While the minister of finance is busy cutting budgets for Israel’s Arab population, and the prime minister promises that the money will be transferred after all, an innovation center set up in Kfar Qassem by the Israel Innovation Authority and Uzy Zwebner’s Innovation BaseCamp could be a source of optimism.
The center, called Ibtikar BaseCamp, is intended to help Arab entrepreneurs, medical personnel, and youth to develop and found startups, and to train people in technological professions. The project is funded by the Innovation Authority and Innovation BaseCamp to the tune of NIS 15 million over five years. Additional partners in the project are the Tsofen organization, Sheba Impact, Medtronic, Talenteam, and MindCET.
The center has 350 square meters of space, and holds offices, shared workspaces, a large meeting room, and private work cubicles. The project is headed by Mohamad Abo Nada, formerly CEO of the Trinovation innovation center. 28 candidate startups are currently being examined for 7-10 places in the first cohort.
According to the Israel Innovation Authority, at present just 2.4% of the technology workers in Israel come from the country’s Arab population, and even fewer participate in the Authority’s encouragement and acceleration programs. The mission of Ibtikar BaseCamp in the new center is to bring as many Arab entrepreneurs as possible to the Authority’s support and grant tracks.
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on August 13, 2023.
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