Harel Ifhar, Country Leader, AWS Israel

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Harel Ifhar, the Country Manager of Amazon Web Service Israel, is experienced and business tech leaders. In his current role, he is a major driving force behind the rapidly growing adoption of the cloud in Israel, including cutting edge technologies such as: Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Computer Vision and many others. These services transform Israeli businesses and enterprises and ignite the innovation and success of some of Israel' most renowned startups.  


Ifhar's hi-tech managerial career spans over 20 years, in various multinational fortune 500 companies such as Hewlett Packard and Motorola. He has a proven track record in international business, sales and marketing management in the information technology, telecom and printing industries all over the globe.

Opening remarks

Shlomo Kashani, Deep Oncology AI

Shlomo Kashani

Shlomo is the Head of Deep Learning at DeepOncology, a medical AI startup that applies Deep Learning techniques to the fields of Radiology & Oncology.


His primary interests lie in Deep Learning for tumour classification, detection and segmentation in both 2D and 3D. He did not start his career intent on becoming active in AI research, however. Ten years before deep learning was even remotely cool, he specialised in Computer Vision systems, while pursuing anMSc. (Distinction) in Digital Signal Processing (University of London, UK)

Shlomo is very proud when the opportunity arises to teach students, and he is also co-founder of the Deep Learning Bootcamp: a community based non-profit organisation offering free 5-day Deep learning courses, donating its entire income to fight ALS / MND.


“Oncological research can seem a depressing specialty. But to me there is much reward practicing in this important field. I frequently leverage DL in the work I do, where the extraordinary prospect of precise tumourcharacterisation becomes evident.“


Alon Berman, Ericsson

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General Manager, Ericsson Israel (since 2011). Mr. Berman has more than 20 years of experience in the field of telecommunications and Information Technology. His previous position was Vice President of Internet and Broadband at Partner Communications (Orange Israel). Prior to that, Mr. Berman was CTO and VP Technologies at Partner Communications.

Before joining the private sector, Mr. Berman served in the Israeli Defence Forces, reaching the rank of Colonel, where he was responsible for developing telecommunications systems for the IDF ground forces. Mr. Berman holds a B.Sc. in Electrical Engineering from the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology, M.Sc. in Engineering from Tel Aviv University, Israel and MBA from Tel Aviv University, Israel. Alon also has a skipper licence and love to sail.


Boaz Zinniman, AWS


Boaz Ziniman is a Technical Evangelist at Amazon Web Services. He helps to increase awareness of AWS cloud services and works with AWS customers, to bring the benefits and enjoy the advantage the cloud can deliver, to their applications and systems. Boaz has many years of experience with web development & operations, architecture, IT management and cloud computing.

Prior to joining AWS, Boaz worked with a variety of leading Israeli startups, managing development and operations teams, and leading cloud adoption and partnerships with major cloud vendors.


Merav Weinryb, Qualcomm Ventures


Merav is the Managing Director of Qualcomm Ventures in Israel. Merav was an investor in Ravello (acquired by Oracle), Tapingo (acquired by GrubHub) Panoramic Power (acquired by Centrica) and Corrigon (acquired by EBay). Merav serves in the BOD of WekaIO, Stratoscale, Magisto, Mantis Vision, Medisafe, ScyllaDB, Splacer, Excelero and TabTale.

Merav has more than 15 years of high-tech and venture capital experience. Prior to joining Qualcomm Ventures, she was a Director at Intel Capital and before that a principal at Pitango Venture Capital. Merav is also the founder and is on the steering committee of the Women Founder Forum; an organization that encourages and supports female tech entrepreneurs.

Merav holds a B.Sc. in Information Systems Engineering (cum laude) from the Technion, and an MBA from INSEAD, France.


Magnus Hellgren, H.E. Ambassador of Sweden

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Born 1 October 1963 in Sweden.

Ambassador to Israel since 5 September 2017.

From 2015 to 2017 Mr Hellgren was Deputy Director-General at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Sweden and Head of its Department for Disarmament, Non-proliferation and Export Controls.

