Respect. That’s what Jon Medved commanded yesterday in front of 3,000 participants at the OurCrowd Global Summit 2016. And well deserved. Medved, Aliyah MVP and CEO and Founder of OurCrowd was the 2015 recipient of Nefesh B’Nefesh’s Bonei Zion award in the field of Entrepreneurship and Technology. Yesterday’s Global Investor Summit made history as Jerusalem’s most successful summit of its kind. As Nir Barkat, Mayor of Jerusalem said in his speech at the Summit, “There is more holiness in one square meter in Jerusalem than in the entire world,” referring the to work Medved is doing to bring “a light unto the nations” from Jerusalem.
Investors came from all over the world to get to know Israeli startups, many run by or who employ Olim.
Ely Razin, who made Aliyah with his family in 2011 presented his company, CrediFi at the Summit. Nefesh B’Nefesh caught up with him to get his take: “The OC Summit is awesome – people from all over the world gathering to build, invest, and take part in the Startup Nation. Particularly inspiring for me as an Oleh is to see how many Olim are there, as they lead and build new companies. Many of these people wouldn’t have the chance to so something this creative had they stayed in the diaspora…so chalk that up as another benefit of Aliyah!”
Eliana Rudee who stepped off the plane this past summer and was working the crowd reporting for The Salomon Center for American Jewish Thought had this to say: “For me, what is so inspirational about Israel is how people truly strive to be the change they wish to see in the world. This is a country of entrepreneurs – people who actualize a plan to narrow the gap between their dreams and reality, and to be a part of that is incredible. I’ve always felt Israeli in this way and it is at conferences like the OC Global Summit that I am reminded that I have found “my people” in Israel and in Jerusalem.” Follow Eliana’s Aliyah adventure on her blog for JNS.org, “Aliyah Annotated.”
Ethan Press, Aliyah 2009, wrote in his blog ‘Listen Israel,’ “[The zionist=””][/The] dream motivated [the jewish=”” people=””][/the] against all odds to survive, build communities and cities, and over recent decades to erect the infrastructure which has created modern day Israel and the country’s current technological boom.” He told Nefesh B’Nefesh that, “It’s the Israeli (Jewish) nature of constantly wanting to improve, of never being satisfied. That is what drives all this innovation.” He also made sure we let Olim know, “There is a huge opportunity available to find gainful employment through tapping into Israel’s startup ecosystem.”
Gainya St Clair made Aliyah 6 months ago and was hired by the company that might just be the most helpful to Olim, right now. EZSave is an app which helps lower costs by renegotiating a user’s bills such as phone, Internet, cable, etc. Download the app here. It is already working in Israel with plans to expand soon to Europe and beyond.
A special shout out to Nirelle Azut, Aliyah 2007, who gave me this fab mani as part of the Missbeez display. Missbeez is an on-demand beauty app currently providing services in Israel, only. Check them out.
Nefesh B’Nefesh joins the Mayor of Jerusalem, the Jerusalem tech community and the entire Startup Nation in wishing a HUGE mazal tov Jon Medved and the whole OurCrowd team. We are proud of all the Olim who are having an amazing impact on the country they chose to make home!