First Israel Prize in technology and innovation goes to ‘Start-Up Nation pioneer’

The first laureate of the Israel Prize in technology and innovation has been chosen: CEO of the Israeli cybersecurity firm Check Point Gil Shwed. Israeli Education Minister Naftali Bennett congratulated Shwed on Sunday.
Gil Shwed Photo Credit: Miriam Alster/Flash 90

CEO of the Israeli cybersecurity firm Check Point Gil Shwed has been selected as the first recipient of the Israel Prize in technology and innovation. Israeli Education Minister Naftali Bennett announced on Sunday that Shwed would be awarded this prestigious honor, dubbing him “the Start-Up Nation pioneer.”

Bennett also stated that he decided to open this new category for the Israel Prize in honor of Israel’s 70th independence day. The minister explained that Shwed’s story is “the story of the Israeli hi-tech industry.”

“As a Unit 8200 graduate who founded Check Point, he paved the way and was a source of inspiration for me and thousands of Israeli hi-tech entrepreneurs,” Bennett added.

Shwed said in a video message that he is honored to be receiving the award. “I was very excited today to receive the surprising message about choosing me as the laureate for the Israel Prize in technology and innovation, a field that is highly associated with our country,” he explained. Shwed added that the prize also belongs to his business partners and thanked the Check Point employees for their hard work.

Born in 1968 in Jerusalem, Shwed started studying computers at the young age of 12. Two years later, he was already working in the field. During his military service in Unit 8200, he worked on special projects involving computers.



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