From 2011 to 2015 Mr Hellgren served as Director at the Department for Middle East and North Africa in the Ministry for Foreign Affairs. From 2004 to 2010 he was Minister (2009 with the rank of Ambassador) for Disarmament and Non-proliferation Affairs at the Swedish Permanent Mission in Geneva. His previous assignments include DCM at the Swedish Embassy in Damascus (2001-2004), Deputy Director of the Foreign Minister’s Office (1999-2000), Advisor for Security Council Affairs (1997-98) and postings at the Swedish Embassies in Paris (1993-96), Copenhagen (1993), London (1992) and Cairo (1990-92).

Mr Hellgren holds a Master’s Degree of International Economics from Gothenburg School of Economics (1987). Before joining the Ministry of Foreign Affairs he worked in Corporate Finance with Procter & Gamble.

Mr Hellgren is fluent in English and French, has some knowledge of Spanish and Arabic and is now learning Hebrew.

Mr Hellgren’s personal interests include sports (tennis, soccer, skiing), literature and cooking.

Mr Hellgren is married to Ambassador Annika Molin Hellgren, currently Sweden’s Ambassador in Turkey and they have two daughters (19 and 22 years old).


Gilles Beschoor Plug, H.E. Ambassador of Netherlands


Gilles Beschoor Plug (1962) arrived in Israel in October 2015 and presented his credentials to H.E. the President in February 2016. Having studied law at Erasmus University Rotterdam in the previous century, Gilles joined the Foreign Service and was posted in the lower ranks in Moscow, Nairobi and Damascus – the linking factor obviously being their geographical location at the same longitude (37°E). In between, he worked at the ministry in The Hague in the departments of Security Policy and of European Integration. He also served as Private Secretary to H.M. the Queen and H.R.H. Prince Claus of The Netherlands.


After having escaped 37°​E by spending three years as ambassador in Abu Dhabi and three months as representative in Ramallah, Gilles served as the director for the North Africa and Middle East department at the ministry in The Hague. Consequently, he has acquired some experience in the fields of conflict resolution, societal changes, humanitarian aid, and trade and investment, mostly in Eastern Europe and the Middle East – but these regions host too much diversity and too many perspectives for diplomats to be labeled as a kind of expert. Indeed, Gilles continues learning on the job and considers curiosity a required quality for diplomats. He never ceased to be amazed by the rich tapestry of the societies in which he had the privilege to represent the Netherlands.


Gilles is married to Louise Wesseling, who is an indispensable ally in his work. The Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs should consider itself lucky with partners of heads of mission willing to participate in the ubiquitous representative work of diplomats: it gets two for the price of one (certainly a Dutch quality). The couple has three children studying in the Netherlands. Gilles loves cigars, European literature, classical music and his Ducati motorbike. He is an active tennis player and takes surfing lessons in order to impress his kids – to no avail, unfortunately.


Ron Linder, CEO, Elad Solutions

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Mr. Linder brings his vast experience in the information technology to leverage the company. Ron joined Elad health in 2009,  starting 2011 for 6 years Ron acted as the CEO of Elad Systems and Elad Health. Prior to joining Elad Solutions, Ron was CEO of Picom Software Systems Ltd for eight years and Product line manager at Computer Associates Israel.  Ron has impressive leadership and executive management expertise. He holds a B.Sc degree in Industrial Engineering and an MBA in Marketing Management.


Prof. Naftali Tishby

Intel Collaborative Research Institute for Computational Intelligence (ICRI-CI), Director of the Israeli MOST knowledge center for Machine Learning & Ai 


The Flinkman Family Professor for Brain Research.
Professor of Computer Science and the Edmond and Lilly Safra Center (ELSC) for Brain Sciences, at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel. 
Co-PI of the Intel Collaborative Research Institute for Computational Intelligence (ICRI-CI).

Director of the Israeli MOST knowledge center for Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence.

Founder of:  1. the Hebrew University's Interdisciplinary Center for Neural Computation;  2. The Edmond and Lily Safra Center for Brain Sciences, 3. The Sudarsky Center for Computational Biology. In 1998 he founded and chaired the computer engineering program. an associate professor. in the Computer science faculty in the Hebrew University, (since 1997)

Awards: Israel Defense Prize ; Landau Prize in Computer Science


From 1986 until 1991 he worked in Bell Labs in Murray Hill, New Jersey.. 1992-1997- lecturer at Hebrew University. In 1971 he graduated the Hebrew University Secondary School, joined the academic Atuda in the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) and served in the IDF until 1980. That year he received the Israel Defense Prize.

