Women of Startup Nation (WOSN) began three years ago as a project by Barr Yaron to document the achievements and stories of women in Israeli high-tech, and has evolved into a community that today numbers 18,000.
The first high tech incubator for women – WOSNA – Women of Startup Nation Accelerator has been created in Telaviv by Barr Yaron, Oshrat Goldberg and Jordan Windmueller, who met at Stanford Business School, while studying for their MBAs.
Their first intake started last month , had received 130 applications for 11 places in the program’s first round.
The high- tech industry faces a critical labor shortage, but women account for a little more than a third of the industry payroll and just 9% of all entrepreneurs.
Out of 7,100 startups active between the years 2000 and 2017, only 7%, or 490 companies, had female founders or co-founders at the helm, according to a 2018 report published by Israel-based market research firm IVC Research Center Ltd.
Of the 125 companies with the highest market capitalization on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange, only three companies are headed by women, according to a recent report by Standard & Poor’s. Now, Tel Aviv’s newest accelerator—Women of Startup Nation Accelerator (WOSNA)—is out to change these statistics, one female-founded startup at a time.
A typical feeling from a woman employee
“I felt like they were staring at me for leaving work early, when in reality I was just balancing my work and home commitments.”
Imagine knowing she would be surrounded by others who will never give her that look.
This was the motivation for making Barr Yaron start her own company.
What WOSNA is
WOSNA is a 4 week intensive business 101 with a mentor . It provides a four-week program gives a boost to budding tech entrepreneurs with little or no experiencing in starting up a business.
Lectures and workshops from investors, entrepreneurs and tech executives from the Israel tech ecosystem.
The accelerator also provides legal, engineering and other consulting. Each company is assigned a female mentor and contact person with a special connection to its industry who stays onboard for four months after the accelerator program is over.
The companies include online personal shopping assistant AskLily Ltd., crowdfunding for community events startup FanFund Ltd., online accessibility verifier SenseIT Ltd., and software company Dzomo Ltd., which is still in stealth mode.
Outomi – a startup which has developed online tools for creating AI without any previous programming knowledge. The startup needed help with developing a business plan and a pitch for investors.
As mentors, it was assigned Orly Shoavi and Ronnie Sternberg, founders of the startup SafeDK, which was sold last month to the U.S. company AppLovin. Its contact people are Silicon Valley investors and the AI startup UiPath.
Other Israeli initiatives for women
SheCodes, that helps women from all over Israel interested in learning coding. NaShim BaHigh-tech (Women in High-Tech) recently joined the global organization Lean In founded by Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg.
Meetupsiot helps women with networking by visiting and summarizing meetups.