TechforCann | Europe Accelerator

Our Team

Our Team

Lilac Mandeles
Co-Founder & CEO

Lilac has years of experience as a business development and marketing executive in the pharmaceutical sector – at Johnson & Johnson, Eli Lilly and Teva Pharmaceuticals, where she led the global strategic marketing of Copaxon, a $4B MS medicine. After serving as the VP global marketing, research and development for medical cannabis firm Better, she founded TechForCann, a Tel Aviv-based company that specialized in the adaptation of innovative technologies into the Cannabis Industry. 

Lilac is currently the CEO of TechforCann Europe Accelerator, a Malta based company that identifies and accelerates IP / Tech based start-ups in the medical cannabis industry.  She is also a member of the Board of Directors in Nezer Hasharon (formerly Israel Military Industries) and a board member in startups companies from the Cannabis industry: Cannafoam and ImmunoCann. 

Lilac has extensive global experience developing strategies worldwide at Kafrit (Chemical industries) and Teva Pharmaceutical and as a consultant to the Israeli export institute in building strategic Joint Ventures and leading M&As. She is a speaker in global conferences and holds an MBA from Hebrew University in Jerusalem and a Bachelor’s in Chemistry (with honors).

Yona Cymerman
Co-founder & COO

Yona has 20 years of experience in strategic marketing, business development and media relations. Yona was Vice  President of Strategic Marketing at RuderFinn, the world’s third largest communication firm, and then established her own boutique marketing communications firm for Israeli tech companies, which ran successfully for 15 years. She also co-founded Can Innovations – an Israel-Canada business development agency in the medical cannabis space.

 Yona has built and implemented original strategies that led to successful capital raising and market exposure. She has spoken at global events, is an adjunct lecturer at IDC Herzliya and a mentor to a number of social impact organizations.

Our Mentors

Dr. Yakir Rottenberg – MD. MPH

Faculty of Medicine, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel

Department of Oncology, Hadassah Medical Center, Jerusalem, Israel

Academic committee of the Multidisciplinary Center for Cannabinoid Research

Inventor of a few patents in the field of drug delivery.

Celia Daly

Celia has 12 years of experience with growth strategy, marketing and fundraising in new markets and startup ecosystems. She began her career in economic development with a focus on entrepreneurship, but has spent the last 5+ years working in marketing and operations at various cannabis firms.

Currently, Celia contracts with cannabis technology companies to improve processes that support rapid top-line growth. Her recent work includes go-to- market plans, marketing strategy, content development and fundraising design.

Most recently, she was also the Director of Operations for Poseidon Asset Management, the longest running cannabis venture capital firm. In her role, she conducted due diligence on growth-stage cannabis companies. Prior to joining Poseidon, Celia was Director of Development and Operations at CanopyBoulder where she coached founders to implement effective fundraising, marketing and sales strategies with companies like Abaca, Happy Cabbage and Weller.

Celia holds a Masters of Business Administration in Impact Entrepreneurship from Colorado State University and a Bachelor of Science in Economics from American University.

Dr. Robert Foldes

Dr. Robert Foldes has been active in the cannabis industry since 2018 and is currently Vice President of Product Development at VIVO Cannabis Inc., a publicly traded company with operations through several wholly-owned subsidiaries in Canada, Australia and Germany. Robert leads new product strategy and coordination of all activities from concept to launch. He is mostly focused on oils, vapes, topicals, edibles and new delivery formats and has been responsible for the development and launch of several new cannabis products in Canada.

Dr. Foldes is an accomplished leader with strong business development and R&D background. In his career, he has worked with research institutes, start-ups, private, and public companies. He has negotiated and managed partnerships with multinational pharmaceutical companies. He has a record of success in securing financing from venture capital, industry, and government sources. Dr. Foldes has spent most of his career in the bio/pharma sector where he has also managed drug discovery and preclinical development efforts leading to first-in-human clinical trials. Dr. Foldes holds a Ph.D. in Pharmacology from the University of Nebraska Medical Center, and an M.B.A. from the Schulich School of Business.

Narkis Tessler

Narkis Tessler is Chief Strategy & Business Development Officer at Medocann Pharma – a best-in-class indoor cannabis cultivation company located in Israel. Narkis is also active in the cannabis industry as a strategic consultant, a conference speaker, an advisor to the student run cannabis entrepreneurship program at Israel’s Reichman University and former co-host of CannaCAST-IL, a podcast that provided global exposure to Israel’s medical cannabis technologies and innovations. She’s also managing partner of a small private investment group.

