During the Purim school vacation I drove my 11 year old son with his classmate to the yearly conference of StartupSeeds. On the way the two boys spoke of their creative ideas, using phrases like “thinking out of the box” and giving a new meaning to fun.
I liked it. I like their creativeness, their openness and their ambition. The conference hosted some 80 kids or more. Formally it is directed at kids ages 13 and up, but there are individual cases where it appeals to younger kids too. The warmest part of the event for me was meeting Oz Ben-Hamo and Andrey Boukaty, two 17 year old kids, who started the http://joinmylife.co.il/en/ project during the last Gaza war. Their aim was to explain to the world what kind of life are the kids from southern Israel forced to live. I “met” them online, through facebook conenctions and gladly helped them translate texts and posts to English. The blog is still alive, though the frequency of posts declined and not all posts are translated to English.
One other story that came out of StartupSeeds and made headlines on the same week was the story of Yuval Shoshan, a 12th grader, who made his first ‘exit’. He started his web venture at the age of 14.5. He received mentoring through StartupSeeds from Yaniv Golan, one of the founders of Yedda, which was sold to AOL. Yuval’s venture is a rating site – www.opinion.co.il – allowing users to rate books, music, movies, blogs and restaurants. Users can sort opinions according to genres and rate the raters and the ratings. Shoshan sold the venture, among other things, because in a short while he will have to go into the mandatory military service for 3 years.
StartupSeeds is doing a great work, obviously. I just wish there was a growing awareness of the need to educate for entrepreneurship. Some kids have it like a natural gift, others need to learn it. But entrepreneurship is a must skill for life.