Messchallenge distributed prizes totaling about one million shekels to five outstanding graduates of the first cycle of the acceleration program in Israel. The 2 companies that came in first place and received a prize of NIS 300,000 each are Eggxyt and StellarNova.
Prizes totaling about one million shekels were awarded to the graduates of the first cycle of the MassChallenge acceleration program in Israel. The companies that came in first place and won a prize of three hundred thousand shekels each are: Eggxyt of Yehuda Elram and Prof. Dani Ofen, which is engaged in the development of an innovative technology to identify the sex of the chickens' embryos on the first day and thus prevents the birth and destruction of chicks of the unwanted sex and a company StellarNova of Dr. Yael Shuster and Margo Stern, which produces games and kits that make science and technology accessible to children. Scientific games for girls are rare today and their development helps to increase their motivation to integrate in these fields in the future.
The other three companies won a cash prize of NIS 125 each. And they are: the company Versatile Natures, which develops technology to make construction sites smarter with the help of an IOT sensor that turns cranes into smart cranes, EyeControl which develops communication technology for ALS patients with the help of the eye and company Plasmatica Developing technology for dispersing fog and moisture from optical surfaces in the medical, sports and security industries. Shai Rini received a special award for his inspiring fight against ALS.
The winning companies were selected by an independent judging committee that included 7 judges, among them senior executives from the Israeli venture capital industry and managers of companies in the fields of technology and life sciences. The ceremony held at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem was attended by senior officials of the technology and life sciences industry in Israel Minister for Jerusalem Affairs and Heritage and Environmental Protection Ze'ev Elkin, Debra Disenzo - Chief Director ofIBM Watson health and the founder of Masschallenge Global, John Harthorne.
48 entrepreneurs and companies participated in the first round of MassChallenge, which were selected through a strict selection process. Of the applicants for the program, 150 came from 35 different countries around the world. Among the companies that participated in the program, apart from the local entrepreneurs, there are entrepreneurs from Nigeria, Cameroon and the United States.
Israel Ganot, CEO of MassChallenge Israel, stated that the winning companies and the list of ten outstanding companies reflect the efforts MassChallenge makes to increase diversity in technological and social innovation from as wide a range of fields as possible, while encouraging entrepreneurship across sectors and gender. Indeed, in the first program, one third of the entrepreneurs were women and the participants in the program came from various countries around the world and in Israel from the center of the country and the periphery.
The entrepreneurs and companies that participated in the program benefited from training and access to MassChallenge's professional partners in Israel and the world, and of course, a high-quality workspace at no cost. A number of companies from the first cycle of the acceleration program have already raised capital estimated at approximately NIS 10 million. According to the plan, Masschallenge Israel will integrate, in the next two years, about 100 additional start-up companies in the acceleration programs in Israel. The companies will come from a wide variety of fields, the most prominent of which are: cyber, Internet of Things (IOT), information technology, tourism and travel, and social entrepreneurship. MassChallenge operates as stated without profit and does not take holdings in the companies that participate in its programs operating in Boston, London, Switzerland and starting this year also in Jerusalem. During the last 7 years, 1211 companies have participated in Masschallenge's global programs, raising 1.8 billion dollars. The revenue of these companies has already reached about 700 million dollars. These companies contributed to the direct and indirect employment of approximately 60,000 jobs.
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