For the first time since the signing of the Abraham Accords, a three day virtual hackathon was held in order to develop business entrepreneurship and relationships between young Israelis and young people in the UAE, Bahrain and Morocco.
The event, taking place between the 23rd and 25th of March, was organized by Israel-is – an organization working to improve Israel's image in the world – in collaboration with JVP, an internationally renowned VC fund, the Peres Center for Peace and Innovation and Start-Up Nation Central.
It included greetings from the President of Israel, Reuven Rivlin, and Eitan Na'eh, Israel’s Ambassador to the UAE, as well as lectures and workshops from leading Emirati and Israeli businesspeople, and hosts young entrepreneurs from across the region.
"This unique virtual event creates a new platform to connect between young and talented entrepreneurs from our nations," said Erel Margalit, Founder and Executive Chairman of JVP & Margalit Startup City.The event addressed the post-Corona challenges that the region will face, with a particular focus on business and entrepreneurship, education and tourism. The participants will present initiatives and work plans that propose solutions to the challenges of tomorrow in the region.
"The Middle East is changing," he said. "The hunger for cooperation is huge, and the best channel for it is the technology that builds bridges and partnerships."
"Young leadership emanating from young entrepreneurs is a key driver for promoting true normalization between Israel, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Morocco, and other countries. These initiatives give both hope and opportunities for new creative ideas to bring people together and create a genuinely new chapter for our region," Margalit noted.
“This event is a great microcosm of the incredible potential for partnership between the two nations," Karin Gattegno, Chief Business Officer of Start-up Nation Central noted, adding that "At Start-up Nation Central we believe entrepreneurship and innovation are at the heart of this new collaboration, as well as the main driver for regional growth."
"Israel’s start-up ecosystem provides game-changing solutions around the world, and our young entrepreneurs are already at the very core of this new blossoming relationship. Our nations’ ecosystems have many synergies and much to learn from each other. At Start-up Nation Central we are looking forward to creating a plethora of new partnerships in the spirit of innovation for the betterment of both countries and beyond,” Gattegno continued.
Chemi Peres, Chairman of the Peres Center for Peace and Innovation, later declared that "The Abraham Accords opened a whole world of opportunities for building bridges of peace and innovation. This hackathon brings together the promise of the new Middle East - the younger generation who are the leaders of tomorrow."
"The Peres Center for Peace and Innovation is proud to take part in this important event, which is consistent with the work of the Center over the past 25 years to shape a common and better future for the peoples of the region," Peres continued.
The winners from the United Arab Emirates will be invited on a delegation to Israel, and the Israeli winners will be hosted in the United Arab Emirates, under the banner of entrepreneurship and technology.