Author: Jonathan Medved


Jon Medved writes: The third Ukrainian Israeli Innovation Summit at the end of October will take place in a new format this year combining online and offline communication due to the international pandemic, and will focus on the challenges and opportunities created by the COVID-19 crisis. A major tech event, the UIIS was first launched in Kyiv in 2018 in order to establish cooperation between Israel and the Ukraine in the area of innovation. The conference, supported by both the Israeli and Ukrainian governments, will cover such topics as Ukrainian-Israeli cooperation during the pandemic, the transformation of the venture investing landscape, the creation of international access that can help to overcome the crisis, and the new normal of startup reality. OurCrowd is excited to participate in this year’s important summit, coming on the heels of our own Pandemic Innovation Conference this past June which featured Israeli startups and breakthrough technologies addressing everything from prevention and cure, to social distancing and food supply in the era of COVID-19. The first global event dedicated to pandemic investment, almost 7,500 people from...

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Booking my seat on the historic first flight from Israel to the UAE

Israel and the UAE stand to create a partnership of prosperity that will warm the economies of both countries and transform the lives of millions in the region. In December 2019, after more than a decade of doing business with the Gulf, with me and my team having to travel from Jerusalem semi-incognito on our US passports, I became the first Israeli investor to appear on a public platform at a business conference in the United Arab Emirates. Since news of the peace deal between the UAE and Israel was announced August 13, my Inbox has been flooded with messages from friends and business contacts in the Gulf. Since direct phone contact was established on August 16, my phone has been ringing off the hook with calls from the Emirates. We are now talking to more than a dozen potential partners in the UAE who are keen to explore the uncharted and enchanting prospects of business and investment with Israeli startups. Like many people, I have not flown abroad for months. It looks like my first trip will be to the UAE, perhaps on...

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Some of the world’s biggest investors are gearing up for a food fight

Companies making plant-based milk and meat products are heating up Hot on the heels of Beyond Meat, the plant-based burger company that scored the most successful IPO of 2019, I see the beginnings of a non-dairy milk war. Producers of plant-based milk substitutes are racking up record sales of products made from oats, peas, soy, almond, coconut and rice. In July, Blackstone, Oprah Winfrey, Natalie Portman, Howard Schultz and Jay-Z’s Roc Nation took a 10% stake in the Swedish oat milk company Oatly at a $2 billion valuation. The market is potentially huge and while Oatly is clearly the front runner with sales in 2019 of $200 million, investors are sniffing around other dairy substitute companies, realizing there will be many other creams in the crop. Noops, a newcomer offering non-dairy oatmilk desserts, closed a $2 million seed funding round in July led by 25Madison. Meanwhile, Beyond Meat is still on fire. Its second quarter sales, announced August 4, jumped 69% to $113 million. Its main rival, Impossible Foods, creators of the plant-based Impossible Burger and Impossible Sausage, increased distribution from 150 grocery stores...

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Sweetening the Pill: Israel’s MedAware works to end prescription error

Israeli entrepreneurs have become well known for their seemingly innate ability to think outside the box.  In 1959, Simcha Blass sought to make the desert bloom by creating the world’s first drip irrigation system. More recently, Amit Goffer, a quadriplegic and CEO and founder of Argo Medical Technologies created a robotic exoskeleton that provides the disabled with the ability to walk again. The challenge (or thrill in a lot of cases) of solving a problem excites and propels Israeli inventors to come up with innovative solutions to solve these problems. Gidi Stein, founder and CEO of Israeli startup Medaware is no exception to this phenomenon. Solving prescription errors with big data solutions An estimated 1.5 million people are affected each year by prescription errors in the US alone, resulting in thousands of preventable fatalities. In addition, drug prescription errors are unfortunately a common occurrence that currently costs the average hospital around $5.6 million annually. Gidi Stein, who also serves as the deputy head of Internal Medicine at Rabin Medical Center, designed Medaware in an attempt to avert these drug...

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