In 1974 he graduated B.Sc. cum laude in Mathematics in Physics from the Hebrew University. In 1980 he graduated M.Sc. cum laude in Theoretical Physics at Tel Aviv University; his M.Sc. thesis topic was "Spallation nuclear reactions in the galactic cosmic rays". In 1985 he completed Ph.D. studies in the Hebrew University, publishing the thesis "Reduced Dynamical Description: An Information Theoretic Approach". He did his post-doctoral studies at MIT in 1985-1986.


Andy Fitze Ai, Co-Founder & Managing Partner, SwissCognitive

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Andy Fitze is Co-Founder and Managing Partner of SwissCognitive, President of the Swiss IT Leadership Forum, as well as the Service Management Partners. He is also member of the Board of Directors of ICTSwitzerland and SwissICT, and serves as Member of Strategic Advisory Board & Speaker at the Berne University of Applied Sciences. Previously Andy worked as Group CIO of RUAG, where he was member of the extended Group Executive Board and managed information technology both strategically and operationally. Prior to joining RUAG, he was responsible for IT governance at PostFinance. With his passion for smart technologies, he advises managers at board- and senior levels in the field of digital transformation, and gives lectures and speeches worldwide. Andy holds a degree in electrical engineering (HTL) and earned an Executive MBA from the University of St. Gallen. He also won the Swiss CIO Award for Best IT Manager in Switzerland in 2017.  Besides all, he is a skipper on the oceans , which provides him with a good balance for head and soul.


Yael Shany, Hitech Diplomacy entrepreneur

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Strategy consultant specialized in Ecosystem & Country branding, strategic alliances & bizdev. Initiated and manages several hitech forums & communities in mobile & telecom, cyber security, R&D and entrepreneurs. In 2010 was accredited by Israel PM for worlds' first HItech Diplomacy initiative - TSAVto Barcelona. As  strategic& creative planning in advertising agencies has worked with telecom companies, such as MIRS, BEZEQ, CELLCOM, as well as  commercial companies such as Jaguar, Corona, El-Al and more. MA in Social Psychology, TAU. 


Conclusions &

Gil Adato, VP Digital Health, Head of New Business Development,

Royal Philips

Gil Adato

As a Vice President (VP) at Philips (Amsterdam, NL) since 2015, Gil has been driving creation of new business opportunities enabled by new connected value propositions (solutions & services) and new business models, targeting consumers & patients across businesses at Philips, and enabled inorganically via partnerships, investments & acquisitions.

An alumni of the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan (US), and the School of Electrical Engineering at The Technion (Israel), with over 16 years of experience in Business & Technology Innovation (New Business Development, Strategy, Product Management, Program Management, and R&D) in the high-tech & healthcare industries in Israel, the US, South Korea, and the Netherlands.

Previously at Samsung Strategy & Innovation Center (Seoul, Korea), Gil initiated, pitched & obtained buy-in for new Samsung IoT business unit for Samsung Electronics (ARTIK IoT Platform -  common horizontal hardware & software architecture that is seamlessly re-usable across solutions and domains). Previously, at the Chairman's Office at Samsung (Seoul, Korea), Gil led a strategy team that advised Samsung Electronics C-level executives (Presidents, CEOs, CTOs, etc.), helping them define new technology & product roadmaps, go-to-market, investments, and acquisitions.


Assaf Touboul, VP Technology, 5G & machine learning, Qualcomm

Assaf Touboul

Back to 2006, Assaf has co-founded DesignArt Networks where he served as Chief Technology Officer.DesignArt Networks brought to the world one of the first  4G small cell Base stations technology all integrated into a System on Chip (SoC) aiming to be deployed on lamppost and electricity poles, replacing the traditional Macro Base Station boxes and its classical antennas. Since then Small cell technologies became the mainstream cellular infrastructure deployment approach for both 4G and now even more centric on 5G deployment.

DesignArt  Networks has been acquired by Qualcomm in 2012 for more than 100MUS$ and post the acquisition Assaf served as CTO and chief architect of the Small cell 4G and 5G of Qualcomm.

Today Assaf leads the first generation 5G technology at Qualcomm and was recently also appointed as the overall lead of Qualcomm car to car communication  - Cellular vehicle to everything (CV2X).

