February 18

6 min read

"Keep in mind that the impossible will become simple once we do it."

Every week we send the same list of questions to a different founder from companies of all sizes. Each week we get new answers, insights, perspectives, and tips on how we all can shine a bit brighter.

Darya Henig Shaked

Founder of WeAct Ventures

Meet the Founder

An investment fund for venture capitas led by successful women in the industry.
The amount of assets under management is roughly ten million.

1. What is a daily habit you love doing?

The pandemic somewhat disrupted my routine and the habits I’ve created throughout the years, but there are two things that have not changed. The first is working out 3 times a week, even if it is by a video call during the lockdown. The second is making sure to lie down with my kids (6 and 9 years old) for half an hour before they go to sleep and talk to them about their day and their thoughts. These are the things that give perspective to everything else. I always try to remind them and myself how lucky we are to be healthy, to have a loving family to be able to spend time together, and other things we sometimes take for granted.

2. What piece of advice would you give yourself when you started? What advice would you ignore?

I have a few practical pieces of advice for my younger self: first, I would apply to and attend academic studies abroad (there are scholarships), because the different perspective and the belief in one’s abilities are game-changers for every person in every field. Second, I would shorten my work periods or entirely avoid working for people that cannot appreciate me or women in general. Believing in my own ability while making sure I receive adequate compensation is also an important piece of advice.

More philosophical pieces of advice would be to think outside the borders (we set in our mind and in the real-life). To listen to your heart and find solutions to challenges you think are important, believe in, and have passion for. An important sentence to remember in this context is that you can never fail if you keep trying.

I would ignore any advice saying that you have to be an expert in a certain field. The truth is that narrow expertise is sometimes obstructive while a broader understanding of a variety of fields is a big advantage for entrepreneurship.
In general, you should choose the advice you receive carefully because they are derived from life experiences and agendas that are not always clear to us. When I decided to send the first delegation of entrepreneurs to Silicon Valley, many people opposed to the idea of a delegation composed entirely of women. One of the senior members of the industry claimed that my initiative would damage women because it gives the impression that women cannot succeed without bias or affirmative action. I was positive that such delegation was necessary because I have seen how women avoid applying for similar delegations and I was aware of the great potential they could bring to such delegation. Since then and for approx. one year, I raised over 100,000 dollars in sponsorships and sent out 3 delegations of 50 female entrepreneurs who have raised a fortune, sold companies and countless reports testify how important this journey was for the women taking part in such delegation and their careers.

Persons with more influence and higher positions can make bigger mistakes. That is why it is important to follow your belief and continue towards your goal even when tens and hundreds of people think otherwise. When I started my investment company WeAct Ventures, I met hundreds of investors until I presented my vision and initiative in a way that would remove the investors’ doubts and worries and help accomplish the goals I was pursuing.

3. What piece of content (book/podcast/Ted Talk) is your favorite or has influenced your life?

Many types of content have influenced me: social media groups with social causes who have helped me find the words to describe my feelings, books about bravery and changing your life like “Educated” (an American who was born into a cult and did not attend school until the age of 16 but managed to break free from those beliefs and to became a lecturer in Harvard), to a course in the Stanford’s Business Management School that gave me the confidence in my abilities allowing me to act in what I perceived as extraordinary. But the truth is that the people I have met along the way affected me the most by doing things I thought were groundbreaking – male and female entrepreneurs, female ministers and members of Knesset, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the entrepreneurial spirit of my husband’s family, the tendency to take risks and face failure as well as the values of social justice I obtained from my parents.

4. What is the most valuable investment (time, money or energy etc.) that you’ve ever made?

There are many of those and it is hard to pick one: Serving 3 years in the army, because on the last day of my service I met Ehud Barak and his media advisors which led me to the Prime Minister’s Office as a part of his media advisors’ team. Driving to work to Jerusalem and back for two years, finishing my law studies and passed my Bar Association’s exams while working weekends and night shifts.

One of the best investments I made was actually in professional relationships and the efforts I made to help others on a daily basis. Investing in writing a column in the media (voluntarily), investing in dozens of flights to raise funds, meet people and get results I could never predict getting. Investing time and reading research articles to thoroughly learn about a field I wanted to change, deeply believe that it will improve all our and the future generations’ lives.

5. Is there a quote, mantra or message you live your life by and that you resonate with? It can be someone else’s as well.

A sentence I always remember is: “If you only do what you can, you will never be more than you are”. It’s a brilliant sentence by Master Shifu from the movie Kung Fu Panda. And there is another thing: the things we did appears simple, and the things we did not do appears impossible. We must remember that the impossible will become simple the moment we attempt to do it.

6. What helps you stay motivated on good and hard days?

What usually motivates me is the passion to make this world a better place and helping create a better social justice (Libra, anyone?)

7. What are you passionate about other than managing your own company? 

I love riding horses even though it is not a practical hobby. I have ridden horses since I was 8 years old until I joined the army, I participated in competitions where I met who would eventually become my second half, Eyal.

I love animals in general and I also love dancing. On bad days I try to remember that there are many pathways to my goal, and I try to find those other paths. In the immediate phase, a hug from Eyal, the kids, or the dog, always works.

8. What have you recently thrown away or released from your life that made a positive impact and why?

I think I am not as affected by different types of opinions. I do not feel obliged to respond to any person or any opinion anymore, and I know that I am not obliged to react to these opinions because the reaction itself is an investment that not everyone deserves. I do not let others decide what is right or good, I decide what affects me.

9. Share a failure you have experienced and what you learned from it.

There are many failures; every meeting ending with no substantial results as a minor failure and every meeting ending with an insult as a bigger one. But this is a part of being an entrepreneur, and if you come with a conviction (belief in your goal) and adjust your expectations from the process, any failure will be considered a good failure and a failure you can learn from and, by doing so, shorten your path towards your goal. 

Every rejection to invest in my foundation helped me express and refine the solution I reached at the end.

10. If you could have anyone in the world answer these questions who would it be and why?

Adi Tatarko, founder of Houzz. Roni Frank, founder of Talkspace.

*Want to read about another VC Partner? Click here to read about Liron Azrielant, General Partner & Founder of Meron Capital & Meron 2.

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“Amazing people can execute on mediocre ideas, but the opposite is not true.”

Jonny Saacks,

Founder & Managing Partner at F2 Capital

Meet the Founder

An investment fund for venture capitas led by successful women in the industry.
The amount of assets under management is roughly ten million.