Moona, a “Space for Change,” announced the three winners of its startup accelerator program “From Idea to Implementation.” The program is supported by the U.S. Embassy Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI) and operated from Moona’s advanced technologies Center in Majd al-Krum, located in the Karmiel-Misgav Region, Israel. The Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh Partnership2Gether helped provide the seed money to establish Moona in 2013 and has provided funding for the Center ever since through the Federation’s overseas process.
Sharing first place are Ahmed Saba, 17, and Haled Abu Daud, 18, both Arab students from Majd al-Krum, who built an automatic fishing boat. Second place was awarded to Rima Ali, 21, a Druze woman from Beit Jann who designed an interactive table. She is currently studying toward a bachelor’s degree in law and economics at the University of Haifa, Ali attended high school in the United States through the U.S. Embassy’s Youth Exchange and Study (YES) program.
Moona serves as a cutting-edge technology innovation hub for Jews, Muslims, Druze and Christians in the Karmiel-Misgav Region. The Center offers extracurricular programs for youth from junior high school through high school, as well as technology training programs for adults from 18 to 30 year of age.
The three competition winners claimed their prize: an educational tour of Pittsburgh from June 16 to 23, including a visit to the Uber Advanced Technologies Group, Carnegie Mellon University’s CREATE robotics lab, the Carnegie Science Center, and the AlphaLab Gear accelerator for hardware startups. They will also tour a local energy innovation center and business complexes in Pittsburgh.
Upon their return to Israel, the three are expected to put the tools they acquired during the tour into action in order to contribute to developments in the fields of robotics, technology and science at Moona.
Asaf Brimer, Moona’s CEO and founder, said, “Training the next generation of scientists and robotics and space experts is a long process that begins in school. Our vision is to make state-of-the-art high-tech accessible to youth in Israel’s periphery — including Arabs of different backgrounds, who are eager to become equal partners in the Israeli startup scene. All this as part of a concept of a shared existence and economic development through technology.”
The Pittsburgh chapter of the Women’s Health Activist Movement Global (WHAMGlobal) will host a celebration of “Big Ideas” around women’s health activism — past, present, and future — on Monday, June 26 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the August Wilson Center, 980 Liberty Ave.
The event will feature an awards ceremony for women’s health activists in Pittsburgh, a tribute to national and international activists from the past century, and a “Big Idea Challenge,” with local nonprofits pitching their plans to improve women’s health in Western Pennsylvania for a chance to win a $10,000 award and the support of the WHAM network. WHAMGlobal is supported by the Jewish Healthcare Foundation and the Heinz Family Foundation.
Established in 2016, WHAMGlobal is a “network of networks” designed to empower and cultivate female leaders who advance health care systems that are transparent, respectful, accountable and equitable. WHAMGlobal advances this mission through an online community (whamglobal.org), boots-on-the ground chapters in cities across the U.S. that feature in-person events, and the establishment of champions programs that empower communities to unify behind addressing a specific health issue.
During the event, WHAMGlobal will recognize the inaugural WHAM Pittsburgh Women of the Year honorees. The honorees were selected for their longstanding commitment to improving the health and well-being of women and girls in the Pittsburgh region. The Women of the Year are: WTAE media personality Sally Wiggin, spokesperson for JHF’s Working Hearts initiative; Pittsburgh Race for the Cure co-founders Eileen Lane, Laurie Moser and Pat Siger. Established in 1992, the Pittsburgh Race for the Cure has raised more than $20 million locally for breast cancer treatment, screening, research and education; and Kathi Elliott, executive director of social service organization Gwen’s Girls (accepting on behalf of Gwen’s Girls founder and former Pittsburgh police commander Gwen Elliott.
The inaugural “Big Idea Challenge” started with 20 video submissions from local nonprofit organizations that outlined a strategy for improving women’s health and health equity in Western Pennsylvania. Eight finalists, selected by a panel of independent judges, will pitch their health improvement ideas live at the event. The audience and a panel of independent judges will select a winning team based on how innovative, actionable, scalable and unifying each nonprofit’s idea is determined to be.
Visit whamglobal.org/bigideaRSVP for more information and to RSVP.