As AT&T,  China Telecom, Orange, Verizon and Vodafone and other operators will use Qualcomm 5G modem for their 5G trials, time to take pride: the R&D Israeli center take a major lead on the  5G development led by Assaf.

In addition, over the course of Assaf carrier – Assaf has invented nearly 100 patents related to signal processing, wireless communication, cellular technologies, microarchitecture aspects and its implementation on  multiple system on a chip.

Dr. Tamar Schirman, Marketing Director, Philips

Dr. Tamar Schirman

Tamar brings with her more than 13 years of innovation experience in the medical device industry, in a variety of positions ranging from pre-clinical R&D, through clinical trial management and strategic marketing. Since joining Philips in 2013, Tamar has initiated and led multiple clinical, pre-development and business development activities leading to the implementation of new product offerings in radiology, neurology and oncology informatics.

Prior to joining Philips, she worked in an Israeli start-up company developing novel therapies for the treatment of stroke.  Tamar began her career in the industry as Research Director in an early-stage start-up company developing interactive toys for movement development in toddlers.

Tamar Schirman holds a bachelor’s degree in neurobiology from Cornell University and a Ph.D. in neurobiology from the Weizmann Institute of Science. 

She lives in Tiv’on with her husband and two daughters. In her spare time enjoys practicing sports and SCUBA diving.


Amit Harel, DELOITTE Innovation Tech Terminal Israel leader

Amit Harel

Amit leads the ITT in Israel and connects the Israeli high-tech ecosystem with Deloitte’s global clients in response to an ever growing demand for global innovation and technology strategies. Amit has vast experience in the fields of technology innovation and disruption. Prior to Deloitte, Amit was a member of a cyber-security startup that was acquired in 2013. More recently, Amit has led innovation strategy projects for a variety of multinational organizations and has focused on establishing new startup engagement platforms. Today, Amit works closely with top ecosystem stakeholders, entrepreneurs, and founders in the Israeli ecosystem and is an active mentor and advisor for a variety of accelerator programs. Amit is a co-author of many Deloitte publications including: Israel Fintech Landscape Report, Sports Tech Innovation in the Start-up Nation, Israeli RetailTech Landscape, Digital Trials- Israeli Startups at the forefront of the Digital R&D Revolution and more.

Amit is a faculty member at the Interdisciplinary Center (IDC), where he teaches about the connection between disruptive technologies and the audit profession.


Ayal Shenhav, GKH Shenhav Law

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Dr. Shenhav represents many of Israel’s leading venture capital and private equity funds, advising them on their formation, tax efficient structuring, and operations. Dr. Shenhav has also been involved in dozens of complex financing transactions, representing the investors, companies and founders, M&A transactions representing target companies, acquiring companies, investors and more. Dr. Shenhav practiced law for several years at Davis Polk & Wardwell in New York, he served as Vice Dean of the Radzyner School of Law at the Interdisciplinary Center Hertzliya. He was a senior partner at Danziger Klagsbald & Co., Law Offices. Dr. Shenhav is an Adjunct Professor at the Tel Aviv University and the Interdisciplinary Center Hertzliya. He is also a frequent lecturer at seminars and conferences relating to venture capital and tax. Dr. Shenhav is the Chairman of the IATI Law Firm and Accounting Firm Committee.


Herzel Arviv, HiTech Ambassadors, Chairman


2011-Today: HiTech Ambassadors' Chairman Board  Member of the Israeli Export Institute      
Member of  "Club100 Plus"- Investors club in the Startups area, Chairman of:  "AFM", leading cellular expert lab; Migzarim”, advertising company; Saver1 (Cellular in car), Mentoring Startups,


1996 –2010: Motorola Israel- Area and Country General Manager for MDB.
Working closely with M.O.C and Standard Institute in order to launch handsets on time.

Developed and executed strategic plans for Turkey , East Europe (CDMA technology) and Africa.


1983-1996: Hewlett Packard, Deputy G.M;   Country Support Manager ; Country Sales Mgr

1976-1983: Officer in the IAF (Israeli Air Force) (Captain rank. Promoted to Major during military reserve service).

Directors program (2010) - Tel Aviv University.

Beyond MBA (2009) - Tel Aviv University.

M.B.A at Information Systems & Marketing - Tel Aviv University.

B.Sc. at Electrical Engineering –Technion Haifa.