About Us

MizMaa is the combination of two Hebrew words: Mizrach and Maarav – which means East and West.

When we look at the world, Israel represents one of the most dynamic centers of technological advancements. MizMaa will harness the best ideas and products from Israel’s technology sector to help companies and leaders access markets in the US and Asia.

We know how to identify great leaders and companies to make them global successes.

Today, the growth economies of Asia, Israel and the US are closer than ever. We will identify the best companies and entrepreneurs in Israel and help them succeed in the global marketplace.

MizMaa’s executive leadership brings a proven global track record of entrepreneurship, venture capital and corporate finance with successful exits in Israel and US markets.

We are always available.
Anytime, Anywhere in the world.

Isaac "Yitz" Applbaum

Founder & Partner

Isaac “Yitz” Applbaum is Co-Founder and Partner of MizMaa Ventures. He is currently a board member of Ment.io, Anagog, Coronet, and Qed-it.  Previously, Applbaum was a Partner and Managing Director for Israel at Lightspeed Venture Partners, an early stage venture capital firm with over three billion dollars under management. .

Prior to joining Lightspeed, Applbaum was the founder and CEO of Concorde Solutions Inc. (CSI). In 1999 he sold CSI to Bank of America becoming a Senior Vice President with responsibility for running the bank’s E-ventures group and as an advisor to the strategic investments group.

Applbaum serves as a Senior Advisor to the Mayor of Jerusalem for Public Private Partnerships. He also serves as the Chief Evangelist for Radius Technologies, a leading company in the predictive analytics market. Applbaum currently serves also as a member of the board of directors of KILI Technologies, and SecureKey Technologies. He is an advisor to EIGHT VC Partners and Owl Ventures. His philanthropic involvements include serving on the board of directors of the California Israel Chamber of Commerce, The Western Wall Heritage Foundation, the Shalem Institute, the American Action Network, and the Republican Jewish Coalition. Mr. Applbaum recently joined the Board of Trustees of the Asia Society. He is also a member of the Young Presidents Organization.

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Catherine K.C. Leung

Founder & Partner

Catherine K.C. Leung is Co-Founder and Partner of MizMaa Ventures.  She Is currently a board member of Orca.ai, Aurora Labs, ClearML, Varada, and Statehub.  Prior to MizMaa Ventures, Catherine was an investment banker for twenty years and last served as Vice Chairman of Asia Investment Banking at JP Morgan where she led with a focus of Greater China.  Under her leadership, JP Morgan was named Best Investment Bank in Hong Kong for eight consecutive years.  She has advised clients in marquee IPO’s, mergers and acquisitions, debt and derivative transactions.  She was named Top 20 Women in Finance by Finance Asia in 2011.

Catherine worked as a management consultant at Oliver Wyman & Co in U.S. and London from 1990 and 1994.  She graduated from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, summa cum laude, with majors in Finance and Accounting.

Catherine is currently member of the Penn Wharton Entrepreneurship Board and member of the Wharton Asia Executive Board.  She is an advisory board member for Eureka Nova, and member of the Hong Kong Arts Development Council Trust Fund.  She also serves as Court Member and Business School Advisory Council Member of HK University of Science and Technology where she was recipient of the Honorary Fellowship Award in 2018. Catherine is also Chairman of the Chamber of Hong Kong Listed Companies since Aug 2021.

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Rick Kaplan

Operating Partner

Rick Kaplan is the Operating Partner at MizMaa Ventures.  He was the worldwide business development leader for IBM’s Financial Services Unit leading the unit’s acquisition strategy.  Prior, Rick was the IBM Israel Country General Manager and, Chief Trust and Compliance Officer for IBM globally. After a 30-years career at IBM Rick has joined the Board of Bank Hapoalim, and recently has joined as a board member at Pheonix Insurance.

Rick holds a Bachelors from Brown, Law degree from Cornell. He sits on the boards of Resolution Games, Ananda, Loadmill, NOVOS, and PayKey.

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Aaron Applbaum


Aaron Applbaum is a Partner at MizMaa Ventures.  Aaron was a Principal and Director at Strategic Cyber Ventures, a cybersecurity focused Venture Capital fund, where he helped lead the firm’s efforts to identify key sectors for investment, played a critical role throughout eh investment evaluation and execution process. He held an observer seat on the board of E8 Security, one of SCV’s four portfolio companies.

