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Culture is key. At Innovid, there is no shortage.

The inaugural InnOlympics was supposed to begin with the lighting of a ceremonial torch. So he improvised.

In front of a live crowd in his New York office and hundreds of remote employees tuning in via Zoom from locations like Los Angeles, Chicago, Israel, and China, he grabbed a box of tissues, held it aloft, and delicately I pulled one to the side so that it stood up straight. I set the box on fire.

Now you can start the game.

The idea for InnOlympics came from Leah Stewart’s team. The HR Associate thought it would be a fun way to engage Innovid’s global workforce in a collaborative, competitive and mandatory event spanning her nearly 100 challenges over three days. The team was randomly selected and included everyone in the company, including executives.

One of the challenges was to create an anthem about Innovid. Another was a penny stacking contest. One was to procure as many packets of mini ketchup and mustard as possible in an hour. Product Her VP of Marketing Laura Foster had to slurp raw spaghetti into her five sticks of penne and her pasta.

“I think I gave the team 1,000 points in that game,” Foster said.

Teams recorded videos of their achievements through an app that allowed them to track their points and their competitors. In the end, Foster’s team won grand prizes, including an Innovid branded medal and a $100 gift card.

“But the whole company actually won because the image of Zvika holding a burning tissue box became one of the most used emojis,” says Foster.

Culture is a key factor in why someone joins a company, and at Innovid there is no shortage of culture. The ad tech company features DEI task forces, cultural committees, wellness teams, mentorship programs, and quirky events like InnOlympics that create an inclusive and fun environment.

Want a glimpse of what this culture looks like in action? Built In spoke with three team members to find out more.

what do they do

Innovid powers ad delivery, personalization, measurement and results for leading brands across linear, connected TV (CTV) and digital. Through our global infrastructure that enables cross-platform ad serving, data-driven creative and measurement, Innovid provides clients with always-on intelligence to optimize their advertising investments across channels, platforms, screens and devices. .

Innovid team photo

What drew you to Innovid?

HR Associate Leah Stewart: I come from a very different background. I worked for the United Nations and knew nothing about ad tech. But when I found out about Innovid, it seemed like a cool company. Then when I walked into the office, I fell in love with it. The environment was very lively. Music was playing and people were chatting. Everyone was so kind and welcoming. I immediately felt the warmth of the culture.

Technical Project Manager Roy Zhou: Oddly enough, I I actually interviewed at Innovid in 2019 and was rejected. It was then adopted in 2021. Despite being rejected two years ago, the HR team was interested. The first recruiter who hired me in 2019 is the same person who hired me in 2021…and she actually followed it up!

Vice President, Product Marketing Laura Foster: I have been in the ad tech space my entire career. After working with her colleagues at her previous job for about three weeks, she retired and she went to Innovid. Years later she asked me to join. Once I started the interview process, I was immediately treated like a human being. you are not here number The email was personal. HR reached out to me and said, ‘I’ve been talking to your friend about you for 45 minutes and she’s crazy about you. Let’s see if you like it.” The whole process felt very different from the usual, very structured interviews.

What can you brag to your friends about Innovid?

Stewart: swag! We have cool Nike sweaters, Innovid hats, shirts, backpacks, pants and socks. The only thing I don’t have yet is the shoes!

Zhou: our happy hour. They are legendary across the industry. I posted a picture of them on my Instagram story and all my friends were like, ‘What is this? Why wasn’t I invited? Well, we all want to go to karaoke.” We work remotely, so we may not see each other much. But when we see each other, it’s fun and exciting.

Foster: The comfort of a tough conversation. Most companies I’ve worked for have to be positive in the room. Friends of mine often say, “Hmm, I have this big problem at work.” And my reply is always: did you talk to the executive? ’ And they were like, ‘I will never bring this up. In my experience, every time I discuss a problem with the CMO, CTO, or CEO, I also come up with a solution. I don’t feel a strong layer of hierarchy here about what I can say or elevate.

What are some cultural events that bring remote workers together?

Zhou: Me Recently, I partnered with the Global Cultural Committee for Asia Pacific Islanders Month to host a lunch and learn event about the history and making of bubble tea. It was the first time I felt so comfortable. The talk was held in New York, but everyone was welcome to join us on Zoom. If you’re not in NYC and want to attend, Innovid sent his Grubhub gift card and get your own bubble tea, no one felt excluded. I will definitely do it again next year.

Foster: This is not an HR sanctioned event, but Innovid has many employees who have Pelotons, myself included. We created a global Slack channel called #InnoPeloton where we all join classes every 3-6 months and cycle together exclusively via our own code. We always say, “OK, don’t try too hard.” And obviously some people start trying too hard. I love the Peloton Crew. This is another way to connect with people and it can be done remotely.

Stewart: We have a wellness team and have created an entire calendar of wellness events. For example, celebrate Hypertension Awareness Month and provide information about it. Through her Cigna, an insurance company, he offers $25 gift cards to employees who undergo annual health checks. We host yoga events and virtual seminars on health and wellness.

How is Innovid prioritizing DEI?

Stewart: Our DEI initiative falls into three different categories. There is a culture of inclusion committees that I am a part of. We have a community impact committee focused on mentorship and internship programs. And there is a committee that recruits diverse talent. We meet monthly to see what each group is doing.

Foster: I mentored the last two cycles of the mentorship program. Honestly, it’s one of the most rewarding aspects of my career. At the end of the program, my mentee said, “Thank you, this was really helpful.” I think imposter syndrome hits all of us. Knowing that I was able to help someone definitely puts those thoughts to rest.

internship program

Innovid has its own internship program. This is specifically aimed at candidates from diverse backgrounds who may not otherwise have had the opportunity to engage with the world of technology. During one recent internship cycle, Innovid worked exclusively with The Boyd Initiative to help young Black professionals discover careers in advertising and media. Foster said, “Because of your background, education, skin color, or gender identity, you may not explore technology or think it’s not for you. “I’ve met people who weren’t there before,” he said.

Photo of the Innovid team in Times Square

In March, Innovid acquired TVSquared, adding 114 team members. What effect does such an influx of people have on culture?

Zhou: Everyone who comes to Innovid has something to teach you. It’s also an excuse for ice cream. Our group goes to our New York office every week to post a picture of our ice cream. There is a big fan ice cream shop called Cafe Kanojo no Panna near the office. It’s become something that one of our presidents likes to attend. Whenever someone walks into the New York office for the first time, I make sure to come with them. it is a must.

Foster: Everyone talks about maintaining a culture as you grow up. I think the best way to keep a culture alive is to inject new culture into it. Because it’s just us and it doesn’t grow forever. It becomes stagnant, dry and boring. We are delighted to have the entire team in Edinburgh, Scotland. We have a team based in Tel Aviv, Israel. We have a really fascinating and evolving culture.