Israeli teen startups flourishing in tech-friendly climateOct. 28, 2012
Mickey 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 http://telaviv2012.tedx.evolero.com/“Teenage Nation,” about how he founded an online youth magazine.
Last spring, a thousand people registered the same day Haslavsky launched his second site, Machbesa (Laundry). 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 come November, when he starts his military service.
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 teen, 16-year-old Gal Harth of Herzliya, was interviewed at TechCrunch Disrupt last year in San Francisco about his Doweet app, described as “a fun and easy way to create activities with your friends.”
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 courses at Hebrew University before graduating high school. Drawing on experience gained in the Israel Defense Forces’ Unit 8200 intelligence corps, he invented the modern firewall when he was just 26.
For the full feature story, see:http://www.jweekly.com/article/full/66847/business-professional-real-estate-israeli-teen-startups-flourishing-in-tech/
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