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
“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, left. Photo: Jean-François Chianetta
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
1. Simon Lee, founder and CEO of Flitto
, Seoul, Korea
2. Max Modl, CEO of Movinary
, Berlin, Germany
3. Eldars Loginovs, co-founder and CEO of Fastr
, Riga, Latvia
4. Juan David Fumpf Luna of IdBooster
, Bogota, Colombia
5. Tom New, founder and CEO of Formisimo
, London, England
6. Pat Phelan of Trustev
, Dublin, Ireland
7. Carlos Alaejos Garcia, co-founder of Discue
, Copenhagen, Denmark
8. Ronak Kumar Samantray, co-founder of NOWFLOATS
, New Delhi, India
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
“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.