It’s a presenter’s worst nightmare: after fiddling with the PowerPoint for weeks, the big day arrives, everyone gathers in the conference room, and dozens of expectant eyes stare down at you. But the computer won’t boot. And it suddenly dawns on you — with a shudder — that you don’t have any backup.
Take a good, hard look at the cellphone in your pocket. Whether you’re an avid text messager or you’ve only recently learned how to change your ring tone to something snazzy, be forewarned. Within the next year or two, your cellphone will undergo such a radical transformation that you’ll view the phone you’re currently carrying around as terribly passé. And impersonal, too.
At least that’s what dozens of Israeli startups — and their funders —are betting on.
Fledgling startups looking to set up shop in Manhattan, a city teeming with venture capitalists prowling for the next Google, have traditionally hooked up with university-linked incubators. In addition to nurturing entrepreneurial companies by providing office space and facilitating connections with investors and potential clients, university-affiliated incubators offer intellectual capital in the form of access to professors (many of whom are experts in their chosen fields) and the cheap labor of hungry MBA students.
Fifteen months ago, with Lower Manhattan engulfed in ashes, the idea of building a Jewish community center here might have seemed like a bizarre joke.
Jewish parenting classes, arts programming (maybe even a swimming pool) within blocks of the most horrific scene of Islamic fundamentalist-inspired destruction?
But, ironically, momentum is now building for a Jewish center below Canal Street: and it is because of, rather than in spite of, the Sept. 11 attacks.