a woman?
“When people hear that I’m only 16 years old and already fulfilling myself, leading, leading and meeting with senior officials, they tend to raise an eyebrow and have a hard time believing that a girl at that age can do such things.”

What is your message to young girls with great ideas?
“Believe in yourself and your success, even when all the eyes that look at you are full of envy. You will always know to look only at yourself and your inner beauty – and let others engage with the outer.”

Avital Shlomov (Photo: Private)Avital Shlomov (Photo: Private)

17-year-old Tallin Kiwarkian is an 11th grade student and an apprentice at the Karl Price Boyarist Center in Jerusalem, in partnership with the Jerusalem Ministry of Heritage and Heritage, the Jerusalem Development Authority, for about two years.

Tell us about your startup:
“The idea for our venture came from the need of one of the group members, who suffers from ADHD. She shared with us her difficulty concentrating on important lessons, a difficulty faced by millions of male and female students around the world. Focuses on creating an innovative solution that enables experiential learning without distractions – created virtual reality glasses called WE-R, built with special learning software that provide a virtual learning experience, which is a breakthrough in the field of personal learning. Business lenders and participated in international competitions.We won national venture competitions in the first places.In addition, we created a preliminary prototype of the product with a business lender from Microsoft.

What is your vision for the future?
“I would like to integrate into key positions in the business and technological world, because I believe this is the most effective way to succeed in achieving a positive and far-reaching impact on society, for the benefit of the public, and on a significant and wide scale.”

Have you ever felt that someone is looking at you differently because you are a woman?
“Every time I introduce myself as the CEO of a company and as a leader in a technology venture, I come across an expression of perplexity and surprise. But, in a short time, these reactions are replaced by an expression of genuine interest, followed by an appreciation of the venture and my achievements in the field at such a young age. ”

What is your message to young girls with great ideas?
“I suggest girls my age not to give up on their dreams and continue striving to achieve the goals they have set for themselves. The path to achieving the goals involves hard work and perseverance, overcoming many obstacles, therefore, it is important to be focused over a long period of time and make the necessary adjustments. “.

Tallinn Kiwarkian (Photo: Private)Tallinn Kiwarkian (Photo: Private)

16-year-old Shiran Mordechai is a tenth-grade student and intern at the Amal Hadera Unistream Center for about three years.

Tell us about your startup:
“We set up Companion, an app that bridges the intergenerational gap created between the third and younger generations. Most of us went through a difficult period during the Corona, and when I was exposed to different stories I realized how much this period increased the loneliness many third generation suffer from. Amazing people who have a lot to give, helped me understand that there is a need to open this problem.Our app is in particularly advanced stages of development, when the venture won many accolades and picked up the first place of the Investment Committee 2021. A few months ago we presented it to a number of executives.

What is your vision for the future?
“I want to succeed in bringing about social change, which involves leading the youth and creating change in the education system in the country, so that it will really suit this period.”

Have you ever felt that someone is looking at you differently because you are a woman?
“I experienced a number of events in which I was looked at differently – because of my appearance and because I was a woman. It often happened that I was judged only by these circumstances, and by the environment I was in, and not by who and what I was. It started when I started studying physics. “There is a male majority. In that attack, I also played basketball and started participating in a space project. Until I talked about my thoughts, I was perceived as a type that was not so connected to the environment.”

What is your message to young girls with great ideas?
“I know it’s cliché, but I would like to tell them that they should not get excited about anything – the fact that they are women does not mean that they are less good than a man.

Shiran Mordechai (Photo: Private)Shiran Mordechai (Photo: Private)

Avishag Siso, 16.5 years old, is an 11th grade student and an intern at the Unistream Center in Acre – USAID for about three years.

Tell us about your startup:
“Our project is called CAR-LEDS – a strip of LED lights that will be added to the vehicle’s rear license plates and change its color depending on the distance from the vehicle behind it. We have an initial and active prototype for the product, and now we are advancing “Together with them, we advanced to the international company with which we will pilot the product. In addition, we came in third place in the Entrepreneur of the Year competition.”

