Frequently Asked Questions
Is 50:50 Startups focused on the entrepreneurs and their personal development or on the viability of the venture?
Both are critical for the success of any venture, but given the unique political context, there will be an added emphasis on leadership skills for collaborative management. A key goal of the program is to have a measurable social/regional impact from the management of the ventures, as the entrepreneurs will be role models and change agents in their communities and societies. The positive effects of knowledge and economic value will spill over when the venture is successful.
At what stage are the ventures when they’re accepted to the program?
Because this type of “cross-border/culture” collaboration is rare, the vast majority of the ventures will be very early-stage, as they may well be inspired by the existence of this program. Also, the idea of equal ownership as a prerequisite is likely to be at odds with projects where the governance structure is already somewhat developed (and thus are more advanced) although we are open to consider such ventures under certain conditions
Will we work in teams or as individuals?
50:50 Startups will help the selected participants to find a team. Every team should include at least two out of the three possible identities (Israeli Arab, Israeli Jewish, Palestinian) The team can be formed of 2 or more participants, as long as there is an equal share of ownership across the founders
Is this program trying to create ventures that would be attractive to impact investors?
50:50 Startups carries three levels of impact:
Macro/societal level: The presence of the program will have an effect of breaking down barriers, inspiring (radical) collaboration between entrepreneurs, and engaging traditional investors in supporting a new model for success through collaboration.
Enterprise-level: Many of the startups will deliver social value to their local region and/or address social/environmental problems (which will be also useful for other economically developing nations).
Human Capital level: How Companies are internally managed (asset ownership, diversity, and inclusion, leadership development, etc.) and how they build capacity for change.
How long will 50 50 Startups be “holding hands” with the ventures before they get funded?
Because success barriers are likely to be even higher for 50:50 ventures than more traditional startups, we would provide the successful ventures (those that finish the program) with support through seed funding (grants), the intention being to eventually match them with investors.
Will there be some out-of-pocket expenses for the Northeastern/Boston program?
While the vast majority of costs will be covered by the program, participants can expect some out-of-pocket expenses including the following before arrival expenses (visa fee, health insurance) and expenses after arrival (local transportation, food). In addition, before the Northeastern/Boston part, a “seriousness fee” per person would be requested to demonstrate a commitment to participating in the program.