Tel Aviv University Launches Challenge That Will See Young Israeli Entrepreneurs Help Developing World

imageInnovations in the fields of health, the environment, education and technology are continuously improving the lives of millions in the developed world, but the benefits are slower to reach third-world countries.

To make it easier for bright minds to access developing countries, Tel Aviv University yesterday launched the Pears Challenge – a competition for Israeli entrepreneurs that will provide training and support over three months for innovators of international development. The program’s scope will cover agriculture, water, health, renewable energy, education and information technology.

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“The fast-growing demand for tech in these fields is in the developing world, so there’s more and more opportunities for Israelis to move into these fields. Additionally, this program offers a chance for truly satisfying, meaningful work that can bring about a real change for people in need,” said Doctor Aliza Belman Inbal, director of the program.

Bringing Israeli innovation to the developing world

The competition, held annually, launched yesterday at the Google Campus in Tel Aviv. The launch included educational activities, such as discussions by experts regarding the needs and challenges in various fields. The potential applicants will then have the chance to brainstorm and team up. In the final step, the teams will be instructed on how to do business in developing countries. They will also be able to put together a business plan and begin to work on their respective products. At the end of the challenge, one lucky team will win a 10-day trip to launch a pilot for their product in a developing country.

Inbal hopes the new competitions will open the eyes of Israeli innovators and young entrepreneurs to the opportunities in developing countries and show an alternative to constantly seeking success in the US, Western Europe and other developed countries. “Africa, Asia and Latin America have enormous potential and we need to raise people’s awareness of that in Israel,” she explained.

The challenge was brought by the Pears Program for Innovation and International Development at Tel Aviv University’s Hartog School of Government and Policy. The deadline to apply to the program – which is open to researchers, entrepreneurs, NGOs and businesses with up to 100 employees – is March 31, 2014.

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