The final pitch which traditionally closes a whole season of TheHive Ashdod took place Tuesday, the 12th September. This 7th batch was dedicated to the memory of Yossi Perl, a diligent mentor whose advices has been precious for entrepreneurs. He abruptly passed away few days after the previous Demo Day. Another part of the event was a farewell from Tal Kelem, founder and first director of TheHive Ashdod. Tal joined BIRD foundation as Head of the Business Development. We are thanking Tal for his contribution to development of entrepreneurship ecosystem in Ashdod and the prosper of our Ashdodi branch.
A VIP guest appeared for this 7th edition of the Demo Day Ashdod. Mark Oun, Gett IL CEO was part of the judging board, together with Yaniv Golan (lool Ventures), Ilan Itzhayek (Xnet), Noga Kap (i3 Equity Partners) and Steven Katz (Dell Technologies Capital). Gett is nowadays part of our daily landscape, considering the number of taxis wearing the prized logo atop their driver window. Less well known is the Mark Oun’ strong connection to Ashdod. Mark was born there and continues living in the near by moshav.
Seven startups pitched on stage. A family business opened the games. Alex and Helen Domeshek made alyah from Lituania and Russia. They met as they were students at Techion. As part of her doctoral studies, Helen was liable for managing laboratory supplies, consist basically in ordering, storage, tracking and disposal of lab materials. This sideline monopolized a valuable time she would have preferred to devote to her research. Engineering degree holder, Alex created Labsuit for her. The concept then spread in the faculty. They came to understand they hold a business. A lab is generally stores thousands of various materials; the inventory and supply of the latter is costly and time consuming. At a first level, Labsuit offers a solution to effectively handle lab supplies and materials. But it has also created a network of laboratories enabling collective sharing of tools. The outcome is a win-win situation: researchers save time and labs’ running costs drastically drop. Labsuit can yet boast about its enthusiastic users worldwide. Among them: the University of Cologne (Germany), the university of Utah (USA), and the Tallinn University of Technology (Estonia).
Special attention was paid to Fitscanner. The Startup has developed a software allowing to asset easily and reliably the body fat percentage. Yan Gelburd, Daniel Butov, Ilya Sosis and Kostya Antipochkin form a highly attractive team, undeniably the startup’ main strong point (and their matching T-shirts were a hit).
Fitscanner' team is interviewed by the judging board. From left to right: Daniel Butov, Ilya Sosis, Kostya Antipochkin and Yan Gelburd.
The technologies exposed during this Demo Day fit with current time. Fitscanner is for example a progeny of a very modern concern, but the market it could target is far wider than what we may a priori expect. Israel was the first country in the world to pass a law forbidding models whose weight not aligns with healthy standards to parade. Software such as Fitscanner could be used for regulatory reviews. Talking about fashionable trend, the key smart transportation sector was also well represented. NoTraffic, a startup brought by an energetic team, developed powerful algorithms that analyze the trafic flow and adapt traffic lights timing in real time to reduce congestion and prevent accidents, based on a network of smart sensors communicating with each others. And as there must have been a winner, the jackpot came to Radiomize, which rides on the same lode of transportation industry (NoTraffic won the first place, Radiomize won the second).
While Israeli drivers are famously reckless, smart transportation sector is thriving. Radiomize could now become one of its flowers.
In the past years, Israel has been an unlikely hub for automative innovation and smart transportation. Unlikely ? But only in appearance. The country is indeed notorious for its bad drivers: keep safe following distance features as an option, and the red light is rather a lightly taken advice. As a result, technologies aiming to « educate » careless drivers are increasingly essential, and cope with a vital problem: Israel is the third place in the world in the percentage of pedestrians killed in traffic accidents, and it is admitted than an overwhelming majority of them have a human origin.
Radiomize faces thus a huge opportunity for growth, especially in light of the success of its predecessors. The Israeli exploration for improved experience of driving started with the electric car company Better Place in 2012. However, what put the local how-know under spotlights is obviously the purchase of Raanana-based mapping company Waze by Google in 2013.
Radiomize founders with Gvahim staff.
Radiomize proposition has a double impact. On one hand, it brings a response to drivers who cannot surrender their digital native bad habits: make calls, send text, check news or set the GPS and the music player while they are driving. They created a hands and eyes free technology control of all this functionalities consist in a wearable and smart steering wheel. On the other hand, the start up provides driving monitoring tools, such as driver behavior analytics and drowsiness detection, based on acceleration, speeding and braking collected data. The latter are turned into a helpful driving score and voice time alerts to ensure you stay awake. Which goes to show that we should not despair of the Israeli road jungle.
Other startups that pitched included projects like Nailedat (challenges-based social network), Wisewed (smart financial system for couples that want to manage their wedding budget smart) and Winnis (a platform for mobile gaming, chatting and betting at the same time).
The prizes to the winners were generously sponsored by Gett IL.