And the Winner Is

On May 28, 2012, four new businesses in Jerusalem were awarded between 200,000 to 400,000 NIS to invest in their own operations.  The awards ceremony was attended by Mayor Barkat and Jerusalem Foundation president Mark Sofer. 


More than 93 potential entrepreneurs applied to the Easy Start Jerusalem program, funded by the Dan David Foundation, in partnership with Jerusalem Foundation, the Jerusalem Business Development Center (JBDC or MATI as it is known in Hebrew) and The Marker.


Assaf Goldstein and Ofir Barouchi, two young entrepreneurs and engineerings graduates of the Hadassah College, won first prize of 400,000 NIS for creating Touch Wood Designs, wooden gifts that are made from natural raw materials manufactured by laser cutting technology.  Touch Wood Designs works with SHEKEL (Community Services for People with Special Needs), training the special needs population to prepare these unique designs which are delivered in flat packaging and are assembled at home, like a puzzle.


Second place went to Elchanan and Chaya Waserman, a young ultra-Orthodox couple that started a company called "Babytech" creating a baby bottle that is for one time use and is biodegradable.


Third place went to Adi Talmor who will open a coffee house in SHEKEL in Talpiot which provides vocational training for the disabled. The coffee house will employ the special needs population of SHEKEL and SHEKEL's own gift store will also be located in the same space.    


Lior Chai piloted a toy rental service where, once a month, a package of age appropriate toys arrives at a child's home for use until the next package arrives. The package includes family friendly games that encourage 'family time'  between parents and children.  


Second, third and fourth place winners each received a 200,000 NIS grant. 


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