A Chat with Zach
Zach is one of our business and tech accelerators. He is apart of our supported track. Zach was apart of our 5th cycle and is back for more! Upon our meeting Zach mentioned how valuable our services here are, both to him and any other startup. In his words, the startup culture is in big part a head game. People like him have invaluable intellectual property,property and ideas that they want to stay theirs and protected. That being said, Zach found it very difficult to communicate with others to get feedback and the sharing of ideas. But through the mentors he found as safe place to “get out of the head game” and get fresh eyes on his potential business.
Throughout our talk I asked Zach a series of questions. The first being, what is the most valuable aspect of this business accelerator. Without a second thought, he said, “the mentors”. Our mentors have done so much for him and all of their help and advice, so in regards to that I asked him what the best piece of advice he received from his mentor(s) was. He responded by saying that one of his mentors told him to forget about solution and just focus on the problem, because if the solution does not work for the problem as it pertains to others then it is no solution at all. He explained that this allowed him to take a step back and see what the customers need/want.
So, in coming to InnoNegev Zach has gained more than he could imagine. An opportunity to bounce ideas off of those who have superior knowledge in the real, of startups, as well as the support of the InnoNegev team and subsequent mentors and peers. We look forward to continuing our work with Zach.
Mark and Dan are an unstoppable duo with an incredible idea. With Mark’s background in software engineering and Dan’s in psychology and economics they have all the necessary traits for their E-commerce based startup.
Both Mark and Dan agreed that the best support that InnoNegev provided them with was their multiple mentors. From meeting and talking with their mentors Mark and Dan realized that in this case it is more important to get advice from somebody who had done it already rather than somebody who cares for you. From their mentors they learned new ways to do things. Even if they had an idea on what to do next, they revealed that their mentors always provided a new and better way to move on. While both men stated that their endgame is a straight shot they have constantly been changing directions to better suit their goals.
Their next step is to go to the United States to promote their startup. They are going to meet with their procedure mentor and talk about the next steps. Within the next year they hope to have a working prototype. We cannot wait to see all of the success that Mark and Dan with their startup.
Tomer Levi is an MBA student at Ben Gurion University in the Negev. His project is called “Sign Now” and focuses on promoting awareness and accessibility for the deaf community. Some of his greatest accomplishments and progress in his desire to help include, but are not limited to, incorporating sign language alongside many events at Ben Gurion University. This accomplishment has made lectures, performances, concerts and other far more accessible and enjoyable for the deaf community. In addition to helping at the university, progress has been made on a more wide stream and mainstream level.This past year the popular show, Eurovision, incorporated an expert in sign language to sign all songs being performed. This addition to the show allowed an entirely new audience to enjoy as well. Not only that, but just showing somebody signing brings a lot of attention to the dead community, which is something that Levi is passionate about.
Tomer Levi got his start right here at Ben Gurion University, which is fitting seeing as BGU was the first ever academic institution in Israel to be accessible for deaf people, aiding them and their peers with courses in sign language. In the 5 years since Tomer Levi started this project, “Sign Now”, the Bengis Center has provided him with countless opportunities and networking experiences. He said that they ability to connect with people here, expanding his network, has been the most valuable for him.
Previous to this role, Tomer was a singer and activist. For each of his songs he recorded a video of it being signed too, passionate about having his music be accessible to all. He then realized he wanted to do more, so he saw the disparity and wanted to help fix it. We asked him what is next for him. His answer was short and to the point. Global awareness, he said. He is going to try and make it so that everybody can enjoy events like the Superbowl and soccer games. It is clear to us, and anybody who works with Tomer, that he is passionate about this cause and just wants to help.
His final sentiment was that even though he has made an incredible amount of progress it was not without roadblocks. But Levi says “Find your purpose, and run with it.”