When I first met Ben Lang, I didn’t take much notice. Apparently I should have. The 18-year-old returning immigrant has taken Israel’s hi-tech scene by storm, in the process being written about by no less than 22 publications in Israel and the U.S. – including this one from Abby Leichman on our sister site Israel21c.
As Abby writes, Ben began his entrepreneurial career just a few years after his bar mitzvah. He created a site to help students find and share class notes; opened his own eBay business; and started a blog for budding young entrepreneurs. He was almost sued by The New York Times for making a website called freenewyorktimes.com, which explained how to read The Times for free after the paper erected a formidable pay wall.
His latest project is a co-venture with another young Israeli, Nir Kouris. The site, called Innovation Israel – similar to EpicLaunch, his previous blog for entrepreneurs – is a community for startups, entrepreneurs and investors, with of course an Israeli twist. One of their first ventures was a live coding event called Hackathon – which we wrote about here.
All of this will be coming to an end – perhaps more a temporary hiatus – when Lang joins the IDF later this month. In the meantime, he’s been working with the marketing team at Wibiya -here’s my story about them from two years back.
Ben is the son of Jennifer and Phillipe Lang (dad’s a hi-tech entrepreneur as well and we once met in my office to brainstorm ideas). Philippe’s brother Yvan is an accomplished architect and the father of one of my daughter’s kindergarten classmates (yes, we’ve kept in touch all these years). Mom Jennifer is my wife’s ex’s sister. Now that’s Jewish geography at its finest!
I can’t say I’m buddies with Ben – other than on Facebook – but I’m glad to have chatted with this up and coming superstar once at a family event. I expect to hear more about Ben Lang in the future – in three years time…or before.