This week, we at Tech7 met with our latest collaborator – Mata, which in Hebrew is an acronyms for a center for future technologies. Gidon Shavit, the head of Mata, told us about their vision and activity, sharing Tech7’s latest cooperation with them – the ‘Siliconegev’ Startup Competition.

Tell our readers about Mata.

“We are an association invigorating technological projects in the South of Israel. Our main goal is to invest in the Negev’s tech industry. Our only condition for projects that need our investment is that they will have the potential and that they will be located in Southern-Israel. The reason is of course, we wish to develop this area, to enlarge the current growing trend.”

Why specifically in the Negev?

“Well, it actually all started here, in the southern area of Israel. We have a personal affinity to the area. I, for instance, have lived in Beer-Sheva for many years and only lately moved to Tel-Aviv. The rest of the activists in Mata are divided, some live in Tel-Aviv, but many live in the Negev. Nevertheless, we all share the affection and special bond to The South. The foundation of Mata is in the south, it is from ‘Rotem Park’ near Dimona. ‘Rotem Park’ was a project in which money was donated for us to build the park, and eventually the money will be donated to the community.”

Where did the idea of collaborating with Tech7 come from?

“The minute we became aware of Tech7’s activity in the south, we found it a prompted thing that we should collaborate with you guys. You have the access to the tech community and its developing process. This collaboration, I deeply believe, will create a ‘deal flow’ – will give us tools to reach the southern tech community. The startup competition will give a chance for us to assist and invest in those who will prove themselves to be the best, well organized, and most innovative project.”

What is Mata’s vision?

“We wish for as many technological projects in the Negev as can be. To fertilize the Southern tech community, and now is exactly the time to invest. We are focused on this area alone because we deeply believe in its growing potential. Beer-Sheva in particular is like a startup that is now in formation.”

Can you give a tip for young start uppers?

“From my experience, you have to know the market. That is, you can have a fantastic and creative idea – but if the market doesn’t need it, or is saturated with similar products – it’s as if you have nothing. The places and cases I have succeeded in are where I ‘hooked’ the market according to its ‘request’. The incidences where I have failed were when I misunderstood the market. Not once did I encounter people that have background only in technology and not in business, guys with brilliant ideas. But, they failed to understand what people need, so their product ultimately failed.”