Israeli company mPrest was a little-known software firm, providing “Internet of Things” (IoT) software, before Rafael, Israel’s second-largest defense firm, bought half of it in 2010. That helped Barak and his three co-founders get access to their former military employers.

Within months, mPrest’s technology—which allows different systems to “speak” to each other—was a vital cog in Israel’s Iron Dome Missile Defense System, which guards the country from missile attacks from the Gaza Strip and Lebanon, primarily.

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