Jerusalem’s holds first Start-up Weekend
More than 100 cities have hosted Start-up Weekends in the past 3 years, including Tel Aviv, Haifa and Petah Tikva.
Jerusalem Start-up Weekend Photo: Courtesy of Newsgeek
Jerusalem’s hi-tech industry has long played second fiddle to those of Tel Aviv,
Haifa and Herzliya, but if current events are any indication, it is transforming
The city played host this week to its first Start-up
Weekend, part of a global initiative that challenges young entrepreneurs to form
a start-up within 54 hours. More than 100 cities have hosted Start-up Weekends
in the past three years, including Tel Aviv (twice), Haifa and Petah
Jerusalem was chosen to host this week’s event out of recognition
that potential Israeli entrepreneurs come not only from greater Tel Aviv but
from anywhere with good universities and colleges, Moran Bar, founder of
Hebrew-language tech blog Newsgeek and a driving force behind the Israeli
Start-up Weekends, told The Jerusalem Post Thursday.
exists all around Israel,” she said. “All you need to do is take [potential
entrepreneurs] out of their chairs and give them the right atmosphere and the
right place for them to display their creativity.”
Bar said the 150
entrepreneurs who participated in the Jerusalem event came from both secular and
religious backgrounds, and there was even one from Ramallah.
Jerusalem Start-up Weekend began Wednesday at the Jerusalem Venture Partners
Media Quarter and will conclude on Friday.
At the start, the participants
selected 10 ideas from more than 60 pitches. Later, they divided into teams and
developed the ideas. On Friday, the teams will present their ideas to a panel of
judges, and one will be selected to represent Israel at an international
Inbal Ziv is one of the participants whose proposal was
short-listed. She and her business partner formulated an idea to create a social
and professional network for potential start-up partners. Teamz, as they have
labeled their network, is “like a combination of Facebook, LinkedIn and JDate,”
Ziv told the Post.
“When you are looking for a partner to found a
start-up with, and to be someone who shares your vision,” she said, “you are
looking for someone who on the one hand is professional enough, but on the other
hand who you can really relate to on a personal level and can
Ziv, who is a native Jerusalemite and a Hebrew University
student, co-founded the SifTech Jerusalem Entrepreneurship Center earlier this
year with the aim of promoting business initiatives in the capital and making
the city more of a focal point for entrepreneurs and start-ups.
with my own eyes that Jerusalem is becoming more of a center for
entrepreneurship and that more ideas are coming out of Jerusalem,” she
said. “There are 40,000 students here at any given time... There are a
lot of young people here now, and I think there is an understanding that in
order to develop Jerusalem, you need to develop its economy. In order to develop
its economy, you need the young people – you need the young minds, their energy
and their creativity.”