Israeli tech students to develop solutions for elderly citizens

Five-week competition seeks to recruit young entrepreneurs to the difficult challenge of improving the lives of Israel's seniors.

September 1, 2015 16:40
1 minute read.
Elderly couple

Elderly couple (illustrative). (photo credit: REUTERS)

The future might belong to the youth, but technological progress can certainly assist senior citizens as well. The COM.UNITY foundation, in cooperation with the IDC Entrepreneurship Club, will launch a competition to improve the lives of Israeli's elderly citizens.

A study conducted by the foundation discovered that some 86 percent of seniors are unemployed, 51% find it difficult to maintain their daily activities, and 47% say they suffer from constant loneliness.

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The not-for-profit foundation was founded by Nofar Albarak, David Saidon, and Assaf Elovic. Saidon said, "The seniors sector faces major social and financial difficulties, even in an age in which we all feel more connected and better informed."

The competition is supported by Check Point, Wix, Playtech, Intel, Amazon, and additional corporate sponsors. The five-week contest is open to groups of three -to-five students from all Israeli academic institutions. The winners will receive a prize worth NIS 40,000 and the opportunity to join an accelerator which has yet to be named.

Participants will receive business and technological mentoring and be connected with seniors. The founders of the competition said that prior experience was not required and that formulated, finished ideas were similarly unnecessary.

Elovic, one of the founders, said, "It is not enough to understand that there is a difficult social issue. You must ask if there are more efficient, feasible ways to solve it. Reducing the technological and social isolation among the elderly population is necessary, and it could lead to a meaningful improvement in their lives."

The third founder, Albarak, added, "Students that specialize in business administration, accounting, and law are an inseparable part of the successful building of lasting, prosperous social enterprises."

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