(photo credit: JPOST STAFF)
A delegation of Israelis from hi-tech startups designed to help the disabled will finish on Friday a visit to Australia where they met with government officials, investors and potential business partners. The entrepreneurs appeared at numerous events and explore opportunities within the context of Australia’s National Disability Insurance Scheme.
The mission is being led by Guy Spigelman, CEO of PresenTense Israel, who made aliya from Sydney 22 years ago. Presen- Tense Israel is a community of innovators, entrepreneurs, thinkers, leaders, creators and educators who use entrepreneurship as a tool to enrich communal life, promote the economy and solve critical issues facing society.
“Our objective during this mission is to pack the entire strength of the Israeli Start- Up Nation, and our experience as an organization running an assistive technology accelerator, which has resulted in dozens of breakthrough ventures, and create a connection with a country that is interested in improving the life of people with disabilities,” said Spigelman before the delegation’s departure.
Australian leaders and disability organizations have expressed interest in assistive technology innovation coming out of Israel following adoption of the National Disability Insurance Scheme, an Australian Government program to support people with disabilities and their families.
Earlier this year, PresenTense Israel hosted an Australia Israel Chamber of Commerce delegation led by the New South Wales Prime Minister Mike Baird. That resulted in the current exchange visit in Sydney.
The Israeli mission members participated in events at the Spark Festival Sydney and the Asia Pacific Impact Investment Summit. They also met with government officials and leading companies and organizations in the disability sector as well as Australian and international investors.
NAB, Teva and Celestino sponsored the mission.
Startups represented in the mission included: Paratrek, a venture that allows trekking and extreme sports by people with disabilities using a specially developed wheelchair, the “Trekker”; Sesame-Enable, the world’s first touch-free smartphone for people with disabilities who have limited or no use of their hands; NiNiSpeech, which uses unique technologies to give people with speech disorders greater control over their speech in day-to-day life, and Yooocan, the first global inspirational community marketplace for people with disabilities and their families.
Baird said that it was his pleasure to welcome the delegation and arrange for their meeting “with the rich pool of talent we have in our state. “Earlier this year, I became the first serving NSW premier to visit Israel, where I was pleased to establish formal partnerships between our businesses and universities that will increase collaboration between NSW and Israel. Israel is truly a Start Up nation, and the collaboration between our markets will continue to drive innovation.”