Abigail Klein Leichman
July 17, 2012, Updated July 18, 2012

Three Muslim students from Azerbaijan, a handful from India, one from Turkey, and a hodgepodge of other budding young entrepreneurs from universities such as Oxford, Princeton and Cornell have registered for the Israeli student-led “Learn. Innovate. Lead” (LIL) Conference, scheduled for August 13-16 in Haifa, Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.

Registration closed yesterday, and though the organizers haven’t quite raised the full $3,000 needed – they’re doing it via the crowd-funding site Jewcer – they’re confident the event will happen.

“I think we will make enough money because there is no other choice,” says University of Haifa student Roni Yore. “About 50 people have already bought tickets, so there is no way we will let it not work.” Pledge categories range from $5 to $100.

LIL logo

She and a group of students from her school and the Technion Israel Institute of Technology (shown above) cooked up the startup tour as part of their work with Stand With Us, an international campus-based Israel advocacy network.

“Since a lot of us are studying engineering, we decided to approach it from the technical side of Israel,” says Roni. “We are tired of the negative image Israel gets on the international news, so we decided to fight it with what we think is the best feature Israel has to offer.” Planned since March, the event’s been publicized through the usual social network channels.

Roni promises “lectures by big shots like Yossi Vardi and Moshe Kaplinsky,” and new-business tours including a “very cool tour of startups on Rothschild Street” in Tel Aviv.

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