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Israel is unique in that amidst all of the turmoil in the Middle East, it still ranks as one of the hotbeds of innovation not just in the region but in the world. So when Amir Harel tweeted that there was no Startup Weekend in Israel, we gave him the go ahead to “do it.” This was how Startup Weekend Tel Aviv was born.

Their last event in Israel was a huge success. It was held last December at the IBM HQ and was able to bring about 13 projects with one already raising capital. This time around, it will be held at the Peres Center for Peace on July 14 to 16, 2010. Eddy Resnick will be co-organizing this gathering with Amir. The event is expected to bring together like-minded entrepreneurs; whether they be Palestinian or Israeli, anyone with a passion for innovation and technology is welcome to join.
In an interview with Amir by Chris McCann of Startup Digest, he said that the group is, “not taking any political stand, and we are not associated with any political group – we just want to send a message – we can do things different, we can do things better, and it needs to come from the ground up.” He adds, “We just want people to connect in their field of interest and get to know new people regardless of their religion, nationality, gender, or anything else.”
Of the 130 participants, roughly 20-30 would be Palestinian. Bringing in these Palestinian entrepreneurs would be no easy task since they each need to be screened by the government to be able to attend, and the Peres Center was a great help in this regard. Sponsors like Google, IBM and PayPal lent a helping hand and provided funds for their accommodations and transportation.
This Startup Weekend looks to be another big hit and is already fully booked with a waiting list to boot. This sends a clear message that entrepreneurship really can bring people together and hopefully it will be a blueprint for cooperation between innovators from both sides. While Amir is not politically involved personally, he sees this event as his, “contribution to increase the chance for a peace.”
If you would like to be part of this event, follow @SWIsrael and stay tuned to #swtlv for updates.
via The Startup Digest

startupweekend



  • James

    This is so great. It'd be great if a Palestinian-Israeli team came out of this event–one that would go on to be a funded company and show the [government] that Palestinians and Israelis can actually work together instead of at odds…

  • Great energy around, a lot to lear and a lot to share – our team #12 in http://tinyurl.com/3yxulbw is on the good track to be on stage in less than 3 hours.
    @yossidan