Intermountain Jewish News

Banner
Saturday,
Feb 13th
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

A Jewish skier’s picks: Prayer, kosher food and divine snow

Uriel Heilman Jewish skiers now can find American mountains that serve kosher food, offer daily prayers and let you ski into a Kabbalat Shabbat service. Based on this reporter’s legwork, here are some dest... [Link]

Hummus in Hanoi: Israeli chef brings Middle Eastern cuisine to Vietnam

Lisa Keys At his restaurant Daluva, chef Shahar Lubin serves inventive mash-ups of Israeli and Vietnamese dishes alongside upscale pub grub. ... [Link]

At kosher ski restaurant in Park City, an avalanche of challenges

Uriel Heilman PARK CITY, Utah (JTA) – Laurent Masliah likes wine as much as the next Frenchman. But that’s not why he bought up every last bottle of kosher wine in the state of Utah and is desperately angling f... [Link]

Jordan’s king: Solving Israeli-Palestinian conflict necessary to defeat ISIS

Julie Wiener (JTA) — The Islamic State cannot be defeated until the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is resolved, Jordan’s king said. Speaking Friday at the Munich Security Conference, an international gathering o... [Link]

Ex-settler leader Dayan still Brazil envoy pick, Israel says

Julie Wiener (JTA) — Israel is denying reports that it plans to withdraw a former settler leader as its proposed ambassador to Brazil. For six months, Brazil has refused to accept the appointment of the ambassad... [Link]

French rabbi, Muslim rapper to release song for murdered Jew

Cnaan Liphshiz (JTA) — A rabbi and a Muslim rapper announced the release in France of a song against racism that they co-produced ahead of the 10-year anniversary of the anti-Semitic murder of Ilan Halimi. Coc... [Link]

People are confused why Bernie Sanders won’t own his Jewishness

Gabe Friedman Toward the beginning of Thursday night’s Democratic debate, Bernie Sanders had the perfect opportunity to tout that he would be the first Jewish president. Asked whether he’s worried about blocki... [Link]

Free Robert Levinson, Senate appeals to Iran in unanimous vote

Ron Kampeas WASHINGTON (JTA) — The U.S. Senate unanimously approved a resolution urging Iran to fulfill its pledge to help find Robert Levinson, a Jewish American who went missing in Iran in 2007. Five Amer... [Link]

Intermountain Jewish News • 1177 Grant Street • Denver, CO 80203 • 303 861 2234 • FAX 303 832 6942
email@ijn.com • larry@ijn.com • lori@ijn.com