Israel: 054-321-6176 / USA - 210-820-3070 alan@weinkrantz.com

Arabrenuer Helps Accelerate the Next Great Startup Economy. New Fund Event to Be Held on November 5 in Ramallah.

Back in July I visited my friend Hanan Khaldi who told me that she was leaving PITA – The Palestine IT Association of Companies, to go to a new gig.   At the time, Hanan could share anything with what would be next in her life. I get to work with a lot of very smart and nice people in the tech and startup world, and I figured that wherever she was going to, and whoever managed to get her as a team member, Hanan was going to be joining a pretty amazing team. Fast forward to October, where I crossed paths with Abdul Malik Al Jaber, who is the Chairman of MENA Apps and one of the founders of Arabreneur.  Abdul has a modest vision of creating 100 million new jobs through the startup economy of the Arab world. Listen and watch to what Abdul has to say. It’s in the later when you watch, you can see his passion and desire to transform the Arab region’s startup economy of the world. The growth is there. The rate of acceleration and transition not only to the Internet, but the social / mobile web is the fastest growing in the world. On November 5, Arabreneur has its first event in Palestine to introduce their new startup fund in Ramallah. If you are anywhere in the region in early November, you’d be well advised to attend this event, and see what’s bubbling up in this region of the world. Related stories: Palestine gets its first seed fund, supported by MENA Apps and US Aid Arab business man’s bold bid to create...

How hiCenter Haifa Integrates The Start-Up Acceleration Process

In my travels of mentoring and presenting my Above The Code method, I see lots and lots and of startup accelerator programs and their facilities. On my recent journey to Haifa, I visited the hiCenter Entrepreneurial Campus which stood out in terms of its approach to what I would call the integrated accelerator process. Yael Mittelman, hiCenter Haifa’s CEO Located in a high rise that has one view of the Mediterranean and an opposite view of the city’s magnificent, hilly landscape and distinct architecture,  hiCenter is part of the city’s initiative to inject new startups and culture into its urban core. Comprised of three components, hICenter, which provides seed financing and support for early stage companies;  topStartup Accelerator, a hands-on accelerator for start-ups at the idea stage; and TopCenter, a communal workspace, which is the norm for entrepreneurs who want a place to work, meet and collaborate, and be around other like minded entrepreneurs. I spent the day holding office hours, and met with six startups that were mostly run by a more mature management team, and had products and platforms with a higher degree of barriers to entry that I normally see. While my observations and commentary are intentionally broad, my instinct in spending the day there, told me that when you are in the same neighborhood as where the likes of Yahoo, Google and Intel, have development centers and the world class university, Technion are your neighbors, there are going to be some serious, high caliber entrepreneurial spin offs. Compared to what I generally see in Tel Aviv, I met startups in the medical device field, telecom,...

Israeli & Palestinian High School Students Celebrate 10 Years of Collaboration Through Technology & Entrepreneurship

Last night at the YMCA Jerusalem, I attended a very special celebration to recognize a graduating class and the bringing together of 200+ alumni students who have been part of MEET – Middle East Education through Technology.   The program brings together young Israeli and Palestinian students for a high school program that is deeply rooted in technology and entrepreneurship.  Meet two  alumni, whose story and more importantly, their humanity says it all.  ...

Codifying What’s Good: Rubberit Helps Women Buy Condoms Online in Mexico

It would stand to reason that men would be the ones who should be responsible for having a condom when it comes to their sexual health, and responsibility.  May Alba and her brother, Sebastian realized that cultural, religious and cultural tabus in Mexico can make it harder for young adults to buy condoms in a store, which is what inspired the creation of their startup, Rubberit. Now part of the MexicanVC (recently acquired by 500 Startups) program, Rubberit was one of the 6 companies that I had a chance to work with during my visit to Mexico City. Branded in Pink When you visit the Rubberit site, you’ll see that it’s clearly branded towards women. May shared with me her personal experiences of other women friends who she has lost to aids and other sexual diseases.  Growing up as a child, she was always involved in charity work, and as a young adult, worked at an NGO (Non-Governmental Organization). Solving Local Problems That Can Scale Worldwide Rubberit is initially aimed at women in Mexico, and the company’s model can scale worldwide.   Mexico has a population of 112 million; and the global, Spanish-speaking universe is close to 500 million.  The name Rubberit is universal.  The company’s subscription service, relationships with major condom manufactures, and innovative packaging is all in place. Rubberit is currently incubating and open for business.  Their brand opens a universe of new businesses and strategic branding opportunities, and a chance to help codify what’s good. Rubbertit on Facebook / Twitter / AngelList...

Mexico City Starts Up: Video Tour of @MexicanVC

Welcome to Chihuahua 230 in Mexico City, home of a mishmash of co-working, MexicanVC companies, StartupWeekend Mexico and all good things startups. The former dance studio has been converted into a two story workspace that’s evolving into the home of some very bright and passionate entrepreneurs that are not only committed to building great companies, but setting the tone of new generation of startup culture, social good, and creative expression. Teaming with 500 Startups On August 7, 500 Startups announced a “hostile takeover” – (in a very nice and kind way )- that the team from MexicanVC would become part of the growing 500 Startups family. Fast facts you should know…. Mexico is the 12th largest economy in the world. At 3.9%, it’s growing faster than Brazil and, unlike the US, has had a manageable debt for more than a decade. In terms of online penetration, Mexico has the 5th largest Facebook user base and the 7th largest Twitter user base in the world. And Mexico is only the beginning. Spanish-speaking Latin America is a 400M speaker market where e-commerce is growing roughly 30% each...