Embassy of Israel in Yangon and Myanmar Computer Federation has launched a nationwide search for an innovator to represent the nation. Start Up Israel 2016 Competition will accept projects or products in the Information and Communications Technology sector, including the web, mobile and cloud computing. Competitors will vie for a weeklong trip to participate in DLD Tel Aviv Innovation Festival, scheduled for 27 to 28 September.
The two sponsors stated that the objective of the competition is to nurture the young and the talented in Myanmar to strive for innovation and to bring closer the ICT industries of Israel and Myanmar. The two countries first established diplomatic relations in 1953. Since the early 90s, Israel has cooperated extensively with Myanmar in its agricultural scene, and more recently, offered humanitarian aid following cyclone Nargis and the 2015 floods.
Ambassador Daniel Zohar Zonshine emphasized how small countries can leverage innovation to wield larger economic power by sighting Israel as an example. With a population size one-sixth of that of Myanmar and its land but one-third, Israel nevertheless annually exports over 50 billion USD worth of products, a large portion of which are high technology, telecommunications, military, and pharmaceutical.
“We have come to have a highly developed, knowledge-based industry because the government provided an environment that encouraged new business,” He said. “One needs to take the disadvantage and turn it into an advantage. We are at a lack of natural resources, but we invest in people, in education, in research and development.” Nicknamed ‘Silicon Wadi’ due to its strong venture capital industry, Israel has garnered a reputation as a startup nation, considered second in importance only to its Californian counterpart.
The ambassador noted his hopes to inspire a spirit of “looking for a solution, to do more, to turn an idea into reality” by way of the competition. Any student or entrepreneur from all industries is encouraged to submit a project along with a video presentation by 28 July 2016.