IdeaSpace and Israel Embassy to send Filipino delegation to Tel Aviv conference
Modern Israel is a very young nation having been established only in 1948. But according to Israeli Ambassador to the Philippines Effie Ben Matityau, his country has already turned “dreams into reality” thanks to continuous innovations from its people.
Hoping that Filipinos will learn from this example, Matityau through his embassy has partnered with IdeaSpace Foundation in organizing a contest that will select one local start-up company to attend the upcoming DLD Tel Aviv Digital Conference, slated from September 6 to 12 in Israel’s second most populous city.
Only on its second year this 2015, the Tel Aviv festival is already considered as one the largest hi-tech gatherings in the world as it brings together venture capital funds, investors, inventors and leaders of the industry. On its first year, it was able to gather people from Google, Microsoft, Amazon, and Facebook, among many others.
IdeaSpace, on the other hand, is a non-profit start-up incubator that aims to help budding technology entrepreneurs develop groundbreaking innovations and transform these into successful business.
On June 17, Matityau together with IdeaSpace president Earl Martin Valencia, launched the search for the country’s representative to DLD Tel Aviv Digital Conference 2015 at the Romulo Café in Makati City.
“Innovation is the cornerstone and foundation of Israel from the very beginning,” expressed Matityau adding that thanks to Israelis who had “strong ideology, commitment and vision,” they were able to build the nation to what it is today.
“Our dream became a reality,” he proudly stated. “Israel is now dubbed as the ‘start-up nation’.” (The phrase start-up nation was first used by authors Dan Senor and Saul Singer in their internationally recognized book, Start-up Nation: The Story of Israel’s Economic Miracle.)
According to the ambassador, this modern revolution happened at Tel Aviv, the heart of all startups companies in Israel. Sillicon Wadi, the counterpart of Sillicon Valley in California, USA is found there. Interestingly so, Sillicon Wadi comes second to Sillicon Valley in terms of innovations and incubations spanning information technology, water, healthcare, security and more.
“The DLD Tel Aviv conference is a testament to all this as it serves as a meeting ground of young innovative minds to come up with smart ideas,” Matityau continued.
Asked by The Manila Times why the embassy decided to sponsor a Filipino startup to go to Tel Aviv, the ambassador replied that the Philippines has long held a special relationship with Israel, ever since the late President Manuel Quezon acce pted Jews as refugees in the 1930s. Come the 1940s, the Philippines, with then United Nations secretary general Carlos Romulo, became the only Asian nation that voted for Israel to be a country.
The embassy’s generous support for IdeaSpace is therefore Israel’s way of saying thank you to Filipinos. Matityau also said he hopes that the company which will be given the opportunity to attend the conference will bring home lessons from Israel and truly become a valuable asset in the Philippines in the future.
According to Valencia, IdeaSpace’s co-founder and president, the foundation has received thousands of application since the search was opened. He was also glad to report that there are hopefuls coming from cities or regions all over the Philippines, and not just Metro Manila.
To qualify for the search, interested startups must have total revenue of no less than $30,000, had begun with an investment of less than $100,000, and already produced a working prototype of their innovation or invention.
Meeting the said requirements, they must then complete an online form (available at www.f6s.com/israelinnovation/apply), and submit a two-minute video showing information about their company, why they should be chosen, and what they expect to gain from the conference. The of submission of entries is on June 30.
All applications will then be reviewed by both IdeaSpace and the Israel Embassy via a two-stage screening process. The first round is a private review with a group of pre-selected judges who will shortlist the applicants. Qualifiers will then be invited to the second and public judging wherein they will undergo a five-minute pitch, a live demo, and a question and answer portion with the final board of judges.
The winning startup company will officially become the Philippine delegation to DLD Tel Aviv Digital Conference 2015. Besides this, they will also fly to Israel for free with roundtrip airfares and hotel accommodations. The announcement of the chosen company is set on July 10.
“This is a great opportunity for Philippine startups to once again shine in the global stage,” ended Valencia.