Prior to her work in Cannabis, Narkis held executive positions in leading organizations and built numerous companies and P&L divisions, in retail, consumer goods, biotech technologies and medical services. Additionally, she has served on the boards of directors in both public and government companies in industries ranging from infrastructure to tourism to security systems.  

Narkis is a member of the Israel Government Companies Authority pool of qualified directors. She holds an MBA from Tel Aviv University in Israel, and a BA from Emory University in the U.S.

In her volunteer work Narkis established ‘Directors for Change’, an activist group promoting diversity in the boardroom, and has volunteered as a mentor in non-profit organizations, providing strategic consulting to Israel’s social non-profits.  

Andrew Miller

VP business development at Clever Leaves.

Irit Avisar

Irit Avisar, is a registered nurse and a lawyer with BA in Nursing, Law, MA in Health Systems Administration and a mediator graduate of a practicum at the Labor Court. 

Irit has three decades of experience as a nurse as well as experience in the field of clinical trials globally. She is a leader in the field of medical cannabis and one of the most clinically knowledgeable nurses in
the field of medical cannabis. She conducts lectures to doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and various therapists. She also initiated and developed a curriculum for nurses-as-consultants, in the field of treatment by medical cannabis. To date, she has trained hundreds of nurses and teaches courses in leading nursing schools at Sheba medical center, Kaplan medical center, Sapir medical center and Ben Gurion University. She is also a world-wide lecturer at international conferences around the world. In her pursuit to take the world of healthcare services a step further, Irit co-founded of an association dedicated to the advancement of knowledge among medical staff. In recent years, Irit runs a cannabis counseling clinic which accompanies and advises patients and doctors in various medical fields, including rare diseases.

Her current endeavor focuses on the development of protocols for clinical trials in the field of medical cannabis education for health professionals.

Ran Abuhasira – MD, PhD

Department of Internal Medicine B, Rabin Medical Center, Beilinson Campus.

Completed his PhD at the Cannabis Clinical Research Institute (CCRI) under the supervision of Prof. Victor Novack. His study focused on assessing the safety and efficacy of medical cannabis in the elderly population.

Has vast experience in design and execution of clinical studies and clinical trials.

Oded Wachsman – M.D., M.B.A

Dr. Oded Wachsman is a very experienced entrepreneur with extensive experience  in founding and managing Medical device and Biotech start-up companies leading  them through all stages of technology and business development as founder and  CEO . 

Dr. Wachsman is involved in founding and managing life science startup companies,  business development, strategic planning, and due diligence and fund raising to life  science start-up, academic institutions, venture capital funds and investment banking  firm to public companies and he is a mentor to startup companies.

Chris Busuttil

Chris is a passionate entrepreneur, curious scientist and creative leader as well as a proven businessman. He has built Evolve Ltd. within the Attard & Co. group from scratch as a business vehicle to offer services such as Designing, Equipping, Maintaining of scientific workspaces as well as Training of many industry professionals.

He recently successfully internationalised the Evolve brand, becoming the first company in the world to design and build an EU-standard GMP laboratory in West Africa. In fact, Evolve now employs 36 professionals based in Malta, also serving sub-Saharan Africa. Evolve, led by Mr Busuttil Delbridge, also played a pivotal role in the design and build of the first medical cannabis processing facility in Malta, the design, build, equipping and maintaining of the largest independent GMP testing lab in Europe and the introduction of molecular biology diagnostic testing methods in the Maltese healthcare industry. Mr Busuttil Delbridge has been a leading supporter of Malta’s switch to higher technological ventures like the production of pharmaceuticals, state-of-the-art technology in healthcare and semiconductors.

He also set up and Chairs two units within the Malta Chamber of Commerce, the ‘Medical Cannabis Operators business section’, as well as the ‘Quality Committee’, to bolster the highest quality standards in all aspects of business and the Maltese economy. The entrepreneurial spirit was always present in Chris since his youth when he represented Malta twice in International scientific competitions, was a cofounder of the Junior section of the Malta Chamber of Scientists, sat on the organising committee of Science Week and served as the student representative of the Faculty of Science during all his tenure at the University of Malta.