Five leading Israeli start-ups have been selected to compete at the 2018 World Summit Awards (WSA), an international competition selecting and promoting local digital innovation with a high impact on improving society from over 180 countries.
TechForGood, an Israeli-founded accelerator driving a network of local ecosystems that support social technology start-ups, chose the five Israeli start-ups from more than 100 candidates to compete for global recognition against over 400 digital innovations across five of nine award categories.
The awards were established in 2003 in the framework of the United Nations World Summit on the Information Society (UN WSIS) in order to showcase creative use of digital innovation and contribute to the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
The WSA Grand Jury, featuring 20 international experts in innovation, will meet in November in Accra, Ghana, to select the 40 winners of the competition. The winners will be announced in December and presented at the WSA Global Congress in Spring 2019.
The awards are a non-monetary system where winners benefit from access to an international network of recognized global experts and industry leaders, as well as sponsors and partners of the WSA community.
TechForGood, which will represent Israel in a judging capacity, worked with Impact First Investments, co-working space 2B-HUB, the Pears Program for Global Innovation, the 8200 Social Program, PresenTense and Hackaveret to select Israel's representatives.
Keheala will represent Israeli innovation in the WSA Health & Well Being category. The Tel Aviv-based start-up provides a mobile software ecosystem designed to address prescription drug noncompliance, offering tools to overcome social drivers of non-adherence by connecting patients to community support and motivation.
In partnership with the Kenyan Ministry of Health, Yale University and the US Agency for International Development (USAID), Keheala has improved the process of care and outcomes for tuberculosis patients in Kenya.
Israel's representative in the Inclusion & Empowerment category will be OKO, a Tel Aviv-based crop insurance platform utilizing satellite and mobile technology to bring affordable and simple crop insurance to smallholder farmers.
Active in Africa, OKO provides a weather-based index insurance product, tools for distribution and customer education, and an automated policy management platform.
Representing Israel in the Environment & Green Energy category will be eggXYt, a Jerusalem-based company developing technology that detects the sex of chick embryos immediately after the eggs are laid and before they enter the 21-day incubation process.
EggXYt says it has the potential to save over seven billion chicks a year by preventing their unnecessary incubation, which typically requires employees at the end of the hatchery line to identify and kill male chicks, and to add over seven billion eggs a year to the global food supply by sending the nonincubated male eggs to the food market.
AmplioSpeech will represent Israeli innovation in the competition's Learning & Education category. The Haifa-based company provides a digital speech-language therapy platform that optimizes clinical outcomes for all speech-language conditions including articulation, language, literacy, stuttering, voice and autism.
The company is currently operating a pilot project across four continents in 12 languages.
Israel's final representative, nominated in the Culture & Tourism category, is EasyWay, a Tel Aviv-based virtual assistant for travelers, both inside the hotel and out on the streets, through their preferred messaging app. The company seeks to boost hotel revenues by boosting in-house sales, optimizing their service and enhancing the guest's experience.
"The selection of TechForGood as the Israeli representative in an international competition gives us an opportunity to promote, in the international arena, start-ups that are inspirational in their creativity, their innovation and the passion of their entrepreneurs for social and environmental advancements," said Nir Shimony, TechForGood Founder & CEO.
"We see here an opportunity for the entire Israeli impact industry, and we are pleased that other organizations joined us in order to ensure that we locate the best start-ups in each category, and make Israel not only the start-up nation, but also the impact nation," Shimony added.
"Israel is one of the world's leading countries in the field of start-ups
thanks to its unique culture of innovative thought, technological genius and knowledge transfer," said Prof. Peter Bruck, WSA Chairman.
"With its speedy industry and creative use of technology, Israel represents an impressive ecosystem for digital entrepreneurs. We are delighted that Israeli start-ups will participate in this global process of identifiying best practices, and will contribute through their ambition and entrepreneurial spirit to this international presentation of digital innovation that creates a positive impact on our society."
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