During a recent visit with Guy and Bar, they shared PresenTense’s vision to expand Israel’s startup ecosystem by making entrepreneurship open to a broader population.
Last week, I ventured to Nazareth to meet and “speed date” with multiple entrepreneurial teams, who were applying to be part of NaserahTech.
In my role as the Brand Ambassador for the Rackspace Startup Program in Israel, I am blessed to have the opportunity to visit, mentor, and be witness to the growing entrepreneurial ecosystem.
While I have made multiple visits to Nazareth, this was my first time to see early stage companies all vying for this coveted opportunity. The vision and descriptions of Guy and Bar’s vision were not only affirmed, but exceeded my expectations during the one-on-one pitch sessions.
The companies selected – Arrange Your Life, Cooknet, Injazcome, iSheenlinQ, Makaltee, Medinter, Money Tips & Steps, PHILIA, Simple, Smart Pants, SUG, and Wasteless Fridge represented the spectrum of mobile, social and even couple of hardware or real world products.
Some were ideas. Some were in development, and some had real working prototypes. Some of the entrepreneurs had day-jobs at places like Intel, HP or in smaller companies where they are developers or products managers. Some were leaving their jobs to pursue their entrepreneurial dreams. I met a soon-to-be-married couple who were building an Arab-centric media company. There were mostly men, and several women who will be part of this program.
I was inspired to say the least.
Driving back to Tel Aviv later that evening, I thought about the pitches I heard, the other mentors I met, hearing a mix of Arabic, Hebrew and English being spoken – and the universal language that speaks to us all: entrepreneurship and the belief in people from all walks of life who want to make a difference and contribute to their community.
I can’t predict which company (or companies) will break out, get funded, or even have an exit.
But that’s not the point right now.
The point here is to open the doors to entrepreneurship to a broader universe, and let Israel be an example of how this can be done.
Kudos to Guy and Bar for setting what could be a blueprint for other startup-ecosystems around the world.
I plan to continue coverage of NaserahTech in future columns.
And be prepared to be inspired.