“I want others to see women in the room and think they might want to have a female co

Almog Zoosman-Lehman’s job as Head of Community and Partnerships at Amiti Ventures is all about connecting people. “My role at Amiti is to make sure our values ​​are expressed, in addition to making sure the founders know about us, of course. Also, through community management, I have the power to seek out more women founders.”

Zoosman then recounts his recent adventure to Amiti, revealing it in public for the first time. “I built a community to make sure more young people understand what it means to be a founder. The program lasts eight months and young future founders meet every two weeks. We meet partners, founders, sales , marketing, etc., in order to take a step back.”

In the first cohort, 20% of participants were women, with 90% saying they wanted to create their own startup. However, “they didn’t know if it was the right time for them (unlike the men). At the end of the program that changed, they realized they could do it. In our second cohort, we have 45% women. It’s amazing, I want others to see women in the room and think they might want to have a co-founder.”

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Almog Zoosman-Lehman, Head of _alt Community Partnerships at Amiti Ventures Almog Zoosman-Lehman, Head of _alt Community Partnerships at Amiti Ventures

Almog Zoosman-Lehman, Head of _alt Community Partnerships at Amiti Ventures

(Photo: Asaf Brenner)

Amiti Ventures is a US and Israel-based venture capital firm that invests in early-stage Israeli startups. Founded in 2010, the fund manages $300 million and aims to invest in transformative and disruptive technologies. In terms of diversity, seven out of nine employees are women, with the management team made up of 66% women.

Amiti also made waves when it released its term sheet, receiving many positive and negative reactions:

“Diversity and inclusion are important. The Company shall, in good faith, interview at least one (1) woman or a member of a population currently underrepresented within the Company, as determined by the Board to its sole discretion, for each executive level open job position and each vacant independent director seat on the Board, if and when such a seat exists. The Company agrees that at least one of the first four new hires to an executive or team leader position, after Closing (as defined in the Departing Series Share Purchase Agreement dated on or about the date hereof), will be a woman or a member of In addition, within one year of closing, the Company will present to the Board a diversity program with The Company shall, in good faith, appoint a woman or a member of an underrepresented population to the Board or to be an observer on the Board within three years of fence.”

“We didn’t think it was unusual until we saw the reactions. Some founders have written things like “why should we care about wasting time on things that don’t generate money”. People think that if you look for diversity, it will hurt results. That’s what we’re trying to change. We don’t force anyone to have a certain number of wives, it’s not the right way to do it. What we’re doing is making sure our startups are more aware. Our startups are great, it doesn’t hurt them, on the contrary.”

Zoosman grew up in Netanya and was studying in a regular high school when his sister exposed him to a program called GWC, which brings young teenagers to boarding schools around the world, using education to unite the peoples and cultures of different countries. . “That’s when I realized that doing unusual things will be more interesting and lead you to better paths. I was accepted into a school in Wales and studied there for two years.

When asked how his parents came to terms with such a thing, Zoosman replied, “My parents trusted me, they weren’t afraid. They taught me to be independent, to trust myself. J flew alone and there was no WiFi at the time. Also, it was very difficult to be a Zionist Israeli there. One of the first days I showed up, someone one said “you’re from that fascist country”. That was my welcome. However, I didn’t take his approach. I really advocate a different type of Zionism.

Returning to Israel for her military service, Zoosman joined Unit 8200. After completing the army, she married her husband and they immediately flew to Canberra, Australia to serve as emissaries for the Agency. Jewish. When he returned a year later, Zoosman searched for a way to combine his love for technology and working with people. “I really wanted to take advantage of my good sides and stop fighting what I am not. It is important for women to understand that having a technological education is not the most important thing to succeed. The most important thing is to be happy and do what you love.”

A friend quickly introduced him to Amiti Ventures. “Amiti was one of the first VCs to hire a real community manager and I love building things from scratch.”

CTech’s She-VC series follows the stories of various female partners and senior executives of venture capital funds in Israel. Only 16% of partners in Israeli venture capital firms are women, and only 9% are investment partners. This poses a problem as to the number of female founders who will be able to receive investments and this concerns the industry as a whole.

When she got pregnant, Zoosman was worried, scared of the impact it would have on her career. “Many women are very worried during or before becoming pregnant. We worry about how the change will affect our lives and positions. I was scared too, it’s a huge change. I was mostly scared before talking to Ben (Rabinowitz), my boss. However, once I told him he was really happy for me. It was beyond amazing to see how the company not only talks about values ​​externally, but also practices them internally.”

Zoosman even got promoted while on maternity leave. “I work hard and barely sleep, I’m tired but my story proves that being a mother, as well as a good employee, can work with the right employer.”

What advice would you give to young women looking to get into venture capital?

“First of all, never stop running. Don’t rest, life is short! Also, if there’s something you want to do and you don’t have experience, do it for free and volunteer. You help others and gain experience. Zoosman thinks for a minute, then adds, “You should also help others.” Make time for your friends, colleagues, and people who want to be in your shoes. .”