Bridging The Biotech Bridge – Avital Beck


Avital Beck PhD. MBA is the CEO of Wilk, a publicly traded company on the TLV stock exchange.  She is a serial entrepreneur, and former CEO of serial biomed startups, Including Milkstrip, where she was the CEO and co-founder. Her expertise lies in the scientific fields of medical and biotech innovation processes and strategy. She is also an inspirational speaker in the world of peak performance and leadership. She can be acclaimed as a biochemist bridging the gap between science and business.

She holds a PhD degree in molecular cell biology from the Weizmann Institute of Science and has fulfilled 2 post-doctoral research in molecular genetics and microbiology. As a prominent figure in women’s entrepreneurship, she serves as the head of the female accelerator NERA and actively participates in women’s founder-led initiatives. As a lecturer for female entrepreneurs, Avital is dedicated to empowering women in their entrepreneurial endeavors. Her expertise and passion make her a valuable asset in advancing the success of women in business.


Avital didn’t plan a career in the biotech industry or had no idea from a young age that she would begin her own company. Her dream was to pursue academia as a scientist. She was on the right track and was keenly interested in going to Boston to further her academic career after having been accepted to Harvard Medical School lab for her post-doctoral research. However, at the same time, she was going through the process of receiving fertility treatments in Israel and ultimately had to postpone her post-doctoral plans for the benefit of her family. She earned her Ph.D.  Degree at 28 and received an offer to join the biotech industry in Israel, an industry which she never thought of entering.

It opened a whole new world for me with its multiple job opportunities and fast-paced energy. Working in academia, the day-to-day is more or less the same, and it became too mundane for my high energy level, leaving me feeling like I could do more. Biotech was the perfect option for me.

However, certain changes in the company resulted in her having more free time than usual, and to fill her days she decided to create her start-up, MilkStrip. MilkStrip was the only company on the market that offered breast milk diagnostic kits. Today as the CEO of Wilk We she and her company are in the process of developing real breast milk from mammary cells in a lab without mothers, to address the unmet need of breast milk for families who cannot breastfeed. 

I am a mother of 7 children, and I am also a scientist. The combination of both inspired me to embark on a journey that utilizes my knowledge in science to make the world better for mothers. In my first start-up, I developed home diagnostic tests for breastfeeding mothers. Building on that now we are trying to produce real breast milk for mothers and parents who cannot breastfeed, in a lab, using my scientific and personal understanding as well as the scientific and business experience that I have gained.


Avital’s company is the only one developing cell-based fats for the dairy and formula industries. This gives Wilk a competitive advantage, as cell-based fats have many potential benefits, such as improved nutritional quality, sustainability, and ethics. The challenge is both a scientific challenge to succeed in upscaling the cells and a financial one, as it requires deep pockets to fund deep tech companies and biological labs. As a leader at Wilk, she is confronted with a multitude of added responsibilities that go beyond the conventional duties of a business leader. Steering the ship in times of uncertainty and change requires her to make complex decisions, foster innovation, and nurture growth. Additionally, her role involves prioritizing the well-being and unity of the team, ensuring open communication channels, and strategically navigating the company through the dynamic challenges of the business landscape.

Moreover, being a woman in a leadership position adds an extra layer of complexity, requiring her to break through barriers and overcome gender-related challenges explains Avital.  Furthermore, being Israeli, especially in times of conflict, introduces unique pressures that demand resilience and adept decision-making to steer the company through turbulent waters.

In essence, my leadership at Wilk involves a multifaceted approach that addresses both the intricacies of the business world and the specific challenges associated with my gender and the geopolitical context. I firmly believe in the power of teamwork, recognizing that individual success is often a collective achievement. My guiding principle for success revolves around the understanding that it’s not about winning or losing; rather, it’s a continuous journey. While we celebrate our successes, the very next day marks the beginning of a new struggle to achieve the next goal. Similarly, setbacks are not seen as failures but as opportunities to learn, prompting us to rise the next morning armed with a fresh plan and novel approaches to try again.


Avital exclaims that, Wilk is a women-led company that is unique in the Hightech industry and more so in publicly traded companies where one sees very small amounts of women in C-level positions. Moreover, Avital sees herself from the Orthodox Jewish community in Israel, which is a minority group in Israel, and a mother of 7, which is very different in the Industry.

We think that diversity fosters creativity acceptance and great work.

Sustainability and corporate social responsibility are core values that guide Avital’s company’s business practices at every level. As a company dedicated to developing animal-free dairy products, they prioritize animal welfare by eliminating the use of animal-based ingredients in their processes.

Our primary goal is to reduce the reliance on cows in the dairy industry by creating cow milk in a laboratory setting, without the need for actual cows.

By removing cows from the milk production equation, they significantly reduce the environmental impact associated with traditional dairy farming, such as greenhouse gas emissions, water consumption, and land use. Additionally, their thorough commitment to animal welfare extends beyond their production processes, as Wilk actively advocates for the ethical treatment of animals and supports initiatives that promote more sustainable and compassionate food systems.

Our approach to producing cow milk in the lab is centered on biomimicry, which involves closely replicating the natural processes that occur in cows. By utilizing the original cells responsible for milk production in nature, we can create a product that is indistinguishable from traditional cow milk in terms of taste and nutritional value. This innovative method allows us to offer consumers a more sustainable and ethical alternative to conventional dairy products.


Avitalis delighted that Wilk are pioneer in the field of cultured milk. She believes that in the future we will be able to drink cow milk and dairy products that come from cultured ingredients, without the use of cows, and would not feel a significant difference in flavor or taste and this will be the standard. When asked what qualities set her apart from other CEOs she opiated that working on self-development, honoring people even when they do not honor you, trying to better understand the person in front of one self, and not making a scene from every bad moment. Avital is still working on it all the time. But things that could have broken her in the past can only brush her shoulder today. She also does not react when she’s angry which is also important and lets things pass. Avital stays informed about emerging trends and developments in her field to make informed strategic decisions by just working very hard with her team, keeping going, and being creative in looking for out-of-the-box solutions. Her plans for the company include Fundraising and growing the company to get cultured milk to the market.

I won an honorary prize for leading women in Israeli high tech. After years of studies and very hard work, it made me very happy and proud, especially for setting an example for my children. 


Avital advises aspiring young leaders:

  • Look for pain points or for things you wish existed. Don’t get stuck in the “how” but on the “what”. Once you define in a good way what you want you will find the ways to get there. It does not have to be perfect from the beginning. It can also start by solving 10% of the problem. Just start!
  • I try to always stay positive myself. There are many pitfalls but being consistent and not giving up is the most important.
  • Imagine the best and grandest vision for your life, because you become what you believe

I try to always stay positive myself. There are many pitfalls but being consistent and not giving up is the most important.