Now that I am based in Jerusalem for the months of July and August, I am getting into the culture and even learning a bit of local slang that is indigenous to this magical city.
The coming Friday is #FirgunDay. And I am asking you to give a big shout out – or rather – a firgun to your favorite startup in Jerusalem.
What started out as the modest initiative of three Jerusalem entrepreneurs – Roy Munin, Uriel Shuraki and Hanan Brand – quickly gained momentum. Thousands of people in Israel and abroad joined last year’s FirgunDay campaign.
It all began when Munin, Shuraki and Brand, leaders of MadeinJLM, an umbrella organization of the Jerusalem-based entrepreneurship community, saw a message on Twitter: one Jerusalem start-up congratulated another on its success in raising money. The ball started rolling.
Other start-ups sent good wishes to a company that launched a new product after a stint at Jerusalem’s SifTech accelerator, which is also where I hang my hat at least day a week.
“This is one of the special features of the hi-tech community in Jerusalem,” Munim shared with me. “We feel like we’re all in the same boat. When one company succeeds, we see it as the success of the whole ecosystem. It makes no difference whether the entrepreneur is secular, Haredi or Arab, or focused on Design, Software or BioEngineering. So we sat down and thought about how we could spread the good vibes beyond Jerusalem. That was how FirgunDay was born.”
In the last year, more than 100 new startups have opened in Jerusalem with capital investment more than doubling, reaching more than $ 220 million.
This year, the organizers have decided to turn the day into a global celebration. They are looking forward to the participation of tens of thousands around the world, and have managed to recruit big names in the world of politics and business who will launch the firgun-fest on July 17 with some inspiring Firgunim.
If you can’t think of a compliment, yourself, the organizers of FirgunDay have invented a tool to help you.
Just go to Firgunator.com, and type in the name of the person. The Firgunator will generate a firgun automatically in English, Hebrew, Arabic, Portuguese, Hindi or French.
Add a few words of explanation, and share the post on social networks using the hashtag #FirgunDay.
The Rackspace Startups program is one of the proud sponsors.
Happy #FirgunDay to all.