The Secretary of State attended a luncheon organized jointly by the France-Israel Chamber of Commerce (Paris) and CCIIF Tel-Aviv. In the presence of the French ambassador in Israel, about 350 people participated in this exceptional event.
Article (excerpts) by Pierre-Simon Assouline for the Times of Israel (Copyrights): “Mounir Mahjoubi, 33, Secretary of State for Innovation was visiting Israel from 5 to 7 September. 350 people were present at the lunch organized by two chambers of commerce French-Israeli (CCFI and CCIIF) at the Dan Panorama hotel.
“I lost money to my first investors, but they decided to continue following me in my next start-ups. I thank them. Today, they made money thanks to me. I think they can thank me. ” The 350 people – including a good number of entrepreneurs – attending lunch laugh, they love. A secretary of state who displays an uninhibited report to failure and money, it pleases them.
Among them a good part comes from this famous “high-tech Israeli eco-system”, made up of research centers of universities and the army, incubators of start-ups, subsidiaries of multinationals establishing in Israel their research department and development. They welcome him as the child prodigy. Voluntarily accessible and voluble, speaking fluent English with French intonations, Mounir Mahjoubi scores points where France often sins by too much formalism.
According to a French entrepreneur accompanying Mounir Mahjoubi in Israel, the French have two major flaws that put them in trouble in the innovation sector: “Our English is rotten,” he said, and we hardly dare to speak in English in public “whereas all or almost all connections of the innovation community are made during informal moments; and that the “pitch” in public of his project is the main lever for raising funds. Another talent that has rained here in Israel, Mahjoubi earned his stripes by winning a significant symbolic battle against hackers, suspected of being in connection with Russia. (Source: http://fr.timesofisrael.com)
PLUS. Daniel Haïk interviewed Mounir Mahjoubi for Studio Qualita.
Daniel Haïk: The State of Israel is characterized by its immigrant population, made up of people who have traveled a lot. From what you know about Israel, does he succeed in high technology because of the wealth that makes up his society?
Mounir Mahjoubi: This is mainly the message I wanted to convey in my speech. It’s a matter of understanding that a trajectory of success which is at the beginning individual or even which is part of a family project is concretized often in this trip. The journey enriches us by meeting with the other person who gives us the ability to act, the motivation and helps us to have a vision of what we want to do.
I think the greatest strength of the State of Israel is its diversity. It comes in many ways: diversity of origins, intellectual and family paths. All the successful students do it in their own way and bring to the State of Israel this intelligence that allows to create start-ups that are not found in other countries. The State of Israel favors the fact that everyone decides their path, that everyone designates the place where he wants to go and that he can achieve what he needs to do it. These courses are celebrated here. One of the peculiarities of the State of Israel is that there are few models to reproduce because it is a very young state with a population resulting from the trip; that is to say, from parents who left one place to go to another, voluntarily or not. They had to rebuild or continue to build or build as a legacy the path someone had started for them. It’s great and it can help a nation to excel. In the term start-up nation that we associate with Israel, I also see the idea of going beyond to go faster.
D.H .: What can we learn from such a country?
M.M .: The state of mind that I have just described is a little that we want to give to France with Emmanuel Macron. How to make France go beyond? The first answer is that the sum of individuals must exceed each other. Then, one should no longer assign person-in-residence in the failure. We must bring out all who are in failure, housing, employment, education, so that they can draw their path. They must be able to create the wealth they wanted for them. This wealth can simply be the ability to subsist on one’s own needs.
D.H .: How are we doing today to motivate a nation?
M.M .: It is certain, it is a challenge. What must animate us is the conviction that we must never give up. Everyone has to be taken into consideration: from the small kindergarten section, to those who have dropped out of school, to those who have been unemployed for a long time, to those who have been in the same job for 20 years, but which is destined to disappear in the next five years and which must therefore be reformed. If we neglect a person, we condemn ourselves all. That is why we must be able to mobilize our fellow citizens to help them build and follow the path they have chosen. We need to be more effective and change the way we help others so that we do not collapse.
D.H .: With which models will you go back to France?
MM: On the digital front, we’re going to be working on how to develop a greater diversity in entrepreneurship paths like what we see in Israel, with more committed women, people from popular neighborhoods, …
Today in Israel, we have managed to multiply this diversity which is essential.
There is also in Israel, the culture of “we can do it”, “why not try”. It also comes from the fact that if one has settled in Israel, it is because one has already gone a long way in the “nothing is impossible”. It is also the idea underlying the existence of this state.
This mentality must be established also in each of the French. Historically, the French have also shown that they were convinced that anything is possible. We must give this feeling back to our people. Our government believes in it and we will do it through radical and profound transformations in all areas of life.
D.H .: Can this spirit be helpful in resolving the conflict that has been affecting this region for so many years?
M.M .: I feel that entrepreneurship and business relations can be something very beautiful and very strong. Through business, we can create solidarities that we would not have created otherwise. We met entrepreneurs in Ramallah, we met Arab and Jewish entrepreneurs in Tel Aviv. They often have the same problems and the same desire to develop relations in the region and in the world. The idea of working together is a beginning of peace. It may be a way of creating the conditions to add political courage to perhaps reach a solution.
Interviewed by Daniel Haïk for Qualita
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