About Us

Pittsburgh Israel Innovation

We offer a set of business connection services to create strong, sustainable economic bridges between Pittsburgh and Israel. As a socially responsible business designed to improve Pittsburgh’s economy, 412×972 offers a variety of scouting and business development programs to capitalize on similarities between Pittsburgh and Israel’s current business needs.

Seed funding was provided through the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh and by private individuals and foundations. A number of organizations and individuals who care about Pittsburgh and Israel created 412×972 to create a double bottom line:

  • Create a measurable economic impact in Pittsburgh
  • Reach profitability to allow growth in the number of nurtured connections and in the range and quality of services

Leadership

In his role as Executive Director of 412×972 Pittsburgh Israel Innovation Inc — Gal designs services to connect Pittsburgh and Israeli businesses, assists these businesses in structuring ongoing business relations, and manages relationships with partner organizations and funders.

Gal has spent over a decade turning around distressed Israeli middle-market industrial companies. Since 2015 he has spent time starting up and advising tech companies. Gal specializes in business development, business planning, and sales. Gal developed expertise in Robotics business development, was and is still involved in dozens of deployments of various robotics technology developments and deployments in Israel and around the world.

Gal serves as a board member for the Reut Group and Edtech Israel, Gal is also volunteering doing various roles and projects with Unistream & Taasiyeda.

Gal holds a Bachler’s and Master’s degrees in Industrial Engineering from Tel Aviv University and an Master of Entrepreneurship and Innovation from Swinburne University of Technology.

  • Dror Yaron
    Dror Yaron Director of Strategic Partnerships

Director of strategic partnerships, and our boots on the ground in Pittsburgh, Dror supports productive dialogue and genuine connections between needs and solutions. He develops partnerships to promote efforts in a variety of areas, including well being and sustainability in education, healthcare and the workplace.

Following a military service training human-resources professionals for the Israeli army, Dror worked as a journalist for the Shoken Network in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and Herzliya.

Dror spent the past decade at Carnegie Mellon University’s Robotics Institute, collaborating with education-technology developers, users and stakeholders. He built context-driven tech integration strategies, centering the expertise, purpose and practice of educators and learners.

Dror studied at the International Center of Photography in New York. He moved to Pittsburgh in 2003. Before joining CMU, he led the photography studio at the Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild youth program.

In parallel to his role at 412×972, he leads Ethics MVP, a company that helps businesses identify, articulate, and put into action their organization’s ethical DNA.

Leadership

In his role as Executive Director of 412×972 Pittsburgh Israel Innovation Inc — Gal designs services to connect Pittsburgh and Israeli businesses, assists these businesses in structuring ongoing business relations, and manages relationships with partner organizations and funders.

Gal has spent over a decade turning around distressed Israeli middle-market industrial companies. Since 2015 he has spent time starting up and advising tech companies. Gal specializes in business development, business planning, and sales. Gal developed expertise in Robotics business development, was and is still involved in dozens of deployments of various robotics technology developments and deployments in Israel and around the world.

Gal serves as a board member for the Reut Group and Edtech Israel, Gal is also volunteering doing various roles and projects with Unistream & Taasiyeda.

Gal holds a Bachler’s and Master’s degrees in Industrial Engineering from Tel Aviv University and an Master of Entrepreneurship and Innovation from Swinburne University of Technology.

  • Dror Yaron
    Dror Yaron Director of Strategic Partnerships

Director of strategic partnerships, and our boots on the ground in Pittsburgh, Dror supports productive dialogue and genuine connections between needs and solutions. He develops partnerships to promote efforts in a variety of areas, including well being and sustainability in education, healthcare and the workplace.

Following a military service training human-resources professionals for the Israeli army, Dror worked as a journalist for the Shoken Network in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and Herzliya.

Dror spent the past decade at Carnegie Mellon University’s Robotics Institute, collaborating with education-technology developers, users and stakeholders. He built context-driven tech integration strategies, centering the expertise, purpose and practice of educators and learners.

Dror studied at the International Center of Photography in New York. He moved to Pittsburgh in 2003. Before joining CMU, he led the photography studio at the Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild youth program.

In parallel to his role at 412×972, he leads Ethics MVP, a company that helps businesses identify, articulate, and put into action their organization’s ethical DNA.

