The Economy Ministry and the Council for Higher Education on Wednesday announced a NIS 255,000 “Entrepreneur of the Future” contest for college and university students, to be awarded at the Israel Innovation Conference 2014 in May.



The awards will go to three entrants who present the best ideas for industrial design projects, with the winner receiving a NIS 100,000 grant and two runners-up receiving NIS 75,000 and NIS 50,000.

“Encouraging entrepreneurship and innovation among students is an important element for building any ecosystem that hopes to foster growth and continue our leadership in innovation,” said Avi Hasson, the Economy Ministry’s chief scientist. “Innovation is a way of thinking, and our mission is to implement it at any age and in any field.”

The competition is open to students from any field relating to industrial design or technology. The proposed product can either be original or can suggest new ways to use existing technologies.

Tech entrepreneurs who are further along their path need not feel left out; chip maker Qualcomm on Wednesday announced its own contest, with a $150,000 grand prize.

Israel is among the seven regions eligible for the QPrize, intended to identify and fund promising, early- stage technology companies. There will be one regional winner each from Israel, China, Europe, India, Korea, Latin America and North America.

The regional winners will receive $100,000 in seed funding and go on to compete against each other for the grand prize.

“As a leading industry enabler, Qualcomm is committed to fueling innovation and driving cutting-edge technologies into the entire wireless ecosystem,” said Nagraj Kashyap, senior vice president of Qualcomm Ventures.

“The QPrize competition allows us to take a look at very early-stage companies in key regions throughout the world and fund the next wave of up-and-coming innovators.”

The deadline for QPrize submissions is April 18.

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