Startup Festival: Wealth of Innovation and Happy Winners

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Congratulations to the winner of the first prize at the Startup Live Competition – Listenapp, which developed a secure mobile communication app. Listenapp, a company that takes part at the iHLS security accelerator, has won flight tickets and participation at the startup festival in Vienna and the European incubation program Global Incubator Network (GIN)!


The second prize – a six-month stay at the Lighthouse startup scalerator – Wekast.

Third prize – five hours consulting by Brooks Keret – to Roojam.

Which startups got to the final stage of the startup competition? A wide array of fascinating technologies, from VR content search engine and a platform that curates furniture designs to a smart alerting device for asthma patients, and more:

Listenapp, Galigu, SmartAir, Ensura, New Time Zone, AbiliSense, Crazy SOB, Roojam, WeKast, SalientEye, and Sowillo Energy.

startup festival

It is important to note the important number of women entrepreneurs whose startups were among the finalists – a great role model for the next generation of women entrepreneurs.

The startup festival and Startup Live Competition offered entrepreneurs a unique opportunity to connect with investors, expose their developments and receive practical advice regarding fundraising and advancing their projects.

The investor panel moderated by Tal Catran included Esther Barak from Nielsen Innovate, Uri Weinheber from The Time, Joshua Levinberg from JAL, Sarit Piron from Cerca, Inon Axel from Cyrus Angel Fund and Cecile Blilious from Impact First Investments.

The investors offered some tips and advice to the entrepreneurs in the audience. Among others, Sarit Firon suggested that it is not enough to send a good presentation, creativity and excellence are also required, a 360-degree team and even presenting the beginning of a product could help. Cecile Blilious spoke about investment in social technologies. Joshua Levinberg recommended to consult with lawyer and accountant offices that could direct the entrepreneur who to apply to and how to act.

During the day, Lt. Col. Nurit Cohen-Inger, Head of Sigma Branch, Matzpen at the IDF, gave an interesting keynote about the IDF as an innovation ecosystem. She said that “in order to respond to challenges, we turn to our soldiers. Selected ideas enter an acceleration process culminating in a hackathon to demonstrate the idea. For example, the IDF whatsapp developed by Matzpen unit. The initiative came from soldiers from the unit, in order to find an innovative technology for communicating messages within the IDF systems and as an infrastructure for smart chatbot technology. Our goal is to bring relevant technologies that offer solutions”. The innovation process in the IDF is an open innovation process in cooperation with the academia, and wide use of open source. This is achieved through an excellence center which serves as an incubator for the development of innovative ideas in various technology fields needed in the IDF.

Among the exhibition startups was a social project by Yeelim NGO, which trains 16-year old pupils of Ethiopian descent to fly light sport aircraft. Many of the graduates of the program have achieved challenging roles in the IDF and the civilian sector thanks to the self confidence they have gained during this unique program.

It was a most interesting day thriving with exciting ideas.