Haredim join the hi-tech world by the busload

TECH TALK: The technology of tomorrow.

KAMA-TECH recently organized a bus tour for haredi start-up entrepreneurs to visit the offices of leading Israeli companies. (photo credit: KAMA-TECH)
KAMA-TECH recently organized a bus tour for haredi start-up entrepreneurs to visit the offices of leading Israeli companies.
(photo credit: KAMA-TECH)
The State of Israel is known throughout the world as the Start-up Nation. Our unique combination of creativity and innovation has led to the founding of countless technology companies that have attracted huge amounts of international investment and to the building of numerous R&D centers in Israel. But recently, the country has begun suffering from an acute shortage of hi-tech manpower. The integration of hi-tech employees from the haredi sector could possibly be the solution to this manpower problem.
Kama-Tech is an organization founded in an effort to help Israeli haredim integrate into the hi-tech industry. In addition to helping the Israeli economy to grow, this would also lead to increased dialogue between the two communities and help create a healthier society.
As part of this effort, Kama-Tech recently organized an entrepreneurs bus tour. Over a period of two days, haredi start-up entrepreneurs visited the offices of leading Israeli companies such as Google, Microsoft, Facebook, Cisco, Taboola and Mobileye. They also met with some of the most successful venture capitalists, CEOs and key industry leaders in Israel. The Israeli hi-tech industry is at a crossroads since it now has an entire community of individuals who have sharp minds, are fast learners and are highly motivated.
On the first day of the program, participants in the bus tour toured Jerusalem-based companies and met with key industry leaders who have played a significant role in shaping the city’s hi-tech industry. They were introduced to Prof. Amnon Shashua, CEO and founder of Mobileye; spoke with Cisco’s Zika Abzuk; and met Guy Horowitz, managing director of Deutsche Telekom’s Israeli office. They popped into the offices of video-chatting app Glide and met with former NDS CEO Raffi Kesten, who is now a managing partner at JVP.
The second day of the bus tour focused on Tel Aviv. Participants visited the offices of Taboola and spoke with Google Israel’s R&D director Yossi Matias about the integration of haredi hi-techies into Israeli start-ups. Next, they took part in a stimulating panel with leading Israeli technology journalists Inbal Orpaz from The Marker, Meir Orbach from Calcalist and Yaniv Feldman from Geektime. The panel was moderated by haredi journalist Chaim Perlstein. Later in the day, the participants attended a lecture about marketing by Facebook Israel marketing manager Anat Elhanani at the company’s impressive offices.
The next-generation electric car
The the University of Ariel Department of Mechatronics has won the electric-vehicle competition organized by the alternative-fuels administration in the Prime Minister’s Office. The university plans to use the NIS 100,000 prize to develop a unique off-road electric driverless vehicle that is capable of moving around independently for months at a time. The car, which will travel around independently or be controlled remotely, will carry out missions such as observing its surroundings, relaying objects to a different location, charging batteries and offering services or aid to hikers.
The car will be powered by solar energy that it produces through solar panels. It will come equipped with advanced technologies such as integrated power control, motion control, motion planning, a communication system, self-navigation, mapping capabilities and obstacle detection.
3-D printers go to school
Three-dimensional printers were definitely the hottest item showcased at the recent Holon Education Lottery Conference, which took place at the Holon Mediatheque.
Systematics, the local representative of 3-D printer maker MakerBot showed off its products with great fanfare. Among the attendees at the conference were President Reuven Rivlin, Education Minister Naftali Bennett and American TV legend Larry King.
All the speakers were unanimous in their belief that the introduction of 3-D printers into the education sector has been nothing less than sensational. By bringing 3-D printing capabilities into the classroom, educators can help students develop mathematical and analytical skills. In the process of designing products to print on 3-D printers, students develop unique thinking and planning capabilities and complex ideas that help them further develop their own creativity.
If you run a young start-up, have developed an interesting app or have a question, please feel free to contact [email protected]
Translated by Hannah Hochner.