Jerusalem, Israel - Oct. 29, 2016 - Hearing the words "Israel Start-Up Nation" most people immediately think of Tel Aviv. However, recently the hi-tech and startup scene in Jerusalem has grown considerably, with over 200 companies founded in 2014 and 2015.
The Jerusalem Business Networking Forum (JBNF) has helped hundreds of entrepreneurs, especially new immigrants from around the world, to get their business ideas up and running. JBNF diversified with meetings for a new group in the expanding Bio-Med technology sector. Students from the labs of Hebrew University and Machon Lev, the Jerusalem College of Technology, and other Jerusalem colleges are increasingly finding work and keeping their skills in the Jerusalem area.
In 2012, Hanan Brand, Roy Munin, and Uriel Shuraki, established ‘Made in Jerusalem’ (@MadeInJLM), a community based non-profit organization to connect, grow and empower Jerusalem's startup and tech community. 3000 years of innovation is the MadeInJLM motto. End-of-month casual evenings have brought thousands of entrepreneurs together with job seekers, funders and hi-tech supporters.
MadeInJLM end of October Happy Hour featured new immigrants, Jerusalem innovators with up and coming businesses. Featured at the meeting were:
Jonathan Caras, from Columbia, MD, represented Glide’s mobile app which enables instant video messaging that "connects those who matter with the real you."
Raissa Hacohen of CareNav, created a digital platform to match patients with experienced nurses for 1:1 virtual consultations.
Sam Schubert, founded uChange App which connects people who are close to one another and who are holding different currencies and want to exchange the same amount of cash without fees.
Moe Mernik is involved with a popular online community of ideas for home and garden.
Yisroel Yakovson started MatchLynx, a web application allowing code-free creation of multi-sided platforms (like Airbnb). Their first template is being used by JobAlerts, a platform for high-tech Filipino job-seekers.
Lulu Dubin described Talklet, software to analyze speech between parents and children, in order to give feedback to parents on how to interact with their young children in a way that will positively impact their brain development, IQ, self-esteem, etc.
Maxime Seligman presented Leadlike, a group to outsource web marketing and let their experts create content to build your brand with current and potential customers.
“In order to foster dialogue about the parts of our lives where technology and Judaism meet," Tzipporah Witty started Tech &Torah. After the success of the first Jerusalem Tech & Torah Meetup, a second session was held on Thursday night, following the MadeInJLM HappyHour.
In the Siftech work space at Jerusalem Venture Partners Building.
Five speakers gave very different presentations from a Torah perspective, beginning with Miriam Schwab. Hillel Fuld used the parsha of Bereshis as his base to expand on the first and ultimate start-up, the creation of the world, starting with the first pasuk. "The sky came first," began Fuld, "first every start-up needs a vision."
Biologist Aylana Reiss Mandel discussed whether it was permissible to feed her cell cultures on Shabbat. Benjy Singer started with a dvar torah from Rav Amital z”l to explain his growing on-line community IsraelB. The last speaker of the evening was Shlomo Geller. After teaching Torah in Madison, Wisconsin on a college campus, he is back in Israel working on his doctorate degree in Robotics. Where others look for ways around halachic problems, Geller is looking for a real question in Torah sources that needs an answer for his doctoral work.
After Tech & Torah's program, Tzvi Silverstone, president IP Asset Group, concluded “Jerusalem is blessed to be thriving spiritually and financially. Tech and Torah showcases how the religious and financial worlds not only coexist, but fuel each other’s growth."