Fun fact! Did you know that Tel Aviv, Israel is the world’s second best hub for startups, second only to Silicon Valley? Among the alumni from Tel Aviv are the globally used tech apps, Waze and Viber.

These are just some of the tidbits Israel’s Ambassador to the Philippines, Effie Ben Matityau shared with an intimate group which involved the press and the startup incubator, IdeaSpace. The meeting was to formally launch a partnership between Tel Aviv and Ideaspace which aims to send a lucky entrepreneur to the DLD Tel Aviv Digital Conference as a representative of the Philippines later this year.

The DLD Tel Aviv Digital Conference is Israel’s largest international hi-tech gathering. Only on its third year, the DLD brings together venture capital finds, investors, inventors, and industry leaders to showcase the best startups who aim to be the nest trailblazers in the tech market. This year, it will be held from September 6 to 12.

This year, the conference is looking at the Philippines for innovative ideas. Together with IdeaSpace, the country’s representative will be chosen through a competition which will search for the best innovative idea to showcase to the international community.

Israel's Ambassador Effie Ben Matityau

Israel’s Ambassador Effie Ben Matityau

A friendship between countries

When asked why Israel has decided to extend its search for ideas in the Philippines, Matityau harked back to the Second World War when President Manuel L. Quezon helped save the lives of innocent Jewish lives in the country, in what Matityau considers as one of the greatest moral victories to oppose the moral decay in Europe. The Philippines was also the only country in Southeast Asia who supported the creation of the state of Israel.

Since then, the Philippines and Israel have had close ties with each other. “It’s a friendship, not a partnership. There’s no shortage of knowledge between the two countries,” Matityau clarified.

Necessity is the mother of innovation. To survive its harsh conditions, Israel learned to innovate. Tel Aviv aims to aid in the discovery of these innovative ideas elsewhere through the DLD Tel Aviv Digital Conference, which gathers countries all over the globe. Right now, Southeast Asia is a prominent hotspot for innovation through startups. Along with our history with the country, this leads to the eventual friendship between Tel Aviv and IdeaSpace

Matityau with the IdeaSpace team

Matityau with the IdeaSpace team

The competition

And now, for the competition. The Israeli embassy and the IdeaSpace foundation are encouraging qualified individuals to submit applications with a deadline on June 30, 2015. The winner will receive a full travel package including round-trip airfare and accommodation to Israel during the international event. The winner will be able to present his innovative idea to industry leaders who may help move the idea to implementation, commercialization, and recognition.

In order to apply, certain prerequisites need to be fulfilled. Interested startups need to have revenue of less than $30,000, raised investment of less than $100,000, and have at least a working prototype.

Applicants must fully complete an online form linked here; and submit a strict two-minute video pitch that contains information about their startup, why their startup should be chosen to represent the Philippines, and their expectations from the conference. Applicants may submit their entries until 12:00 of June 30, 2015.

These applications will be reviewed by representatives from both IdeaSpace and the Embassy of Israel, and will undergo a two-stage screening process. During the first round, a group of pre-selected judges will review the applications. Qualifiers for the second review will be invited to a public event for a five minute pitch, live demo of the product, and question & answer.

The winners will be announced publicly on July 10, and will receive a round-trip airfair ticket, hotel accommodation, and access to the DLD Tel Aviv Digital Conference. Additionally, winners are also expected to organize a public event and speak about their learning insights from the conference, to share their knowledge to fellow Filipinos.

This will be a great opportunity for Filipinos to learn and bring back the knowledge needed to create an ecosystem of innovation to the Philippines. This will be a great opportunity to bridge the two ecosystems together.