Tech Talk: Israeli startups take off

Each year, EISP, named after the elite IDF Unit 8200, chooses 20 young entrepreneurs out of the hundreds who apply to participate in a five-month program led by 8200 alumni.

8200 EISP Demo Day (photo credit: FACEBOOK)
8200 EISP Demo Day
(photo credit: FACEBOOK)
8200 EISP (Entrepreneurship and Innovation Support Program) is the first and only Israeli accelerator that is a non-profit organization and promotes early-stage, first-time entrepreneurs.
Each year, EISP, named after the elite IDF Unit 8200, chooses 20 young entrepreneurs out of the hundreds who apply to participate in a five-month program led by 8200 alumni.
The program culminates each July with Demo Day, during which graduates present their startup proposals to a group of investors and the media.
The 8200 EISP program brings young entrepreneurs in contact with mentors from different fields and aims to harness the extensive and tight-knit network of 8200 veterans.
Participants, however, don’t need to have served in 8200, or even the army at all (as long as they have carried out some form of national service in Israel).
Since its establishment, 8,200 EISP graduates have started 95 companies, 75 percent of which have successfully raised funding totaling $350 million.
They currently employ 450 individuals, and four of the startups have already had an exit.
Here’s a little taste of a handful of startups that were founded by 8200 EISP graduates:
• Synereo has created a technology that lets you add apps in the field of electronic currency. Similar to BitTorrent, Synereo enables you to manage business and FinTech transactions, reduces costs and allows for a much more extensive number of people to use a variety of financial tools.
• Jammable is a new Israeli technology that allows musicians all over the world to connect and jam with each other. You can create a virtual jam session by recording your music on your smartphone and letting others add their own tracks to your original music. Alternatively, you can record yourself playing a song from YouTube or SoundCloud, and mix it with other people’s recordings.
• Verstill has a patent pending that will help make premium quality whiskey, cheap and fast. Apparently, 80% of a whiskey’s flavor comes from the copper inside the still, and Verstill has found a way to build one made of stainless steel with copper plates inside, which cuts down on costs by 3/4 and on distilling time (3-6 times faster).
• Museloop is a mobile app that turns a visit to a museum into a game.
Instead of being bored, now, everyone can stand in front of a work of art and play a game of knowledge. The app also enables the museum to keep in touch with visitors and send them ads.
• GiftWizard lets you purchase gifts online and send a message directly to the recipient, who can change colors or sizes if relevant. You can also confirm receipt of a gift, exchange it or add money and purchase a different item altogether.
TrenDemon TrenDemon, a global content marketing analytics and automation company that allows marketers to automatically increase revenue from their content by analyzing the customer journeys on their site, announced a strategic cooperation with IBM. Utilizing IBM’s groundbreaking Watson artificial intelligence technology, TrenDemon can boost its offering, transforming it to become the world’s first autonomous marketing solution powered by artificial intelligence.
“We’re extremely proud to be among the first companies to leverage IBM’s revolutionary artificial intelligence technology within the marketing technologies ecosystem,” said Avishai Sharon, TrenDemon’s Chief Executive Officer. “When we embarked on this journey our vision was to help marketers finally understand the effect that content marketing has on their business goals and help them to reach and exceed them.
By utilizing Watson’s advanced cognitive computing capabilities together with TrenDemon’s own unique marketing attribution technology, we’ll be able to offer our customers an endto- end solution to help them maximize their marketing ROI.”
TrenDemon is used by some of the largest global brands including several Fortune 500 companies such as Microsoft, IBM, Infosys, Checkpoint, FINRA, Fiverr, Sapiens, Nice, Payoneer and Amdocs.
Sling acquisition Israeli startup Sling, empowering micro-merchants by enabling them to unlock mobile-finance through their mobile devices, has recently been acquired by Brazilian Avante.
Sling enables micro-entrepreneurs (street vendors, therapists, flea market merchants or even home factories) to unlock a series of financial services directly from their smartphone, with no need for hardware, intricate contracts or upfront cost. Among the various capacities, Sling merchants enjoy digital card payments, frictionless installments, clearance and microfleet management capabilities.
Due to micro-entrepreneurial roving nature, Sling equips each business with a unique, non-hardware, champion kit, which includes a personal Fintech bracelet and a series of tangible payment-enabled elements which allow merchants to carry their new financial capacities on the go.
Such elements also enable a merchant to deploy his own micro-fleet of sub-vendors in a larger locality.
The micro-business sector is experiencing a massive global growth, most prominently in emerging markets such as Latin America, Africa and Asia, currently estimated at $80b.
Sling serves thousands of Israeli micro-entrepreneurs in Israel and is destined to deploy its services among additional 10,000 merchants in the Brazilian market, by the end of 2017.
The company was founded on 2014 by Erez Yerushalmi (CEO), Jacob Cohen (COO), Tsadok Eliyahu (CTO) and Michael Kessler (Mobile Lead), all avid entrepreneurs with multiple ventures in their past. Sling was funded by Angel investors (Michael Katina, Erez Shani) and was accelerated by Citi’s accelerator, operating from Tel Aviv, as part of its third class. Sling was also selected to be part of Master- Card’s startup engagement program ‘Start Path’ in 2015.
In response to the acquisition, Erez Yerushalmi, Sling’s CEO, said: “Avante is a natural partner to the vision we have built at Sling. The acquisition enables us to continue and empower the underserved communities of this new economy. In a world of banks and giant-corporates, Micro-Businesses are rapidly abandoned, and only technological accessibility will enable us to answer the huge pain of poor populations.”
If you run a young startup, have developed an interesting app or have a question, please feel free to contact
Translated by Hannah Hochner.