This past week, the SilicoNegev Startup Competition reached a peak. The contest was organized by Mata organization, and of course yours truly – the Tech7 team. The event was located at WeWork in the Hi-Tech Park Gav-Yam Beer-Sheva, and hosted over 200 guests.

We were amazed and excited to witness all of the tech community’s members that came to the event. From Ben-Gurion BA students, to CEOs – everyone was there. The event began with the members of the community mingling, eating some good food, and drinking. The WeWork space was rather crowded, but a festive vibe was hanging in the air. After our own Yotam Tzuker gave his opening speech, Asaf Sides – a marketing and communication director – gave a brief lecture about how to make a pitch. Following this, the competitors performed their pitches one after the other. Each of the startups was entitled with 5 minutes to win over the judges, and 2 more minutes for answering their questions.

Alon Naftali and Yotam Tzuker (Tech7), Dov Barak and Gidon Shavit (MATA)

 

Seeing all of these professional, serious and enthusiastic visionaries from each startup was moving and inspirational. For people who have lived for many years in Beer-Sheva or in other parts of the Negev, the sight of the community developing and growing is like a dream come true. And although it is a cliché, it is the truth. The startup competition marked – as many guests have told me – another important milestone in the Negev’s path towards becoming a startup capital.

Niv Nuttman & Dana Shahaf (Tech7)

So who was in the competition? Well, to answer that question fully, I will have to fill hundreds of pages. Nevertheless, I still wish to list the members of my crew – Tech7, which I am very proud of; Yotam Tzuker and Alon Naftali – the captains of our ship, Neta Ran Kestenberg – our PR girl. Yael Mathov and Niv Nuttman – the people who stand behind the organization of every Tech7 event. Gal Hever – the head of Tech7 Juniors who works day and night to encourage and develop the young generation of entrepreneurs in the Negev. Michael Kalantarov – manager and creator of the Tech7 sight and blog, the man who mapped all of the Negev’s ecosystem and so much more.  Last but definitely not least is our own Aviv Avital – who is in charge of all the technicalities and programming, basically everything Tech7 does in ‘the backstage’.

I also would like to give a ‘thumbs up’ for two startups that were outstanding. First, is Senryx, a startup that changes the process of rehabilitation by supplying full support and guidance by a ‘smart physiotherapist’. The members of Senryx ‘grew up’ in the Negev, they are graduates of Ben-Gurion University in Mechanical Engineering. They are about to change the world of physiotherapy. Second, there were Zipy – a startup that aggregates e-commerce platforms such as Ebay, Amazon and Aliexpress in one place. Zipy offers a local support service and local payments options, thus makes the purchase easier and more manageable.

On the right, Gal Hever (Tech7)

 

Neta Ran Kestenberg (Tech7) & Reshef Benishti

To finish, I wish to say – THANK YOU. Actually, WE wish to thank all of those who came to see our tech community flourishing and growing. I also wish to express our appreciation towards the competitors, who demonstrated an unprecedented sportsmanship spirit. All of them were honoring and encouraging one another, which made the competition much more enjoyable.

Finally, a huge congrats to one of the prominent competitors, Croosing, for their 1.25 million dollars funding! Good luck and Bravo!

See you all on May 11, for the SilicoNegev Finals! We can’t wait.

 

 

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