>>Tue Nov 9, 2010
I first realized I was a pitch junkie at the 2006 Israel Venture Conference hosted by the then WolfBlock Law Firm in Philadelphia.
I experienced this amazing energy every time I heard another entrepreneur’s story and his/her vision for how this business was going to be the next 100x return.
What struck me the most while listening to the Israeli entrepreneurs’ presentations was the conviction with which these entrepreneurs spoke about their life long dream to start their business. Really, if it’s anything that an entrepreneur must possess – it is undying belief and dedication to his/her product/service.
But regardless of this fervor, most did not sell the audience. And even though I was excited thinking about the potential of their patent-pending technologies, I found myself dozing along with the professional venture capitalists who were clearly assessing whether or not it was worth their time.
As I’ve heard countless pitches since then – from my classmates, to Israeli entrepreneurs, start-up non profit professionals – ranging from 30 seconds to 15 minutes – I’ve realize that it is an art to put together the perfect pitch.
And I am by no means an expert. I still struggle with my own presentation skills, but after sharing a bit of wisdom last Thursday night at the NYC Fellowship Pitch Slam (check out pictures and video here) I’ve come up with the following additional suggestions to master the perfect pitch:
>>Mon Oct 11, 2010
There's a new fund in town and they have a challenge for you.
The Jewish New Media Fund is a recently launched collaboration between the Jim Joseph Foundation, the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation and the Righteous Persons Foundation. In their first year the fund is offering a total of $500,000 to support projects that, through digital media, encourage the next generation of Jews to be engaged in the Jewish community.
So, what do you need to apply?
- Be techie. Your project must include digital media such as video, social networking, digital communications, and more.
- Be innovative. Propose something that has never been seen before!
- Be empowering. Does your project inspire others to become active in Judaism and the Jewish community?
- Be engaging. How can your project foster interaction and a meaningful Jewish life in the 21st century?
The deadline for applications is November 22, 2010.
Think you've got the next big thing for the Jewish community? Visit the Jewish New Media Innovation Fund website to learn how to apply.
>>Thu Jun 24, 2010
What really separates a non-profit from a for-profit besides a legal classification and mission statement?
What is the difference between a social enterprise from an enterprise that is socially responsible?
There are so many buzz-words thrown around these days, and the distinctions between their definitions is not so clear. At least to me...
I'm not curious about classifications or metrics, like the ones B Corporation (www.bcorporation.net) is establishing. Although I am incredibly impressed with the change this organization is effecting, I'm particularly interested to identify the overlap between these business to determine whether collaboration and mind-sharing opportunities exist.
Specifically - how do we tap into the culture of innovation and start-up experience of our Israeli and Jewish communities, and allocate this collective knowledge towards the "social-entrepreneurs" among us? How do we prove that the relationship is mutually beneficial, and that just because a non-profit professional is not expressly working to expand the "bottom line" he or she may know a thing or two about development, sales and bringing in hard cash?
There is an amazing concept emerging in Philadelphia called Missioneurs which hits the nail on the head. Check out www.missioneurs.com.
Founded by Blake Jennelle, a peer of mine from Philadelphia (and all around action-oriented change maker) Missioneurs is "a community of mission entrepreneurs separated for decades by the types of organizations we lead. Now we're coming together around our common sense of mission and hard-nosed entrepreneurial approach. We're why people. Together we can solve any how."
>>Tue Jun 15, 2010
When I think of "grassroots organizers," I think of those who spark social change movements. While change can come from the top, the biggest stakeholders in changing society are those ‘on the ground” who organize their peers to take action. These grassroots activists often oppose “the man,” the established power structures that support the status quo.
In my few weeks at the Jerusalem Hub I’ve noticed an interesting phenomenon at PresenTense. On the one hand the Institute harnesses the grassroots enthusiasm of budding social entrepreneurs who are creating an empowered minyan in Cleveland, Jewish sports programming, and networks of activists in Jerusalem. Each of the Summer Fellows is directly on the ground, in touch with people not necessarily engaged in the established Jewish community.
On the other hand, PresenTense connects Fellows to a network of philanthropists, mentors, and coaches that are deeply embedded in the established Jewish community. Reputable Jewish organizations like the American Zionist Movement, the Amitai Foundation, and the Jewish Community Federation of Cleveland sponsor Fellows. Speakers this summer include Becky Caspi, Executive Director of the Israel Office for Jewish Federations of North America, and Professor Steven Cohen of Hebrew Union College.
