Anat Shperling

Co-Founder and CEO, Toya

Field: Gaming and Media

Capital raised: $750,000

Lady Globes Leading Entrepreneurs 2017 - ענת שפרלינג / צילום: ענבל מרמרי

Personal: 46 | Married with two children | BFA in Film &TV from Tel Aviv University, MA in gender studies from Bar Ilan University



"As a content creator, we develop games and virtual goods inspired by the life stories of pioneering women, targeting first and foremost the female demographics. We chose to start with one of the most popular platforms ever - Minecraft. The first game we created was inspired by Dian Fossey, a primatologist who researched gorillas in Rwanda. There is nothing didactic in our game - you enter into an adventure map, follow all kinds of routes, and are exposed to her work while experimenting strategy, decision making, and competitiveness ."


"In August, we signed an agreement that makes us one of the Minecraft Marketplace's first content partners. Each month, we will upload our unique content for sale in the Minecraft store, owned by Microsoft. This is a new store exclusively for users of the game. Minecraft has 120 million users."


"We received financing for the company in May, signed an agreement with Microsoft in August, and a first product was launched in early October. We're experiencing tremendous growth and need for support, and we have growing pains. The opportunity to be first in Marketplace is an achievement that Toya has to leverage immediately, and that means recruiting staff and accelerated development in Los Angeles and San Francisco."

Advice for a young female entrepreneur

"It's important to get to Meetup – an excellent forum for meeting potential partners. It's also an excellent way of working out the road you want to follow. There is often a big difference between your initial idea and what will eventually be developed."

Life insights

"When I started the Women's Film Festival in 2004, I was on the receiving end of a great deal of anger. People asked what need there was for such a platform. There was very strong opposition to our desire to change the representation of women in the industry. Initially we worked amid strong resistance. It was difficult to raise money and bring women on board. It eventually became a success, but I learned the hard way about the power of persistence."

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