Get to Know the CEO showcases some of the faces of our member companies, what they’re working on outside of work and the wisdom they have to impart on others in the industry. This month we interviewed Hagai Arbel, Co-founder & CEO, Vtool.


What advice would you give to early-career engineers/people wanting to get into your vertical market/people wanting to start a company in the current climate/etc? 

Don’t do anything unless you are passionate about it – If you are to spend the better half of your awaked hours on something, you better love it. Don’t be afraid to fail, and do not automatically adopt what everyone around you thinks is good. Remember that most people are wrong most of the time. Oups – this might include this advice.


What was your first job in the industry?

I started in National Semiconductors in Israel in 1999, and after two years, I got to lead a verification project of 25 people. We worked on “PC-on-a-chip” and “System-on-a-chip” long before the term SOC was the most common three letters in any CV. I’m very grateful for this great experience and group of people.


What advice would you give to your younger self? 

Bring on board excellent people, learn from them, and delegate to them. The power of a company resides in the team. Invest everything in building a great team, where everyone knows their strengths and weaknesses, and everyone is moving together towards fulfilling the vision.


What book do you read over and over again?

Asimov’s robot books. Actually, all of Asimov’s books. I think the man was a great philosopher of technology and predicted some of the processes we are just starting to understand now, including spaceships, extra-terrestrial intelligence, AI, and human-like robots.


Have you taken up any new hobbies during the pandemic?

I developed further my deep love for music and guitar playing. Actually, on my last travel to Vtool’s site in Greece, I fell in love with the Greek Bouzouki. I happened to take this magical musical instrument in my hands during an occasional music store visit and cannot stop playing it since.


Hagai Arbel is an expert ASIC verification architect and strategist, semiconductors engineering leader, and an entrepreneur, who has been building and leading some of the industry’s most prominent startups.

Hagai is the Co-founder and CEO of Vtool, an EDA company and ASIC design house that invented the revolutionary Cogita debugging platform. Before Vtool, Hagai was the co-founder and CEO of Weebit Nano, developing a novel Silicon Oxide RRAM and traded publically. Hagai was also the founder and CEO of Veriest Venture, an Israeli-based ASIC design house established in 2007, with over 100 engineers in Israel and Serbia.

A leading figure in the industry, Hagai has trained and mentored numerous professionals, many of whom have pursued leadership positions. Investing in education and knowledge transfer, Hagai is a verification guest professor at the Nis University in Serbia, EDA concept researcher, several DVCon and other conferences presenter, and the author of several patents in the field.

Hagai was born and raised in Israel and holds a BS from Ben Gurion University.


VTool Ltd. provides a disruptive functional verification platform that generates and maintains efficient, unified ASIC and FPGA level verification environments. From formulating a verification plan through testbench implementation and debug, Vtool integrates with existing SystemVerilog UVM and verification IP technology.