What is your vision for the future?
“I want to be able to fulfill myself and my dreams, and apply the knowledge and tools I acquired in my years in the program. I want to be able to put my best efforts into the venture, so that it goes on the market and can help save lives.”

Have you ever felt that someone is looking at you differently because you are a woman?
“More than once I have met people who have been surprised by my age and the maturity I demonstrate.”

What is your message to young girls with great ideas?
“I would tell them that they would just learn to dare and that in life they would not give up on themselves and themselves. They should learn to realize their abilities in the best way possible, that they should always go their way and not let anyone take them down. They should just try, because it is better to fail than not try at all.”

Avishag Siso (Photo: Private)Avishag Siso (Photo: Private)

Zohar Landshut, 16, is a tenth-grade student and has been an apprentice at the Joan and Arthur Weisberg Unistream Center in Afula for about a year and a half.

Tell us about your startup:
“We have developed an app called PartnerUp, which allows people aged 60+ to schedule meetings with their peers in order to spend time or exercise together. Our product is now in the development stage, and finding a marketing strategy. We met with Bnei Shaviv, sports app developer and we hold meetings on a monthly basis Ben David – our business lender who is VP R&D of Tabit “.

What is your vision for the future?
“I want to be a successful entrepreneur, and set up a large startup company that will contribute and help many people around the world.”

Have you ever felt that someone is looking at you differently because you are a woman?
“No, and last year I was the only daughter in first year. This did not stop me from joining the group and connecting with everyone, and ultimately being elected by a majority vote to the position of CEO – even though boys competed for the position.”

What is your message to young girls with great ideas?
“I want to tell girls my age and younger girls, who will work to realize the ideas and things they believe in, and will not let anyone and nothing – stop them – from succeeding in achieving their goals. But most importantly – that they will not be afraid of different treatment because they are women.”

Zohar Landshot (Photo: Private)Zohar Landshot (Photo: Private)

Hadas Nabuani is a tenth-grade student, an intern at the Unistream Julis Center with the support of Bank Hapoalim for about two years.

Tell us about your startup:
“Our venture is in the field of event design, and its goal is to make it easier for a person who wants to hold a family event. Our venture actually helps him locate banquet halls, equipment suppliers, design options and all the things needed to succeed and host an event. “So far, we have met with professionals in the field of events, as well as marketing and finance, in order to know what should be improved and upgraded on the site. We participated and won several competitions.”

What is your vision for the future?
“To believe that we can, and that I will be able to do anything I want. There are many ups and downs in life, and we must not give up the downs – because only then do we really learn. We have to strive upwards, and the sky is not the limit for me.”

Have you ever felt that someone is looking at you differently because you are a woman?
“People appeared every time I told about myself and my group, because in our sector you can still sometimes find the people who will not believe that I was able – as a woman – to do all this alone. So yes, there were times I felt people did not believe me, but it just motivated me. To continue to amaze those around me. ”

What is your message to young girls with great ideas?
“Dream big and things will work out. Do not give up or let failures make you surrender – because you will encounter quite a few along the way. Appreciate your failures and learn from them, but most importantly – believe that you can, because we really can, and only then can we change our vision. Of the people about us. ”

Hadas Nabuani (Photo: Private)Hadas Nabuani (Photo: Private)

Yifat Bechor, CEO of Unistream, stated: “We see a very encouraging trend in the number of girls who come to the program, and integrate into key positions in the projects that the groups develop. About 50% of the participants in our programs are girls, and over half of the groups are led by CEOs who lead and lead dozens of boys and girls, and together they actually develop a start-up. ”

Yifat Bechor (Photo: Shahar Azran)Yifat Bechor (Photo: Shahar Azran)

“Developing security, providing the tools and connecting with key figures and mentors from an early age are important elements in building the future of every girl in Israel,” she concluded.

By Editor

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