about us

Gil Ben-Artzy

Gil is passionate about helping Israeli entrepreneurs that build their startups in Israel and Silicon Valley, offering advice and sometimes a spot on his living room couch.

In 2005, he joined Yahoo!’s Corporate Development group, working on strategy & acquisitions, as well as managing the relationships with the Israeli ecosystem of investors, entrepreneurs and startups. In this role, he led the acquisition of Yahoo!’s first Israel-based startup (FoxyTunes) and helped open the company’s first R&D center in Haifa.  Gil then transitioned to the role of VP of Operations Management, driving the business aspects for the Tech Infrastructure organization.  He left Yahoo! during the summer of 2011 to dedicate his time to his new venture, UpWest Labs.    

Gil was previously a consultant with the Boston Consulting Group in New York, where he advised Fortune 500 companies. Gil holds a BA in Economics & Business Administration from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and an MBA with Honors from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

Outside of work, Gil enjoys going to live music performances (Coachella Music Festival is his annual highlight).  He is also an avid sports fan, and though soccer is at the top of his list, he will pretty much watch anything that has a ball and/or timer involved.


Shuly Galili

Shuly has spent the last decade building Silicon Valley’s gateway to Israel.  Working with the Valley’s leading tech giants, investors and business leaders she helped found the California Israel Chamber of Commerce (CICC) and created the ultimate platform for ongoing business exchange, serving a network of over 10,000 companies.  Under Shuly’s leadership as Executive Director, CICC had significant impact on its members’ success in securing millions in venture capital, establishing US/Israel offices and R&D Centers and branding Israel’s emerging tech industry in Silicon Valley.

The most significant impact of Shuly’s work at CICC was advancing Israel’s leading tech entrepreneurs. Recognizing their challenge in opening new markets overseas, bridging cultural divide, acquiring business know-how and raising capital, Shuly created and implemented programs that accelerated over 500 Israeli startups innovating across diverse tech sectors.

Prior to the CICC, Shuly held marketing and program development roles at various international NGOs focusing on economic development programs and educational initiatives.  She studied International Relations at San Francisco State University and French Studies at Grenoble University in France. Shuly is invited to speak often on issues related to global entrepreneurship, cross-border partnerships and investments.  She is a contributor to Women 2.0 magazine and serves on the Advisory Board of The C100 - A Canadian Entrepreneurs Network.

Liron Petrushka

Liron Petrushka is a serial entrepreneur with vast experience in senior management, M&A, fundraising, corporate control and strategic partnership. Most recently Liron focused his time in the private sector as an angel investor. He loves advising and guiding entrepreneurs from an ‘idea’ all the way to significant growth.
Some of the companies that Liron invested and played an active role in include Pageonce, LendingClub, Pets.com, Silver Helm, Unified Dispatch, and Local Music.

Liron was the founder and CEO of Commercebid.com, an e-Commerce strategic sourcing company with customers that included Hewlett Packard, General Motors, and Shell Oil to name a few. Commercebid.com was acquired by Commerce One (NASDAQ:CMRC) in 1999 to form Commerce One’s Auction Services, where Liron later served as Vice President and General Manager helping the Auction Services division grow to over 200 people with operations in 14 countries.

Prior to starting Commercebid.com, Liron owned and managed several successful technology ventures, including being the founder and CEO of U.S. Group, a Human Resources Management System enterprise software solution that was acquired by Ultimate Software, Inc.

Michal Soen
Director of Programs and Operations

Michal spent the first part of her career in the Israeli Defense Forces performing a variety of operational positions. Her last position was deputy commander of a special operations unit where she managed confidential and sensitive projects.

Prior to joining UpWest Labs, Michal managed operations for a real estate investment company where she worked closely with investors as well as real estate professionals to create and manage investment portfolios.
She holds a BA in Law from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.


Jared Fleitman
Venture Associate

Serving two years as National Chairman, Jared Fleitman tripled the membership, budget, and client-base of TAMID, a global nonprofit serving 1200 students at 24 universities that connects entrepreneurial college students with Israeli investors and companies for consulting and internship opportunities.

Jared graduated in fall 2014 from the University of Southern California, where he studied Economics-Mathematics and Mechanical Engineering. He has three years of research experience at the USC Viterbi School of Engineering, analyzing alternative forms of ignition in internal combustion engines. Previously he interned with True Ventures, Stitch Labs, SET Media, OurCrowd, and most recently, UpWest Labs, before joining the team full time. Jared is a devoted fan of the Anaheim Ducks and plays competitive hockey in his free time.