Previously, Aaron worked on the Direct Investments desk of Hudson Bay Capital Management, a multi-strategy, New York based asset management firm. Prior to Hudson, Aaron spent time in both government an non-profit sectors in defense related fields, including at the Department of Defense, the U.S. House of Representatives Armed Services Committee and the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.

Aaron graduated from Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public International Affairs, where his independent research focused on the intelligence community, Mideast politics and cybersecurity. At Princeton, he was a senior columnist with the Daily Princetonian.

He currently sits on the Board of Trustees at the Institute for National Strategic Studies and on the boards of Ottopia, Autofleet, Anima, Protego Labs (exited), Spectral (exited), Cheq, and has an observer seat for Aurora Labs and Lynx.

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Yoav Knoll


Yoav Knoll is the Principal at MizMaa Ventures. Prior to MizMaa, Yoav was an officer at the Israeli Air Force for ten years. During that time, he held numerous positions, including commanding and management roles.  Yoav holds a Bsc. in Computer Science and Mathematics from the Ben-Gurion University.

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Nicky Montana

Venture Partner

Nicky Montana is a Venture Partner at MizMaa Ventures. Prior to MizMaa, Nicky founded a gaming startup that was sold to FuboTV ($FUBO), went through Y Combinator in the Winter 2019 batch, and built, fundraised for, and managed DeFi vehicles for a high growth FinTech company in the US called LoanSnap. Nicky focuses on all things Crypto/Web3.

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Jessica Freedman


Jessica Freedman is an Associate at MizMaa Ventures. Jessica joined MizMaa in 2022 from Hertility Health, a health-tech start-up, where she was an early commercial hire and responsible for corporate strategy & business development. Prior to this, Jessica was an Engagement Manager at Strategy& (part of the PwC network) providing strategy-through-delivery support to corporates, private equity, and government departments, across Europe and the US. Jessica graduated the University of Oxford with a BA Hons in Mathematics & Statistics. 

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Matan Adelson


Matan Adelson is an Analyst at MizMaa Ventures. Prior to joining MizMaa, Matan worked at Liberty Strategic Capital, a Washington DC based private-equity firm focused on Cybersecurity and FinTech, where he helped build their local Israeli presence and was on the investment team. Matan recently graduated from Stanford University with a B.A. in Economics. During the summer of 2019, Matan participated in the Birthright Excel Fellowship where he was matched with MizMaa for a 10-week internship. 

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Sarit Konikov

Office Manager

Sarit Konikov is the Office Manager at MizMaa Ventures. Prior to MizMaa, Sarit worked at ELAL Israel Airlines for eight years. She was an Operations Center Manager at ELAL Israel Airlines for four years.

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David Levin

David was CEO of McGraw-Hill Education (2014-17), previously, he was CEO of the global events and exhibitions business UBM plc (2005-14). He launched the company in India and across ASEAN, as well as expanding its presence in mainland China. David oversaw the development of the first smartphone operating system as CEO of Symbian Ltd (2002-05) — supporting the first 100 million handsets.

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Gilad Shany

Managing Partner ION Crossover Partners

Gilad is Managing Partner at ION Crossover Partners (ICP), Israel’s first technology crossover fund. ICP invests in leading Israel and Israel-related companies in the Information Communication Technologies (ICT) segment. ICP and its Partners bring financing and operating expertise to assist technology disruptors with their effort to scale operations globally as independent companies.

Gilad brings a decade of long-term principle investing experience in disruptive growth companies. Prior to ICP he was a General Partner at Magma Venture Partners, a leading Israeli Venture Fund. At Magma, Gilad helped raise the first Growth Equity fund and led the search for non-Magma growth investment opportunities. In addition, Gilad sourced and led investments in Magma’s early stage fund.

Prior to Magma, Gilad spent almost eight years at Baron Capital. During his tenure at Baron ($26bn AUM Investment Manager based in NYC) Gilad’s investments areas included Information Technology Infrastructure, Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence, Advanced Automobile and Transportation Technologies, Data Centers, Renewable Energy and Cyber Security.

