Intermountain Jewish News

Nov 27th
Home Business Israel’s whiz kids create opportunity

Israel’s whiz kids create opportunity

E-mail Print PDF

Mickey HaslavskyMICKEY Haslavsky of Holon is only 18, but he’s already on his second startup.

“When I began my first startup at 16, I thought I was the only one creating websites at this age, but I was amazed to discover a huge community between 10 and 18 around the world, and I know of about 10 startups by Israelis my age,” Haslavsky says.

By invitation of Israeli high-tech godfather Yossi Vardi, Haslavsky recently gave a TEDx Youth@Holon presentation, “Teenage Nation,” about how he founded an online youth magazine.

One thousand people registered the day Haslavsky launched his second site, Machbesa (Laundry), this spring. It’s a viral scheme for racking up genuine “Likes” on Facebook, pluses in Google Plus and views on YouTube.

“I want to bring the system to Brazil next because it has 51 million Facebook users and it’s spreading all the time,” says Haslavsky, who needs to find someone to run his enterprises by November, when he gets drafted.

That shouldn’t be hard, since he is at the older end of the spectrum of Israeli teens helming a surprising number of high-tech ventures.

Tal Hoffman of Haifa says Israel’s designation as the “Startup Nation” has encouraged young business developers.

“Israel’s entrepreneur community is really big among my age,” says the 15-year-old founder of Itimdi, a not-yet-launched site where teens can meet and interact based on their interests.

ANOTHER 15-year-old, Gal Harth of Herzliya, was interviewed at Tech Crunch Disrupt last year in San Francisco about his Doweet website (motto: “So, what do you want to do?”), described as “a fun and easy way to create activities with your friends.”

Harth founded Doweet with his pal Nir Ohayon in reaction to all their friends playing Xbox and PlayStation instead of engaging in social and physical activities.

“This is a way to get together easily to go to the gym, go swimming, play soccer. It’s an app that links everyone in one spot.”

Harth and Ohayon got initial funding from Israel’s Rhodium, the first venture capital firm they approached.

“My passion is startups,” Gal Harth says. “My passion is to change the world.”

Enterprising Israeli teenagers have plenty of role models.

Gil Schwed, founder of Israel’s Check Point Software Technologies and one of the world’s youngest billionaires, is a prime example.

Schwed was taking computer classes at The Hebrew University before graduating high school. Drawing on experience gained in the IDF Unit 8200 intellegence corps, he invented the modern firewall at age 26.

Many up-and-coming entrepreneurs  are eager to follow the same path, knowing that their military service can paved the way to successful careers. It’s no coincidence that many Israeli startups are co-founded by former army buddies.

However, programs to recruit high school students for high-tech military units foucs on top achievers and tend to miss a considerable number of kids whose tech abilities surpass their grades.


IJN e-Edition

This is only a taste! Get full access to the IJN via our e-Edition, only $14.04 for IJN Print subscribers.

E-Edition subscribers get access to a complete digital replica of the IJN, which includes all special sections.

Get the IJN's free newsletter!

Shabbat Times

JTA News

United Arab Emirates: Israel mission not sign of changed relations

Julie Wiener Israel is the only member of the Abu Dhabi-based International Renewable Energy Association to have a separate mission accredited to the association. ... [Link]

Border Police officer wounded in Nahariya stabbing; 43 Palestinians hurt in various skirmishes

Julie Wiener After stabbing the 37-year-old officer twice in the back near the Nahariya central bus station Friday night, the assailant fled the scene ... [Link]

From ‘Amy Winehouse sound’ creators, a funky Hanukkah anthem

Gabe Friedman Retro band Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings kicks off its new holiday album with “8 Days of Hanukkah” — an upbeat marriage of catchy soul music and Jewish cultural references. ... [Link]

Alan Gross: Memory of Holocaust survivor relatives got me through Cuban prison

Julie Wiener (JTA) — Alan Gross, the American Jewish government contractor who spent five years in Cuban prison, said thinking of his family members who survived the Holocaust was one of three things that helped... [Link]

8 of the coolest menorahs for this Hanukkah season

Gabe Friedman Another Hanukkah season means another chance to impress with a creative menorah choice. ... [Link]

Report: Senior Israeli officials fear PA collapse

Ben Harris The diplomatic-security cabinet held lengthy discussions about the possibility of a PA collapse Wednesday and Thursday, Haaretz reported, citing three sources who either attended the meetings or were ... [Link]

The ‘Kate Middleton effect’ on synagogue fashion

Lucy Cohen Blatter Why the ornate headpieces known as fascinators are all the rage among stylish observant women. ... [Link]

Jewish disability advocate chides Trump for mocking reporter

Ron Kampeas Jay Ruderman offered to provide the Republican frontrunner with sensitivity training after he appeared to mock a reporter with a disability. ... [Link]

Intermountain Jewish News • 1177 Grant Street • Denver, CO 80203 • 303 861 2234 • FAX 303 832 6942 • •