Citi Foundation to support Setting Up of Tech Accelerators in Israel’s Arab Sector


Accelerators are scheduled to open in Baqa al-Gharbiyye and Nazareth.

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Two social-business technology entrepreneurship accelerators will be founded, one in Baqa al-Gharbiyye and one in Nazareth, at a cost of $150, 000. The Citi Foundation financial services group announced that its philanthropic arm would provide the money.

Following the announcement, the first social-business entrepreneurship accelerator, called Q-start, will get underway next month in Baqa al-Gharbiyye. The accelerator, managed by the Present Tense organization and Al-Qasemi College, is one of 15 prestigious programs by Present Tense taking place simultaneously in 15 cities in five different countries around the world, including New York, Los Angeles, Riga, and Jerusalem. Out of dozens of requests to join the accelerator, 15 enterprises will be chosen at the end of the process. The Q-start programs lasts six months, in which the entrepreneurs will undergo intensive training, including assimilation of practical work tools for entrepreneurs, tools for professional presentation of an enterprise, advisory mentors, and links to the social business community.

Inclusion of people from the business and urban community in the program is also expected. The accelerator will involve many fields of endeavor in the Arab sector in general, with a focus on the Triangle District (bordered on the west by the Haifa District and the Central District). At the end of the program, the graduates will present the ventures to senior economic and cultural figures in the city. According to the plan, another accelerator will begin operating next month in Nazareth. “International organizations today realize that encouraging the inclusion of populations in the economy is essential, not only from the social-civil perspective, but also, and primarily, for the success of business, ” says Present Tense CEO Guy Spigelman.

This cooperation follows the success of NazTech, the first entrepreneurship accelerator in the Arab sector, managed by Spigelman, which ended this past summer in Nazareth. “Entrepreneurship within the community provides an opportunity for making the local economy grow, enrich community life, and solve fundamental problems facing society, ” Spigelman declared.

Citi Foundation Israel CEO Neal Corney said, “At Citi Foundation , we regard the entrepreneurship existing in the Arab community as a tool with very great potential for leading to inclusion in Israeli society. As a company that supports variety and connection, we believe that Arab society can add respectable value to the startup nation and the level of innovation already existing in the market. Al-Qasemi College President Mohammed Khatani, who is involved in the project, added, “Al-Qasemi is proud to host the accelerator on its campus. As an academic institution, we regard ourselves as a lever for developing the human capital in Arab society. I see a very good opportunity for young people from the Triangle area to realize their dreams, and I’m optimistic about the effect of successes in the enterprise.”

 

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news – www.globes-online.com

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