2019 | ~14,000 Members
Hilla Bakshi, Founder
Adaya Tal, Co-Founder
Israel team: Yael Nagrea, Gal Zecharia, Lishay Noam, Talya Vaish.
New York team: Ariela Bitansky-Shai (Founder NY branch), Anat Haramati, Ella Avny, Tami Melamed.
Sometimes you feel that something isn't right, but don't really know what the thing is. For example there are so many events and meetups in the Israeli entrepreneurship ecosystem, but Hilla (Founder at HaMeetupistiot) noticed that women seldom participated and were rarely seen at these venues and that this doesn't reflect women's true share of the tech workforce.
Hilla was determined to change that and create a central (and safe) space for women to find, share, and participate in such events. This is how HaMeetupistiot was founded. “I saw a problem that needed to be fixed, and an opportunity to create something which ‘does good’. Someone needs to get out of the building and pick up the glove. Just like a startup,” Hilla explains.
After teaming up with Adaya Tal a Facebook community was created and the word got out with rapid growth from 0 to 1,000 members in 30 days and thousands of new members every month. The founding team put a lot of thought into brand and design, and their t-shirts started to appear everywhere. New needs emerged within the community soon, and more products were created such as meetup summaries, a public calendar, a weekly newsletter, discounts, and even job opportunities.
One of the main missions of HaMeetupistiot is to set a new benchmark for event organizers to pay special attention to gender balance in their events and on their stages. “It's not about shaming, but we do not stay silent when we encounter a gender imbalance issue,” says Hilla. Partnering with Microsoft for Startups as the main partner and with other major players in the Israeli ecosystem, the community puts into action a vision of having many hubs in tech-centric cities around the world, like the 'HaMeetupistiot New York' which also serves as a home away from home for Israeli women.
Photos by Omer Hachohen and Meital Pinhas