Unlike other grassroots movements, the entrepreneurs at PresenTense partner with and compliment the Establishment. How does this happen? First, forward thinking big Jewish organizations realize that new ways of thinking are required to engage the younger generation. At the same time, young entrepreneurs are choosing to work within rather than outside the sometimes frustratingly old-fashioned Jewish world, patiently teaching how Judaism can exist through Facebook, sustainability, and hip hop.
>>Mon Jun 7, 2010
From Tess Lehrich, 2010 Jerusalem Winter fellow:
מאשפה לגינה גאים לבשר על תחילת הפיילוט של פרוייקט הקומפוסט במסעדה ההודית, בדרום תל אביב, 24 רופי!
חשוב לציין כי הפרוייקט מתאפשר בזכות הגינה הקהילתית בפלורנטין, שם גם יהיה אתר הקומפוסט. שוב תודה להם שסיפקו לנו את המקום!
מעכשיו, צוות מאשפה לגינה ו24 רופי מכריזים: יום שני "יום הקומפוסט". בכל יום שני ,תעשה הפרדה בין זבל אורגני לשאר הפסולת של המסעדה ובסוף של יום נעביר יחד אל תוך מיכל בגינה הקהילתית.
שם, נהפוך את שאריות הטאלי שלנו לאדמה יפה, בריאה, טבעית, ושימושית. הקומפוסט ימכר גם במסעדה עצמה, וגם בחנויות גינון מקומיות בתל אביב. למענכם ובשבילכם לשימוש פרטי בגינה, בגג, במרפסת או סתם אפילו בשביל עציץ במקלחת (:
>>Thu May 20, 2010
We just celebrated the holiday of Shavuot, a festival which is often forgotten, yet has much meaning for the Jewish people. It is one of the three Biblical pilgrimage festivals, during which Israelites brought the bikkurim, the first fruits of their harvest, for sacrifice at the Temple. Shavuot also commemorates the giving of the Torah at Mt. Sinai, when the Israelites, after 49 days of wandering in the desert post-Exodus from Egypt, received the laws that established them as a nation.
These seem like two completely disparate events - on the one hand, you have an agricultural holiday celebrating the very beginning of a harvest. On the other, you have the huge event of revelation on Mt. Sinai, where G-d speaks to the people and passes down the Ten Commandments, the Torah, and Jewish law. What could they possibly have in common?
If you examine the underlying messages though, they are the same - that this event is only the beginning. After planting their seeds and nourishing them throughout the fall and winter, farmers begin to see the fruits of their labor, the first glimpse of the harvest. While the farmers don't know if they'll have a profitable year or a bad one, whether their harvest will be successful or not, they come to Jerusalem to present the early stages of their work.
>>Mon May 17, 2010
On June 10th, 2010, 17 Fellows will take up the flag of Pioneering to develop entre- and intrapreneurial ventures to impact Israel and the Jewish community. Check out their ideas, and sign up to join their quests as they go forth to change the world and bring our people's values to life.
Click below to meet the 2010 PresenTense Fellows and lend your energy and support to their missions.
>>Thu May 13, 2010
PresenTense's Jerusalem Winter Fellowship is mentioned in an article from The Jewish Week on Jerusalem's non-haredi residents, which also features quotes by co-director Ariel Beery. Read about PT below and check out the whole article here.
PresenTense, an organization that trains innovators and entrepreneurs, just ran an intensive program that spawned some out-of-the-box initiatives.
Ariel Beery, PresenTense’s co-director, says the organization’s fellows have proposed a range of projects “based on non-religious life in Jerusalem,” including — of all things — a secular yeshiva, “which will be an opportunity to learn about Jewish identity and values without any preaching.”
Other projects include self-driven tours for tourists who don’t want to hire a tour guide; a youth hostel for the many people who volunteer in the city but lack accommodations; and a community garden initiative “to help create deeper community ties.”
>>Thu May 13, 2010
>>Thu May 13, 2010
Congratulations to the Jerusalem Winter Fellows on an amazing Launch Night! They rocked the house with their innovative ventures, and everyone was impressed by their short and pithy pitches, creative tables, and nonstop enthusiasm. Of course, now launch night is only the beginning, as they now work to continue to grow their ventures. We wish them much success!
We apologize again for the Livestream problems last night (technology is great... except for when it malfunctions) and wish you were all there live to see the pitches!
But - we've got lots of media you can check out. View the slideshow, and watch video of our fellows' pitches!
Video of pitches (only 7.5 minutes long!):