State Department partners with NGO to promote Ethiopian-Israeli …

by Selam

In the affluent neighborhood Kfar Shmaryahu north of Tel Aviv, three high-tech startups made business pitches to an eager crowd of investors, media, and others. However, what made these pitches unique was that they arose from startups founded and run by Ethiopian-Israelis, who are significantly underrepresented in Israel’s booming start-up scene.

The event was hosted by the US Embassy in Israel and Tech-Career, an NGO that seeks to promote Israelis of Ethiopian decent into the high-tech marketplace. Tech-Career received a $75,000 grant from U.S.-Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI) Program, which allowed the organization to “incubate” three start-ups run by Ethiopian-Israelis from 2015-2016. The program provided mentorship and guidance from industry leaders to the fledgling start-ups.

Naftali Avraham, a CEO of Tech-Career told The Jerusalem Post that the organization is seeking to give young Israelis of Ethiopian descent the tools and resources necessary to succeed in tech careers. “We want our graduates to succeed,” he stated. “The hope is that our graduates will continue to improve the status of the Ethiopian community so that our children will grow up in a better place in the Israeli society and the Israeli society will see our accomplishments.”

At Thursday’s event three start-ups pitched their ideas. Among them is Za-Atoot, which created an online marketplace for parents to exchange baby clothes and products. Tal Akalo, who is part of the start-up’s three-member team told the Post that the idea came after they realized how quickly children grow out of their clothes, forcing families to waste perfectly good clothing.

“It is extremely

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