Charedi startup founders showcase their tech innovations

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Charedi startup founders showcase their tech innovations

A selection of ultra-orthodox entrepreneurs will pitch to investors in London next week as part of the BizLabs 'scalerator' programne, created to help Charedis scale their startups

Some of the current startups on the BizLabs programme
Some of the current startups on the BizLabs programme

The creators of a company that uses technology to helps those who stutter,  one which predicts traffic jams, and a mother of seven with her personal branding platform are among the Israel Charedi entrepreneurs heading to London next week to pitch their startup ideas to investors.

Twenty-one promising startups from Israel’s ultra-orthodox community will take part in a showcase at Mortimer House, London. They belong to the technology ‘scalerator’ BizLabs, designed to advance and scale startups from the ultra-orthodox sector.

BizLabs was launched by The Achim Global organisation together with the Kemach Foundation. They provide full services for BizLabs with zero-equity taken.

Founded in 2015, BizLabs is now on its sixth cohort of startups, who are approaching the completion of a six-month support programme in Israel which includes access to multinational corporations, workshops and an investor forum. The first cohort came to London in 2019 but after a two-year break due to the pandemic, both current and graduates of the program will be in London next week, hoping to impress investors.

Motti Eichler, founder of Achim Global, tells the Jewish News: “In 2030, there will be close to two million people in the Charedi community in Israel and we need to find a solution to help them integrate in Israel’s economic society, while respecting their halachic and cultural needs and values.

“Our mission is to help talented Charedi men and women to succeed, giving them the same opportunities that others have but in line with the cultural norms and halachic rules that they keep to.”

Among those pitching are: Cygnus, Novotalk, About.Me and MikvaTech.


Founded in 2019, Novotalk provides a 24/7 speech therapy service based on a real-life training platform to help people with speech disorders. The Novotalk system eliminates the obstacle of clinician availability – users can sign up and undergo therapy whenever they want. It takes users through the learning and training process, while allowing a cost-effective tool for the supervising clinical team to gain insights into each patient. Novotalk is sold in Israel through a collaboration with Hadassah Medical Center and has a joint venture agreement with Mount Sinai Health System in New York.

The team leaders are Avraham Sheinfeld (Proprietor & CEO Israel) and Zohar Beeri (CEO and global technology & business development.

The Novotalk 24/7 speech therapy platform
Avraham Sheinfeld, Novotalk

Avraham Sheinfeld says: “There are many challenges facing ultra-Orthodox entrepreneurs, starting with understanding the required product, development methods, understanding the language of the market, exposure to investors, and much more. Bizlabs knew how to bring in a unique approach – a solution to the variety of challenges in the form of kashrut, a quality network, and connecting personal mentors as needed.

“From the BizLabs journey in London we expect exposure to quality audiences, and of course collaborations.”


The team behind Cygnus, which uses AI to predict traffic jams

Cygnus is the brainchild of Hillel Paley, CEO, Yishai Boasson, VP Product and Dvir Nahary, VP Engineering, launched last year to solve the problem of traffic congestion. The team are developing the next generation of Variable Speed Limit Systems (VSL) using computer vision and AI to predict traffic jams before they occur in real-time. The Cygnus platform connects to traffic control centres, manages VSL systems, and optimises traffic flow, significantly reducing congestion, carbon emission and road accidents. It is headquartered in Jerusalem.

Hillel Paley, CEO & Co-Founder, says: “Two years ago when I was 20 years old, while studying at an ultra-Orthodox yeshiva in Jerusalem, I had a vision for a transportation tech venture. I realised that to bring my vision to life, I needed to step out of my comfort zone and acquire academic and startup entrepreneurial skills.

“Fortunately, BizLabs recognised the potential of what was only an idea back then, and accepted me into their program, since then, thanks to them, my team and I have made tremendous progress, and I will always be grateful to them for being the first to believe in me.”  Paley says it’s difficult for Charedi entrepreneurs to scale their startups.

“Have you come across any successful ultra-orthodox startups in the world? I haven’t found any yet… we hope to break this ceiling glass and pave the way for others to follow.

He adds: “There are three big challenges: experience, knowledge, and networks. An Israeli guy who graduated from the IDF’s intelligence service possess significant technological experience, entrepreneurial knowledge, and networks in the startup ecosystem. A Charedi guy has nothing. No experience, no knowledge, and no connections – he has to bridge everything completely on his own. It’s very difficult, but not impossible.” Cygnus is now looking to expand its network of contacts within the UK’s incredible mobility market.

“I am extremely grateful to the entire team at BizLabs, with a special mention to Gil Shoruka and Itzik Cromby for leading the program, and to everyone involved for helping to promote awareness of the fast-growing ultra-Orthodox startup scene.”

Mother-of-seven Ruchama Kahaneman, founder of

Founded last year by advertising expert and mum-of-seven, Ruchama Kahaneman, is a personal branding platform that enables users to create a professional online presence. Users can showcase their skills, experience, and personality, and connect with new professional opportunities via the platform. The platform will be an archive that will preserve personal, public relations for the long term and create a uniform method for sharing and presenting it, making it an all-in-one solution for personal branding and online exposure.

Kahaneman says: “ was born from my work desk – as the owner and manager of advertising and public relations offices for 20 years, I realised that the significant work we do for our clients in communication receives one-time exposure and quickly fades away. Excellent articles and in-depth interviews are not reused and their professional effect is not utilised, as there is no easy and smart way to keep and present them well after their initial publication.”

She says: “Being a businesswoman managing multiple hats in parallel and being a mother of seven children, means getting up every morning to a complex project, full of challenges and interest, that requires creative thinking and dealing with crises often, so I came to the world of entrepreneurship with a matching arsenal of skills and experience.” BizLabs provided “a warm incubator for me that enabled professional growth and provided me with maximum tools and information that could assist me in any way possible.”


Founded in 2019, MikvaTech is credited as being the only tech company of its kind in the world. Developed in conjunction with the Israeli government, MikvaTech’s advanced oxidation technology kills bacteria and viruses (including Coronavirus) and destroys toxic chlorine/bromine by-products within Mikveh waters. MikvaTech services the mikvaot of the largest municipalities in Israel and hundreds of others worldwide, including in the UK.

Jonathan Heller, MikvaTech

Jerusalem based co-founder Jonathan Heller says: “Originally our oxidation disinfection process was developed for swimming pools but it was a very tough market and when Covid hit we were referred to BizLabs for guidance. We went to their course and ended up pivoting to mikvehs and rebranding.”

He adds: “There aren’t the same support networks for Charedi entrepreneurs as there are for other entrepreneurs. It can be extremely difficult and what BizLabs offers is unique. Within the Charedi community, ‘hi-tech’ is seen as a bit of a weird term, where as if you said it in Tel Aviv, you’d be the coolest kid on the block.” Heller says pitching to investors at the London roadshow is “the next logical step” on his journey.

Also pitching:

BabyTech, ShanenLi, Read Twogether. MediMe, Leema, CyWat, Frenzup, GD Stride, Conext, MindCartAI, Dooio, Same Side, LeadClient, iReadable, SnapiT, Massdom and Skipper


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