Faces Of The Startup Nation: Q&A With MailWise’s Email Wizard Shai Geva
Shai Geva is the co-founder and CEO of MailWise, an email application that simplifies email exchanges into a clear, chat-like format. Geva began his career in the Israeli Defense Force’s elite engineering and intelligence Unit 8200. After his release, Geva spent a few years learning the high tech industry while working as a software engineer at Aternity, particularly how a software company should work. Eager to create his own startup, Geva met computer science Prof. Hanoch Levy, his entrepreneurial vision took off, co-founding MailWise in August 2011.
What is your biggest inspiration? The Roman empire. Because these guys were serious about building stuff.
Bar Refaeli or Gal Gadot? I just got married a year ago, what are you trying to get me into?
Who is the one person, past or present, you’d love to have dinner with? Leonardo da Vinci. I would tell him about the internet, about space flight, about the Khan Academy (an organization providing a free, world-class education via YouTube videos) and show him a smartphone. Then I’d ask “what are you thinking about right now?” and shut up for the rest of the evening.
If you were a selfie, what would you look like?
Falafel or shawarma? Shawarma.
Tel Aviv or New York? Tel-Aviv, Israel is home.
What are some of your favorite weekend activities? Bouldering (a form of rock-climbing that doesn’t make use of harnesses and ropes). In bouldering, the routes you need to complete are called “problems”. And that’s exactly what they are – problems you need to solve. I’m a problem solver by nature, so that’s the sport for me.
If you could be a movie character, who would you be? Peter Pan from Hook (R.I.P Robin Williams).
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What’s your hidden talent? Pretending that I had enough sleep.
If you weren’t an entrepreneur, what would you be? Hate to sound cliché, but this is not really a choice. Obviously, I won’t always be a founder of a company, but I will always need to be a key player in a project that tries to get something from “I don’t know if this is possible” to “done”.
What’s your homepage? Google.
Star Wars or Star Trek? I’ve actually been trying to finish watching Star Trek’s “The Next Generation” over the last few months (true story). So Star Wars it is.
What are you totally addicted to? Hell Tetris – http://www.kongregate.com/games/banthar/hell-tetris. This question just cost me 30 minutes.
Who was your first celebrity crush? I don’t do celebrity crushes.
What were your first steps in the business world? I quit my job as software engineer to take a few months for learning and experimenting a little with finance, business and marketing. The most fun thing I did at the time – selling Shofars on eBay with my dad.
NoCamels “Faces of the Startup Nation” features the leading entrepreneurs, innovators, investors and visionaries to give you an exclusive peak into the movers and shakers of Israel’s innovation scene. If you want to suggest a “Face”, write us in the comments below!