Intermountain Jewish News

Banner
Friday,
Jan 30th
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

Synagogue launches religious court case to evict Rabbi Barry Freundel

Ron Kampeas Kesher Israel has gone to the Beit Din of America to oust its former rabbi, who is facing charges of voyeurism, from his synagogue-owned residence. ... [Link]

For Haifa woman, a needle-in-a-haystack search

mbrodsky Miriam Grab has almost nothing to go on in her search for relatives from her father’s Czech family wiped out in the Holocaust – not even names. ... [Link]

Portugal adopts return law for Jewish descendants

mbrodsky The legislation, to be made public next month, offers citizenship to some descendants of Sephardic Jews. ... [Link]

Senators waiting on Palestinian aid pending review of ICC moves

Ron Kampeas Seventy-five senators pledged not to support assistance until the Obama administration reviews the admittance of Palestine to the International Criminal Court. ... [Link]

Decades after he fled, Austria celebrates Nobel laureate Martin Karplus’ amateur photography

Ben Harris The Vienna-born octogenarian chemist took the photographs on his travels in the 1950s but only began exhibiting them publicly a decade ago. ... [Link]

Greet Muslim visitors with Israeli flag, Texas lawmaker tells staff

Ron Kampeas Ask Muslims to renounce terrorism and swear allegiance to the United States, too, the state rep. instructed. ... [Link]

Iran sanctions bill advances

Ron Kampeas A key Senate committee moved the measure to the full Senate, but it won’t be considered by the body until March 24 at the earliest. ... [Link]

Alberto Nisman laid to rest where AMIA victims are buried

Ben Sales The prosecutor in the AMIA Jewish center bombing was buried in the “Martyrs Section” of the main Jewish cemetery in Buenos Aires. ... [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