Technology Start-Up Firehose in Jersualem

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Nowhere as we push on into the 21st century, is innovative use of technology in the service of our planet, seeming to accelerate more than in Israel and OurCrowd Global Investor Summit in Jerusalem is the place to be.

OurCrowd

OurCrowd Global Investor Summit

Already in Internet 2.0 times, Israel was becoming an essential ingredient in almost any piece of technology – saving lives, inside computers, you name it.

For me, it was no longer “Intel Inside” but “Israel Inside”. As automation increasingly comes to dominate manufacturing and associated industries, technology and innovation are fast becoming the true drivers of economic growth. And nowhere are these two areas more prevalent than in the United States and Israel.

OurCrowd

OurCrowd Global Investor Summit this year, is one for the history books, with over 10,000 Startup founder Entrepreneurs and CEOs, Venture Capitalists, Multi-nationals, Corporation leaders, Marketers, Exhibitors and Press from 96 countries – all gathering in Jerusalem for a jam-packed day of speakers, exhibitions, networking and meetings. And all chowing down on delicious and beautifully presented fresh Israeli food, a true mélange of influences from the Middle East, North Africa and the Mediterranean.

As a heady mixture of Start-up Nation, Silicon Valley and Las Vegas style pizzazz, it was an exhilarating and mind-expanding start to 2018, to experience and witness the astonishing progress in just a few short years of Jonathan Medved’s OurCrowd – now the largest crowd-funding site for start-ups in the world. 

OurCrowd

Jonathan Medved, Founder of OurCrowd with two women founders, Inna Stelmakh & Anna Zharova.

OurCrowd

Immersed in Augmented & Virtual Reality in one at OurCrowd.

OurCrowd

Medved built OurCrowd as a purpose- built equity crowdfunding platform for matching accredited investor ‘angels’ investors from outside the traditional venture capital world with early stage start-ups – allowing them to get a piece of the action on the country’s vibrant start-up scene.

This re-imagining of scaling venture capital by allowing accredited investors from outside the VC world, to invest as little as $10,000 on the same venture terms as the Venture Capitalists, has meant that OurCrowd has become the single most active investor in Israel.

It has galvanized Israel’s seed funding of startups to a scale, breadth and depth that is really invigorating to see. It is the breadth and depth of this eco-system, that allows OurCrowd to lessen the investment risk in early stage companies.

OurCrowd

Barbara Mazur, Vice President Technology Acquisition Strategy at DuPont Pioneer, speaking on a session about Case Studies in Agriculture

Barbara Mazur summed up to me one of the key positives of participating in OurCrowd summits: “The best part was the broad overview of leading edge technology developments and the opportunity to think how those innovations could be applicable in [her case] agricultural production.”

It was impossible to view all the Presentations, Exhibits, Panels, going on throughout the packed day at the Summit, which showcased the very latest in Mobility Tech, Drones, Robotics, AI and Medtech. 

I was lucky to fit in visits to several of these companies the day before the conference, such as Edgybees which uses Drone and Augmented Reality to help in catastrophic situations world-wide. It raised a seed round of $5.5 million just this week, led by OurCrowd. The company name was chosen because the first time they used their drone apparently, there was a swarm of bees around!

OurCrowd

Edgybees shows off its drone AR technology in the heart of Jerusalem. 

I then saw a private mind-popping presentation by Amnon  Shashua,  Co-Founder of Mobileye, acquired just a year ago by Intel for $15 Billion because they recognized the powers of the Mobileye sensing as ‘Data Centers on wheels’ for the cars of the 21st century.

Women Founders & CEO’s AHOY! 

I was also able to talk to multiple women CEOs and founders showcasing their excellent companies and networking with deserved confidence.

OurCrowd

Anu Bhardwaj, (2nd from left), Founder & CEO of Woman INVESTING in Women DIGITAL – which has over 1,100,000 followers in over 100 countries, with other women entrepreneurs and founders at the event.

OurCrowd are already representing a score of them, which include Splacer, co-founded by Adi Bira, the Airbnb of Commercial space, bringing those kinds of spaces into the sharing economy; Engie is a most practical car maintenance solution co-founded by Gal Aharon, already internationally disrupting the car repair world; Wayup, who’s CEO and co-Founder, Liz Wessel, helps match college students and recent graduates to internships and jobs across America, already in over 5,000 universities; and Sweetch, an Artificial Intelligence based platform for large scale prediction, prevention and outcome improvement of chronic diseases such as diabetes, that strikes almost 10% of the US population alone.

Jon Medved stated to me about Women-led companies: “At OurCrowd, we are proud of our ten women CEO’s/Founders who are pioneering a wide range of tech companies. While this number is still too small, we are hopeful that this cadre of women entrepreneurs and leaders will grow over time. We are hopeful that your readers or their friends will join us and improve our numbers in time.”

Well, Jon, I am pleased to mention already right now, founders and CEOs like Anu and those below, would be an excellent addition to OurCrowd platform today:

OurCrowd

Helen Wexler, Space Architect and Founder of Bubble Base – developing technology to 3D Print  a Mars Human Habitat, with Miriam Schwab, CEO & Co-Founder of Static, a serverless publishing platform

OurCrowd

3D Printing prototypes for the MARS technology

This last shot seems a fitting conclusion to this warp speed recap of current and future technology as seen and experienced at OurCrowd Summit this 2018 – watch out for 2019 – which if this year is everything to go by, will be way out there by 2019.  Hold on for the ride!

Isabel Maxwell
Isabel Maxwell is a Tech Pioneer of the World Economic Forum, and president emerita of Commtouch Software (Nasdaq:CTCH). She Co-founded Magellan, an early online search engine, acquired by Excite in 1996.

Isabel is highly active in the social enterprise space. She was former Senior Adviser to Nobel Laureate Muhammad Yunus' Grameen America which makes micro-loans to very poor entrepreneurial women. Isabel was a highly active director of Israel Venture Network and built up their pioneering Social Entrepreneur program in Israel from 2004-2011. She has also been an International Governor of the Peres Center For Peace & Innovation since 1999, and currently continues to advise Israel non-profits and a New VC platform out of Malta, Israel and London.

Isabel also had a long career in TV & Feature Film /Documentary production in the UK and US. She passionately believes in the power of individuals to make a difference in the world. French-born and Oxford-educated, Isabel has divided her time between Silicon Valley, Israel and LA for the past 18 years.
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