Stop-Press: Arab-Israelis not in conflict!

With all the bad news coming out of the Middle East at the moment, its good to report about something great happening in this sector – its a pity its not being talked about more in the current climate.

Israel – the start up nation

Israel’s often dubbed the start-up nation because of its unique tech ecosystem. But tech-savvy Israeli-Arabs have struggled to compete with Tel Aviv’s unique tech scene, because of the geographic distance from the centre of the country, limited funding, restricted social network access and by not being allowed to serve in the army, which funds a lot of technical research.

But despite these barriers, a vibrant tech cluster is emerging in the Arab community, centred around Nazareth. The birthplace of Jesus is also an Arab town where Muslims and Christians live side by side. Its surrounding neighbourhoods are now establishing a reputation as the hub of Arab entrepreneurship and innovation in Israel.

Coming to the UK

Organised by the UK Israel Tech Hub at the British Embassy in Tel Aviv, a delegation of Israeli-Arab entrepreneurs is meeting the UK Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, Sajid Javid MP, in London today, (2nd December, 2015) as part of a three-day tech trip to talk to some of the capital’s most innovative technology companies and services. Israel’s seeded 7,000 start-ups in the past decade, more than any other country outside the US. But the nation’s Arab minority faces many obstacles within this thriving sector.

The UK Israel Tech Hub at the British Embassy in Tel Aviv is a public-private initiative investing in Israeli-Arab rising-stars, helping them develop their skills and foster business relationships abroad. By encouraging them to set the UK as their destination to grow and expand globally and inspire the next generation of entrepreneurs, who’ll have a better chance of becoming part of the Israeli economic mainstream.

Potential for the UK

The UK sees a huge potential within the Israeli-Arab start up space for its own economy. The Arabtech delegation mission is connecting 10 promising entrepreneurs from Nazareth to British accelerators, investors, companies and leaders from the UK’s tech ecosystem to create real business value for both sides. But its not all Arab; the diverse delegation represents a 50/50 Arab/Christian mix and features a unique balance of genders, with four women on-board.

During the London trip. the delegation will be partnered with a sector counterpart in the UK, to understand how each work. Companies like BT, Wayra and even Google, who’ll be hosting them on the Google campus. As the UK’s first Asian cabinet minister Sajid Javid will bring his own experience of overcoming cultural barriers.

British Ambassador to Israel, David Quarrey, said “The British economy can greatly benefit from partnering with start-ups from Israel’s Arab community. Just like other sectors of the Start Up Nation, entrepreneurs from this community bring huge amount of talent and innovation. The British Government, through its UK Israel Tech Hub, is proud to introduce the British business community to tech opportunities from this community”.

The start-ups visiting the UK

PHILIA: Created in May 2014, Philia aims to strengthen relationships in the Arabcommunity. The founder is a family specialist and relationship coach with broad experience raising awareness in this area. She became increasingly bothered by high divorce rates world wide, and noticed that couples only tend to invest in relationships already in conflict. This lead to the idea of creating an App, Philia, to combat this. The principle is simple: couples should nourish their relationships, and it can be done in an EASY and FUN way through the Philia app.

COOKNET: Cooknet connects independent chefs & busy people with no time to cook who want home cooked meals through a dedicated mobile app. Using Cooknet, customers can buy home cooked meals from home cooks in their local neighborhoods. Cooknet releases home cooks from the burden of advertising their meals and delivering them to customers, in addition to creating opportunities for them to improve their income. Additionally, Cooknet offers busy people a long menu of home cooked meals at affordable prices.

MINDOLIFE: MindoLife’s IoT intelligent platform provides a leading software platform for highly secure communication, dynamic network management and SDK for integrating MindoLife platform into your product. The MindoLife platform and cloud services handle network and security issues, enabling organizations to develop highly secured and reliable systems, focusing on their own business logic.

BAEXY: Baexy is a more caring social platform that uses psychological insights to improve users’ relationships. They aim to mend fragile relationships and strengthen healthy ones, so that all become stronger & more resilient. Baexy has solutions for everyone, ranging from new couples to childhood friends.

MOBILITY INSIGHT: MobilityInsight is developing cost effective and innovative end-to-end solution to support realtime multi-modal (private, public, others) transport management in smart cities. The solution relies on cutting edge analytics of a mesh network of smart IoT sensors combined with cellular data provided by mobile network operators.

KATKUTI LTD: Katkuti was founded in May 2014 and provides educational applications with Arabic content for the Arab community. Katkuti’s applications turn smartphones into ideal education tools, and enable parents to monitor their children’s achievement and compare their progress to peers worldwide.

FINIT: In modern society families are struggling to save money and reach their financial goals, no matter what their income is. We’ve created a platform where family members work together to strive towards mutual financial goals. The FinIt application uses gameification to help users save and manage their money.

ROYALROAD: RoyalRoad is a platform for authors to publish their novels, improve their writing, and get feedback and valuable interactions with their readership. The site already contains a vast library of stories that users are already engaging with.

INTERMED: InterMed is a healthcare startup aiming to help patients take their medications properly and avoid harmful side effects caused by drug misuse and drug interactions.
Simple Backend: Simple Backend revolutionizes the development of mobile applications by offering all developers the tools to generate and design backend services and API’s without the use of any development code. Thus the development is Simpler, cheaper, faster, scalable and secure.

This is great news and gives us hope of a better future for everyone in Israel – regardless of their beliefs.