Board of Directors

  • Andy Rabin
    Andy Rabin

    Andrew is a co-founder of 412×972 and serves as the current board chair. As a successful entrepreneur, early stage investor, and philanthropist in the Pittsburgh area, Andrew is committed to economic and social development in the region. Andrew is a founding General Partner of the 412 Venture Fund and also maintains an Entrepreneur In Residence role at the Swartz Center for Entrepreneurship at Carnegie Mellon University.

    Earlier in his career, Andrew was the CTO of Premier, Inc., a publicly traded healthcare improvement company. Andrew joined Premier through the acquisition of CECity in 2015, a company he helped build as CTO from 1998 to 2015. CECity was the leading provider of cloud-based quality reporting, performance improvement and lifelong learning platforms.

    Andrew received his BS in Mechanical Engineering from CMU and his MBA from Pitt.

  • Brian Eglash
    Brian Eglash

    Brian Eglash is the Chief Development Officer and Senior Vice President of the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh, overseeing all development operations such as the annual campaign, Federation Foundation, supplemental giving, capital campaigns, corporate giving, government grants and marketing. In addition to the development responsibilities, he also supervises the community relations department as well as all Federation travel missions to Israel and globally. He has been with the Federation nearly 25 years and previously held multiple responsibilities at the Jewish Agency/World Zionist Organization in Jerusalem, Israel.

    In 1990, Brian made aliyah (immigration) to Israel from his hometown of Milwaukee and served in the prestigious NAHAL infantry/airborne combat unit in the Israeli Defense Forces. He was on active duty during the first Gulf War and also served in a reserve IDF combat unit from 1993-97.

  • David Kalson
    David Kalson

    David is a National Group Leader of the Dentons Venture Technology and Emerging Growth Companies Group, concentrating his practice on providing general business and tax counsel to robotics, life science, information technology, and other emerging growth companies, with a particular focus on university spin-offs. David also represents angel, institutional and strategic investors in those sectors. David’s practice is both national and international in scope, but locally he has been at the forefront of some of Pittsburgh’s most important and innovative business transactions, helping to transform the city as a world leader in the robotics industry and a vital player in the life sciences arena. David serves on the Board of the Pittsburgh Robotics Network, and throughout his career has created and led initiatives to attract and retain the talent that is fueling Pittsburgh’s growth. David has been selected by his peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America© in four separate categories: Corporate, Tax, Technology and Venture Capital Law.

  • Ilana Diamond
    Ilana Diamond

    As Managing Partner of 412 Venture Fund, Ilana leads fund activities, including sourcing, evaluating and investing in the Pittsburgh region’s most promising startups.

    Previously, Ilana was a Managing Director of Riverfront Ventures, Innovation Works’ Venture Fund for early stage companies. She also served at Innovation Works as Managing Director of Hardware and AlphaLab Gear where she led a team that helped startups make rapid progress through the early stages of product and customer development.

    Earlier in her career, Ilana led and grew tech companies from startup to exit — building management teams, raising venture capital, and managing mergers and acquisitions from both ideas of the table (buyer and seller).
    Ilana frequently serves in leadership roles on boards of private companies and not-for-profit organizations. Her academic background includes a B.A. in Biological Sciences and Economics from Northwestern University, and an M.B.A. from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management.

  • Jeff Finkelstein
    Jeff Finkelstein

    Jeffrey H. Finkelstein was elected as President/CEO of the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh in August 2004. Jeff joined the Pittsburgh Federation staff in 1998 as Director of the Annual Community Campaign and was promoted to Vice President of Development in January 2001.
    In addition to his professional roles, Finkelstein has served on the Pennsylvania Governor’s Pandemic Advisory Committee, the Allegheny County Jail Advisory Committee and the University of Pittsburgh Institute of Politics special Criminal Justice Taskforce.
    Jeff holds an M.A. in Jewish Communal Service from Brandeis University’s Hornstein Program and a B.A. in Talmud from the Jewish Theological Seminary and a B.A. in Sociology from Columbia University.
    He was chosen as a winner of the 2019 Fox Rothschild Outstanding CEOs and Top Executives award and other honors over the years.

Advisory Board

  • Audrey Russo
    Audrey Russo
  • Craig Blank
    Craig Blank
  • Hahna Alexander
    Hahna Alexander
  • Marc Brown
    Marc Brown

Interested? Start a Conversation

Skip to content