Jul.19, 2012 | 8:01 AM–Last week offered a glimpse of the new Israeli technologies that will be making waves in the coming year, courtesy of the Entrepreneurship and Innovation Support Program where 20 new start-ups presented their innovations. The event was sponsored by the alumni association of the IDF’s Unit 8200, the Intelligence Corp unit responsible for signal intelligence, similar to the United States’ National Security Agency.
The new products span a diverse range of technological areas from information security for cell phones and e-commerce solutions to an online clearinghouse for solar panel price quotes.
Most of the start-ups are in very early stages. Many of the high-tech entrepreneurs at the event were embarrassed to admit that they were developing their products for the market without having raised capital from investors.
But program manager Inbal Arieli points out that last year’s first round of start-ups resulted in the founding of 18 companies. Eight of these companies, Arieli says, have raised nearly $4 million from investors thus far. She also noted that 13 product launches have taken place since last year’s presentations and 85 full-time employees now work at these companies.
In its second year, the program counts among its impressive list of sponsors the law offices of Naschitz Brandes, the accounting firm of Ernst and Young, Bank Hapoalim, BRM Group, the offices of Pearl Cohen, Zedek, Latzer, Tel Aviv University and the Bat Yam Municipality.
Face-to-face diplomacy online
One of the more prominent projects in this year’s presentations was PeaceTube, a variation of the well-known start-up Chatroulette, but this one is intended for Facebook users from hostile countries. The company, according to founder Lior Penso is a non-profit that allows users from countries at odds with each other to talk through video chat. The choice of conversation partner is made randomly and each user’s personal details are kept hidden from his or her conversation partner.
The app is integrated with Facebook, something which Penso says, “allows the company to correct some of the many problems of Chatroulette, like the use of the platform to engage in abusive behavior.”…Read More>>