About us

Over the past 17 years the Sha'ar Ha'negev (Gaza envelope) area has repeatedly found itself under fire. The proximity to the fence together with "Tzuk Eitan" Operation led to socio-economic difficulties in the region and caused the residents to cope with a complex reality and many difficult challenges.

In 2015, in a bid to cope with the complex situation, a group of educational and high-tech entrepreneurs from the Sha'ar Ha'negev area joined forces with the San Diego Jewish community. Together, they established a non-profit organization that operates based on shared values of identity, social involvement and mutual responsibility in the community.

The association works to improve the quality of life of Sha'ar Ha'negev residents and to encourage and develop the region by promoting technology, education for innovation, entrepreneurship, creation of new jobs and significant social activism in the region. These goals were achieved and were exceptionally successful. The founders of the Association decided that these goals should be promoted on an ongoing basis, and this was the establishment of the Association for the Development of Technological Entrepreneurship in Sha'ar Ha'negev – SouthUp.


SouthUp, located in the Sha'ar Ha'negev Regional Council and adjacent to Sapir Academic College, which are a central partnership for our initiative. The founders of the association are people from the education and the business world, who devote their time on a voluntary basis out of a desire to advance the goals of the organization.

Our team

Elad yeori

Founder and CEO

Hadas ben shalom

Keren magen

Amit yesodi

Among our Founders

Elad yeori

Founder and CEO

Shachar Belkin

Entrepreneur, Founder and Chief Technology Officer at FST Biometrics. Chairman of the "Partnership Together" project that connects us and San Diego with many initiatives.

Wolf Bielas

Owner of Wolfpack Ventures and Downtown Works in San Diego, California, a partner at OurCrowd.

Yenina Barnea

Coordinator of Economic Development in the Sha'ar Ha'negev Regional Council

Prof. Omri Yadlin-

President of the Sapir Academic College, founded and directed the Department of Justice at the College.

Aharale' Rothstein

Director of the Upper Division of Sha'ar Ha'negev. Mentor for students at the Mandel Leadership Institute program in Jerusalem.

Larry acheatal

former principal of the Jewish Academic in southern California.

Alon Shuster

Head of Sha'ar Ha'negev Regional Council

Eyal Fish

VP at Amdocs and responsible for integration after merger (M & A).

Rick Kornfeld

Chairman and CEO of Kitu Systems, Inc. Former vice president of Commnexus, former founder and CEO of EvoNexus

Friends association

supports the organization and helps it achieve its goals. Among the members of the association are: philanthropic families from Israel and San Diego, strategic partners such as the Innovation Authority, the Jewish Agency and Federation, the Sapir Academic College, Israeli companies, kibbutzim of the region and more.

Members of the Friends Association enjoy direct exposure to dozens of entrepreneurs, start-ups, investors and a platform for business activity and customers.

Our partners