Yanki was born in Israel in 1962. He built his first computer at age 14, started his first business at age 15 and was kicked out of school at age 17.
Yanki has been engaged with Artificial Intelligence and Cyber Security for more than thirty years. In 1984 he developed KnowPro, an Artificial Intelligence software program to help human experts in their decision-making processes. To protect his software against piracy and illegal use, he invented HASP, a hardware-based software protection key. With these two products he started Aladdin Knowledge Systems in 1985.
Under his leadership as Chairman and CEO, Aladdin grew to become a profitable global company (Nasdaq/ALDN) employing 600 people in ten countries and serving tens of thousands of software developers and corporate clients around the world. In 2009, with over US$150M in annual sales, Aladdin was acquired by a US private-equity fund.
Since then, Yanki has been busy thinking and speaking about technology, entrepreneurship, innovation, and human evolution, while nurturing a new love affair with molecular biology and biotechnology. His most popular lecture is titled - "Entrepreneurship, Technology, Evolution, and Singularity".
From 2011 to 2015 Yanki was the Chairman of Space-IL, an Israeli nonprofit organization competing in the Google Lunar X-prize, with the goal of landing a spaceship on the moon. In 2019 Space-IL's Beresheet has reached the moon.
Yanki is an investor in several technology companies. He is currently involved with a Singularity Incubator that will seek to support and nourish early-stage technology start-ups that aim to address humanity’s greatest challenges and improve our lives.