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London: Wasim Abu Salem pitch to 25 corporations and investors MindTheTech

Over 100 startups met with 25 UK and European corporations and investors during the Meet and Pitch part of Calcalist’s third MindTheTech conference in London. One of the Arab founded startups was able to participate in the conference following his win of the “promising Arab startup” competition held by ArabTechPort.

About Wasim and Loop:

When Wasim Abu Salem was a 13-year-old boy in Nazareth, he wanted to establish a startup but struggled, eventually deciding to learn English in order to better understand Youtube programming tutorials. After graduating with a BSc in law and computer science in 2015 from the University of Haifa, he realised his real dream was offering kids like him a place to learn programming, which led him to establish Loop, a venture he defines as a sort of technological youth movement.

Today, around 11,000 children take part in Loop, mostly in Israel’s north. Mentors include university students and employees from companies like Microsoft, some who are paid and some who volunteer. According to Abu Salem, the main objective of the program is that graduates will not only work in tech themselves in the future, but also come back and mentor future generations of Loop. He is currently investigating options of setting up similar programs outside of Israel, initially in London.

“Just as Messi was scouted in Argentina at age 13, we can identify the kids that will become tech entrepreneurs in the first or second grade,” Abu Salem said. “We created a program that will guide them for years.”

Loop’s first home-grown startup is currently in the works - a startup called Oseela, set up by one of the program’s first participants who is currently in the tenth grade. It combines games similar to Pokemon Go with touristic and educational content in order to make family trips more interesting.

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