You’d never know it, but these founders are all Israeli - and they’re leading some of the most exciting startups in America
You probably know that Waze, Wix, WalkMe, and Fiverr have roots in Israel, but they’re just a drop in the bucket. Whether you’re looking to get help checking off chores on your never-ending to-do list, looking for home decor inspo, or are trying to make finding your next apartment less of a headache, these three Israeli entrepreneurs are making waves.
Ohad Elhelo and Ori Cohen of STUFF
That dream of having a personal assistant to checkoff those annoying to-dos might not be as far off as you think. “STUFF offers users an unlimited ‘chief of stuff’ service that completes personal day-to-day tasks providing the ability to prioritize and streamline users' lives,” says co-founder and CEO of STUFF, Ohad Elhelo, who also happens to be one of Forbes 30 under 30 and the force behind start-up incubator, Our Generation Speaks. While a typical personal assistant service can cost upwards of $500 a month, a monthly STUFF subscription is just $50. “Our guarantee is that we’ll complete all the tasks you delegate to us at least as well as you’d do them yourself, and typically better thanks to powerful AI that allows us to easily identify the patterns of how people solve personal tasks in the real world and translate them into efficient processes.” To use the service, you simply text or record a voice message request (up to three open tasks at a time). All your tasks get stored in one place with real-time status updates. While STUFF is currently only available in the USA, the start-up’s R&D is all done in Tel Aviv.
Hilah Stahl of Spoak
Spoak is an online decorating service that pairs you with a personal decorator to help you with whatever you need – be it layout, furniture, DIY ideas, or finding the perfect decor pieces. In short: they’re an affordable substitute to directly hiring an interior designer while offering an alternative to cookie-cutter catalog apartments from the likes of Ikea. When you sign up your decorator creates a bespoke book, which is shoppable and continually updated as your project progresses, and users can ask as many questions and make as many requests as they like. A membership to Spoak is $99 a month and grants users unlimited digital access to their design expert as well as all the actual decorating and design work: sourcing pieces, helping with layout, providing 3D mockups, among other things. “We've had clients use their membership to help organize their closet, find gifts for friends, decorate their home for the holidays, and so many other things”, says founder Hilah Stahl. Spoak's service is now available in the US, Israel, Germany, the UK, Ireland, and Holland.
Erez Cohen of Knock
No matter where in the world you live you can relate to the headaches that come with finding a new apartment, especially in cities like Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, and Manhattan. This is exactly what led Erez Cohen to start Knock. “In short, Knock is Bird for rental apartments,” says the CEO and co-founder. “Imagine cruising the city in search of an apartment, opening an app, seeing all the units nearby and then using the app to unlock the doors and tour the apartments by yourself – no scheduling and no agents on-site.” Knock is working to enable on-demand self-showings via smart lock integration. “Moreover, from an owner perspective, Knock reduces days on market because it removes the hassle of scheduling, generates more visits, and creates transparency by providing live visit statistics and renters’ feedback,” says Cohen. The app is completely free though, in some cases, there may be a broker fee associated with the apartment. While it’s currently only available in the U.S., all of Knock’s R&D team is based in Israel.