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"I want to improve the way companies work"

Yonatan Stern

Over the past three decades, Yonatan has co-founded and managed eight successful tech companies. His professional experience and unique personality led him to formulate the SmartUp methodology as a guideline for building independent and profitable companies.

Yonatan has a B.Sc. and an M.Sc. in Computer Science from the Technion and holds six registered patents. After completing his B.Sc., Yonatan enlisted in Unit 8200 in the IDF, where he rose to the rank of Major and received the Israeli Defense Prize.

After making many mistakes as a founder and CEO of his companies, Yonatan formulated the SmartUp methodology. His central vision is to enable entrepreneurs to execute their ideas and build profitable, long-lasting companies.

SmartUp is everything but trendy slogans, and the program guides entrepreneurs step-by-step. Yonatan’s method focuses on processing ideas, communicating with potential clients, developing a product already in demand, generating revenue, and using those profits to scale up and improve product offerings.

"If companies will follow this set of principles, they will be successful. I've seen it with my companies and done it repeatedly with our resident companies."
My dream is that 10 years from now what we teach at SmartUp will become the norm. I believe that instead of one company in ten making it, we can go up to 6 or 7.

Yonatan’s Timeline



In 2021 Yonatan established an entrepreneurial internship program to teach founders how to build profitable and successful companies in a few years and with a modest investment.

ZoomInfo's IPO

In June 2020, ZoomInfo went public and is now one of Israel’s largest public companies.


Yonatan stayed on as CEO and Chief Scientist of ZoomInfo until August 2018. He stepped down to focus on his YLabs initiatives, remaining a shareholder and board member. Six months later, in February of 2019, ZoomInfo was acquired again – this time by its biggest competitor, DiscoverOrg.

ZoomInfo Acquired

In 2017, the private equity group Great Hill Partners acquired ZoomInfo for $240 million.

Bizo Acquired

In 2014, Bizo was acquired by LinkedIn for $175 Million.

CardScan Acquired by DYMO

CardScan raised less than $5 million from Israeli VC funds and became profitable after only two years. In 2006, CardScan was acquired by DYMO, the electronic office products subsidiary of Newell Rubbermaid.


In 2005, ZoomInfo published its entire database on the internet and received tremendous traffic, but there was far more value in the data targeting advertisers. As a result, ZoomInfo spun off another company to shareholders called Bizo.


In 1999, Yonatan started a small research group inside CardScan to explore the possibility of scanning/crawling the internet to extract information about people and companies from public data (mainly company websites, news, press releases, and other sources).

In 2000, with a small loan from CardScan, the research group spun out from the company and was named ZoomInfo.

Yonatan chose to focus his attention on scaling ZoomInfo and stepped down as CEO of CardScan.


In 1993, Yonatan left Rosh to establish CardScan, a software company and small scanner designed to read business cards while automatically building a searchable digital address book. CardScan scaled up and eventually controlled more than 80% of the market share.

Rosh Intelligent Systems

Yonatan's entrepreneurial journey began when he and some friends from the military founded Rosh Intelligent Systems.

Rosh developed innovative AI tools to help engineers diagnose, fix, and maintain complex technological equipment. Among Rosh's customers were Xerox, Applied Materials, Philips Medical, Siemens, and Olivety.

Rosh's activity was transferred to the US while the R&D group remained in Israel. Net Manage acquired the R&D group, while Rosh Intelligent Systems went through a series of M&As and is now part of Verint Systems (NASDAQ: VRNT).
Building a successful company is a career that requires mastery – just like any other profession. Learning how to do the work is the first step, but true mastery comes from years of practice and experience.
Yonatan Stern

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