Tel Aviv To Host Women-Only Startup Competition

By Idan Rabi
Globes, Tel Aviv, Israel

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) The women-only “Start Tel Aviv” competition began several months ago and so far, hundreds of representatives from five continents have participated. Competition organizers say that they intend to “encourage female entrepreneurship and find the world’s preeminent female-led startups.”

Globes, Tel Aviv, Israel

Women are still discriminated against in the high-tech industry — in Israel and worldwide.

The average salary is lower and the percentage of women in key positions is much lower than the proportion of the overall population.

While the path to equality is long and arduous, there are certain events that can help change the ratio.

One such event is the women-only “Start Tel Aviv” competition, held as part of the DLD Tel Aviv innovation festival.

The competition began several months ago, and so far hundreds of representatives, from five continents, have participated, including representatives from Estonia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Vietnam, Thailand and more. Competition organizers say that they intend to “Encourage female entrepreneurship and find the world’s preeminent female-led startups.”

The finalists in every country, 30 overall, will arrive in Israel in the last week of September. This is the fifth consecutive year in which this contest is held; it is organized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and managed by the Tel Aviv Municipality’s Tel Aviv Global initiative,

Tel Aviv Global initiative CEO Eytan Schwartz says, “The Tel Aviv startup scene is considered a world leader not only for its technological excellence, but also because of gender representation: Tel Aviv has been nominated the world’s leading hub for women outside the US. According to a Compass report, about 20% of startup founders in Tel Aviv are women, compared with a 17% European average.”

Schwartz adds, “There is a growing number of programs and accelerators in Tel Aviv run by women, for women, and the municipality supports and encourages the growth of women-led startups.”

Startup entrepreneurs who will arrive in Israel include:

Kenay’s TotoHealth entrepreneur Alice Mueni Mutisya, who has developed a technology to monitor the fetus’ condition during pregnancy and provide alerts via mobile phone regarding deterioration in its condition.

Ursula Salazar Roggero from Peru has developed a technology enabling physically disabled people to communicate through chat by moving their eyes.

Uruguay’s Magdalena Rodríguez, the entrepreneur behind GPSGay, Uruguay’s largest LGBT network.

As mentioned, the competition is held in cooperation with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, whose representatives have been scouting for participants worldwide.

Meirav Eilon Shahar, Israel’s ambassador to Vietnam, told “Globes” that the competition held last year elicited significant interest among local entrepreneurs. She adds that Vietnam’s representative, Nguyen Pham, has developed an application allowing employers and workers (mainly short-term workers) — to connect quickly.

“Vietnam considers Israel to be a model,” the ambassador adds, “The book Start-up Nation has become a bestseller here. The relatively few local venture capitalists consider Israel to be a good and successful example. On the governmental level, Vietnam considers the venture capital industry to be an economic growth engine.”

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