I’m filing a daily post on the Rackspace Startups Week in Jerusalem... today was day #1….

…Spent the day at Siftech and joined Oded Barel & Loni Schuman for lunch.  The place was sort of quiet today as they are in between classes and getting ready for the next batch of startups.

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Yoni Cantor Wiseman was kind enough to bake cookies, Yuval Wirzberger is building cool apps and collaborating with various teams, and Nadav Lankin &Hemda Idel are focused on their sleep platform they are working on.

Siftech is evolving, becoming more and more of a portal for the community. In many cases, they are working with VC firms, often serving as something like a finishing school for startups that are not quite yet “VC ready,” and need some help from the Siftech mentor network to help advance their companies a bit more.

You have to remember that Siftech sits inside the JVP Media Quarter home ofJerusalem Venture Partners, one of the most prestigious and successful VC firms in the country. They are next door to OurCrowd.com, the world’s largest, equity based, crowd funding platform that has already funded 80 companies.

While it’s tempting to compare Jerusalem to Tel Aviv, I have to keep reminding myself, that while an hour away, they are literally different planets, if not different universes.

If I am to compare, then I look at Istanbul or Athens – each with startup communities, a very rich and important history in the course of humanity, each being about two hours away by air.

Jerusalem is the Nation’s Capital. That will never ever go away.

 

As I walk the streets here and look around and marvel of where I am working and living this week, I have to remind myself that one’s environment certainly contributes to the creative spirit, discovery, and innovation that comes from here.

 

As my friend, and Jerusalem-based, Ethan Stephen Press so wisely shared with me when I first arrived, “…. there’s code in these old stones…”

Tomorrow, I am at King David Hotel, with a full day of meetings, mentoring, and most of all, listening.