Since 2010, Gilad sourced and led investments in 40+ companies that totaled over $1.5bn. Examples include Tesla Inc. (NASDAQ: TSLA), Mobileye NV (NYSE: MBLY, recently acquired by Intel), Equinix Inc. (NASDAQ: EQIX), Iridium Communications Inc. (NASDAQ: IRDM), Varonis Systems Inc. (NASDAQ: VRNS) and more.

Prior to his investing career, Gilad spent 14 years with the Israeli Air Force as an F-16 pilot (Major) and a commander.

Gilad graduated Magna Cum Laude from Tel Aviv University with a B.S. in Physics, Astronomy and Philosophy in 2007 and with Honors from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania with an M.B.A. in 2010.

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Jesper Koll

Jesper Koll has been investing in Japan since becoming a resident in 1986. Over the past two decades, Jesper has been consistently ranked as one of the top Japan strategists/economists, having worked as Chief Strategist and Head of Research for major U.S. investment banks J.P. Morgan and Merrill Lynch. His analysis and insights have earned him a position on several Japanese government and corporate advisory councils. In late-2016, Governor Koike appointed Jesper to her Tokyo Financial Center Advisory Board. He is also one of the few non-Japanese members of the Keizai Doyukai, the Japan Association of Corporate Executives.  He has written three books in Japanese, Towards a New Japanese Golden AgeThe End of Heisei Deflation, and the recently published Japan’s Economy – The Envy of the World. He was the founding Chief Executive Officer of WisdomTree Japan and now serves as senior adviser to WisdomTree Investments Inc.

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Sammy Hsieh

Cofounder & CEO of iClick

Sammy Hsieh possesses more than 15 years of experience in online marketing, with a focus on sales and business strategy formulation and a proven track record of scaling Internet start-ups.

Sammy co-founded iClick Interactive in 2009 with a vision to redefine the digital marketplace with data, insights and innovation. Setting sights on the China market, the company set up offices in Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen and Guangzhou subsequently, and built a first-of-its-kind R&D centre in China to engage in advanced data mining and algorithmic technology development to empower iClick Interactive’s marketing technology capabilities. Under Sammy’s leadership, iClick Interactive became China’s first independent online marketing technology platform that successfully listed on NASDAQ (ticker symbol ICLK) in 2017. Currently, iClick Interactive operates in eight strategic locations worldwide including Asia and London, serving a strong clientele that includes more than 150 multinational companies.

Prior to founding iClick Interactive, Sammy had held senior positions in a number of prominent technology companies. He was Director of Search Marketing at Yahoo Hong Kong during 2000-2008, during which he oversaw the business’ operations including sales, marketing, business development and product management. He then joined Efficient Frontier (acquired by Adobe), a leading digital performance marketing company as General Manager for APAC, introducing world-leading advertising optimization technology to Asia.

Sammy had also held senior positions at the LVMH Group and British American Tobacco earlier in his career, in which he focused on the companies’ sales and marketing initiatives for the Hong Kong and China markets.

Sammy holds a Bachelor Degree in Economics from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).

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Wilson Yuen

Founder & CEO TFI Digital Media Limited

Over 20 years, Wilson has established himself as an expert in Information Engineering and User Experience Design, and a pioneer in Multimedia and Game Development education. His passion towards innovative technology is well-recognized and was named one of Debrett’s Hong Kong 100 Most Influential People (one out of ten individuals under Technology and Digital category).

In 2010, Wilson founded TFI Digital Media Limited, a HK-based technology company specializing in video-related technologies. Meanwhile, he also provides advisory services to multiple family offices, that are listed on Forbes Hong Kong’s Top 50, with interests across real estate, telecom and hospitality industries. Prior to his role at TFI, he was the Chief Information Officer at Commercial Radio Hong Kong, and taught post-graduate courses at Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong City University and Hong Kong Baptist University. Wilson obtained his BSc in Applied Computing with First Class Honors from the University of Hertfordshire, UK and an MSc in Information Engineering from the Chinese University of Hong Kong.

Wilson currently serves as City University Department of Electronic Engineering Advisory Committee member, HP Enterprise OEM Customer Advisory Board member, mentor and vetting committee of PolyU Micro Fund and the committee of Qualifications Framework Industry Training Advisory Committee (ITAC) under the Hong Kong Education Bureau. Wilson is also an Honorary Advisor to the Professional Information Security Association and Global Design Ambassador of the Interaction Design Foundation.

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