A first-of-its-kind delegation of Haredi startup founders arrived in London this week for a ‘road show’. Their journey started at a special reception given by Israel’s ambassador to the UK. The delegation includes founders of startups in the fields of cyber, health, agriculture, AI, and others. They will spend their time in London meeting potential investors, clients and partners.
The reception at the Pillar Hotel was attended by representatives of British Airways, local business people, the Israeli commercial attaché, and the leadership of ‘Achim Global’ which organized the delegation.
The Israeli ambassador, Mr. Mark Regev, who hosted the reception, spoke about the high reputation enjoyed by Israeli high-tech industry and the surprise of senior people in the local industry when they heard about the delegation.
“My message to you is that you are doing a crucial thing. For the sake of the Israeli economy, it is important that our technological revolution includes all populations – not only the residents of Tel Aviv and Hertzelia but also the Haredi communities in Jerusalem, Bnei Brak and elsewhere. There is no reason for Haredi minds not to be involved in this revolution and even lead it”. The ambassador promised that the embassy would support the delegation in all possible ways and help open doors for its members and connect them with UK companies and investors.
David Bloom, a partner at the Goldacre investment house in the UK, said “in one sense I’m not surprised at all” at the prospect of Charedi high-tech entrepreneurs, “because innovation comes from looking at things differently, that’s where real change happens”.
The startup founders in the delegation are all participants of the BizLabs incubator which operates from the Haredi entrepreneurship center Bizmax. Bizmax was founded by the collaboration for three organizations: The Kemach Foundation, which helps Haredim integrate into the workforce and business world, Achim Global, and the Authority for the Development of Jerusalem. BizLabs is run with the help of Google, Amazon, KPMG, the Hebrew University and other organizations, and its purpose is to help Haredi startups overcome knowledge gaps, and to provide compressive support that includes workshops for the acquirement of relevant tools and information, collaboration with international companies, mentorship by veteran professionals, and exposure to an active and large investors network.