Shimrit Perkol-Finkel Z"L
1975 ‒ 2021
Shimrit Perkol-Finkel is the first person I'm writing about (other than myself), since she, as you'll soon learn, was a very remarkable woman. She lived life as a distinguished scientist, entrepreneur, inventor, innovator, and mother of three. She was born in Tel Aviv in 1975, and later studied in Tel Aviv University and received a bachelors of science degree, a masters degree, and a doctorate, with the highest honors, all in Zoology specializing in marine biology, in 1998, 2001, and 2007, respectively. She then completed her postdoctoral degree in 2010, starting from Tel Aviv University and ending with the coveted Marie Curie Fellowship at the Università di Bologna in Italy. afterwards, she worked for nearly 4 years as a research project associate in Tel Aviv University, and concurrently co-founded a marine ecology consulting firm, SeArc. In 2012, she also cofounded ECOncrete. In 2021, while consulting with SeArc, being the CEO of ECOconcrete, and raising three children, right after an interview with a Forbes reporter, she was tragically hit by a truck while riding an electric scooter on her way home, and lost her life.
A depiction of the finalists of the EU Women Innovators with Shimrit showing up in the center-right
Most of us hope to have a positive influence within our small circles, but very few of us are able to have a positive impact on the entire world. Shimrit was needless to say one of these few, and received worldwide recognition of her achievements. Here are just a few of her accolades. In 2018, she was awarded the UN 'We Empower' award. In 2019, her company, ECOncrete was number 13th on the Forbes woman-led tech companies. Also in 2019, she was one of three winners of the EU 'Women Innovators' award winning $100,000, and was named one of the most creative business people by Fast Company. She has spoken at events with renown global figures, such as Michelle Obama. Her passing was covered by Forbes magazine.
Shimrit with ECOncrete's co-founder, Ido Sella
ECOoncrete was founded in 2012 by Shimrit and Ido Sella, who had known each other for over 10 years since they were students at Tel Aviv University. Shimrit identified a growing problem where coastline development threatened coastal ecosystems, greatly hurting biodiversity. She along with Ido developed a new concrete blend with unique shapes and textures that not only didn't hurt the coastal communities but actually served as a catalyst for them. Furthermore, it was even stronger than actual concrete. The company rapidly grew, joining the Florida-Israel Business Accelerator (FIBA), and in 2021 finished a $5 million-plus round. To date (November 2022), the company has taken on 40 projects in 12 countries. Watch videos about ECOncrete featuring Shimrit here and here.