Start Tel Aviv 2013

Start Tel Aviv 2013

    Young entrepreneurs from a dozen countries competed for the chance to come to Tel Aviv during Innovation Week in October 2013. They will learn everything they can about the world-famous startup ecosystem in Israel’s second-largest city.
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    Start Tel Aviv 2013 Start Tel Aviv 2013
    Twelve startup founders from 12 countries won an international competition for an all-expenses-paid trip to Tel Aviv. From October 13-17, the lucky dozen chosen to take part in Start Tel Aviv will learn everything they can about the world-famous startup ecosystem in Israel’s second-largest city.

    “Tel Aviv is the startup city of the startup nation, and we were just ranked second most innovative city in the world” by Startup Genome, says municipal spokeswoman Mira Marcus. This is the second annual competition for foreign entrepreneurs. The 2012 inaugural competition was called Bizcamp Tel Aviv.

    Last year’s finalists learning about the local ecosystem from startup expert Yossi Vardi
    Last year’s finalists learning about the local ecosystem from startup expert Yossi Vardi, left. Photo: Jean-François Chianetta

    Per capita, Israel has attracted more than twice as much venture capital investment as the United States and 30 times more than all the members of the European Union combined.

    “Start Tel Aviv is bringing entrepreneurs from all over the world to learn what we do. Applicants have been fighting for the chance to be part of this ‘boot camp’ experience and see how the DNA of entrepreneurship in Tel Aviv is changing the world,” Marcus says
    This year’s participants are:

    1. Ronak Kumar Samantray, co-founder of NOWFLOATS, New Delhi, India
    2. Simon Lee, founder and CEO of Flitto, Seoul, Korea
    3. Max Modl, CEO of Movinary, Berlin, Germany
    4. Eldars Loginovs, co-founder and CEO of Fastr, Riga, Latvia
    5. Juan David Fumpf Luna of IdBooster, Bogota, Colombia
    6. Tom New, founder and CEO of Formisimo, London, England
    7. Pat Phelan of Trustev, Dublin, Ireland
    8. Carlos Alaejos Garcia, co-founder of Discue, Copenhagen, Denmark
    9. Dr. Peng Hao, CEO of Zhenjiang Internet-of-Things, Shanghai, China
    10. Ms. Gioia Pistola of Atooma, Rome, Italy
    11. Mathias Karlsson of Detectify, Stockholm, Sweden
    12. Pablo Migul Fernandez of Splash Mobile, Madrid, Spain

    Each entrepreneur is between 25 and 40 years old, working in a seed-stage company in the Web, mobile or security sectors.

    Innovation Week in Tel Aviv
    Start Tel Aviv will take place during Innovation Week Tel Aviv, which is highlighted by the annual Digital Life Design (DLD) Festival, a global gathering of innovators and entrepreneurs from around the world. The festival includes events, conferences, meet-ups, mingles and gatherings, all focusing on different sides of digital, technological, social and urban innovation.

    Start Tel Aviv’s sponsors -- the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Tel Aviv Global & Tourism and Google’s Campus Tel Aviv — will give finalists the opportunity to meet the coolest and smartest companies, techies, startups, designers, artists, scientists, investors and cultural drivers from Israel and abroad.

    A welcoming brunch is to be held on the seaside rooftop of Wix, a highly successful cloud-based web development platform. “They are an Israeli company of about 400 employees not looking to have an exit, and they will talk about going against the current,” says Marcus.

    On their second day, Start Tel Aviv finalists will participate in Geektime Conference 2013, the fifth annual conference for top executives from marketing, advertising, media, internet and telecommunications industries in the United States, Europe and Israel.

    They will visit Google’s Campus Tel Aviv as well as The Library, a former public library turned into a co-working space for startups. And they will drop in on the Cities Summit Conference, a gathering of city administrators and entrepreneurs from around the world meeting in Israel to brainstorm ideas for promoting, facilitating and developing innovation within urban settings.

    Finally, they’ll participate in the Open Startup city-wide festival celebrating the startup city of Tel Aviv, with more than 100 local startups and accelerators opening their doors to the general public, presenting a "behind the scenes" look into the world of startups. And they will have a chance to pitch their businesses to top angel investors and venture capitalists.

    Marcus adds that the five-day itinerary also includes a couple of hours of beach time each day, “because you can’t be in Tel Aviv without enjoying the beach.” In addition, the guests will get a free tour of Jerusalem.

    “Our city was founded by 66 ‘startup families’ 104 years ago, and now there are over 700 startup businesses here,” Marcus says. She explains that Tel Aviv was founded in 1909 by 66 families seeking to begin a Jewish city next to the port of Jaffa for incoming immigrants. “Entrepreneurs look to see what doesn’t exist, and they start it,” she says. Using a lottery system of numbered shells, each family received a plot of land in the sand dunes. More than a century later, those sand dunes – the municipality of Tel Aviv-Jaffa – are the basis of the city recently named Europe’s leading tech hub by the Wall Street Journal.