(photo credit: courtesy)
A car seat for dogs and a towel with pockets were among the inventions by high
school students that won top prizes on Thursday night at the annual Facing the
Future Competition held at Bar- Ilan University in Ramat Gan.
students aged between 15-18 – all part of the three year Unistream business
leadership Junior MBA program – competed for NIS 15,000 in prizes, with awards
going to two groups from Acre and one from Or Yehuda.
Unistream is a
non-profit organization that aims to educate and empower disadvantaged Israeli
youth by matching them with mentors from the business and science worlds. With
state-of-the-art centers in Netivot, Kfar Yona, Ma’alot-Tarshiha, Gilboa, Upper
Nazereth, Eilat, Afula, Acre, Hatzor Haglilit and Or Yehuda, students spend
three years in the program, coming out with a new creation each year. The
competition, which awards a prize to each year, is judged by some of the
nation’s leading entrepreneurs.
The top prize for the first-year
participants went to a group of 24 pupils from Acre who invented a car seat for
The second-year winner, which is also from Acre, received first
prize for inventing a “Yamba,” a long towel with zippered-pockets to hold your
keys and wallet without others seeing any bulges. The Yamba is made of a special
cloth that absorbs water within minutes and also converts into a portable
The third-year award went to a group from Or Yehuda, which worked
together with food technologists from the Weizmann Institute of Science
Rehovot to create a product called “YTaimLi” (Wow, it’s tasty), natural,
flavored pills designed to be put into water and instantly create a
tea or coffee drink. The youngsters, accompanied by their professional
imported special machines from China to realize the project.
kids to the secrets of the business world at a young age tremendously
their chances for success – in any field they choose,” said Rony Zarom,
and chairman of the board of Unistream, who grew up in Ramle.
to Unistream, its rigorous three-year program combines business with
activism. Teens from both Jewish and Muslim communities are carefully
to participate and arranged into regional groups.
Each group is then
matched with a mentor, comprising some of the country’s leading
The program has is now a model for the government, with
Minister of Development for the Negev and the Galilee Silvan Shalom set
new centers in the North and the Negev.