'Israel better positioned than during tech boom'

IVA and 'Red Herring' magazine select Israel's nine hottest startups.

red herring israel 88 29 (photo credit: Courtesy photo)
red herring israel 88 29
(photo credit: Courtesy photo)
Israel is in a better position today than it was during the tech boom thanks to its thriving venture capital activity and many home-grown startups, the American technology magazine Red Herring claims. In conjunction with the Israel Venture Association, Red Herring, which earmarks Israel as the "hot spot" for innovation, held the Israeli Startup Contest 2006, selecting the top nine startups for this year - the first time the internationally renowned periodical has conducted an Israeli competition of this type. The finalists selected from the software, communications and life sciences categories were chosen out of 90 participants in the competition. The finalists will present their companies at IVA's annual hi-tech conference in Tel Aviv next week, when the best performer from each category will be selected. The top three startups in the software category are Itemfield, a provider for complex data transformation, which developed the ContentMaster transformation product used by IBM, Microsoft and SAP; followed by BeInSync, the Internet provider for peer-to-peer synchronization software counting 2 million users worldwide; and Zend Technologies, a provider for development environments and languages for building and running Web sites. In the communications category, the finalists are semiconductor startup Amimon, a developer of the first wireless video-aware modem; Axerra Networks, a provider of pseudo-wire solutions for multi-service applications; and Discretix, a provider of high-quality security applications for the mobile environment. In the life sciences category are Brainsgate, the developer of implantable medical devices for treatment of central nervous system related diseases; Deep Breeze, the developer of medical imaging devices using natural body energy to produce an image instead of radiation; and Mazor Surgical Technologies, the developer of SpineAssist, a miniature robot to assist spine surgeons. "We had many great entries also from the more well-known companies," Jennifer Shenkar, international editor of Red Herring told The Jerusalem Post. "But in our selection, we decided to limit the competition to early-stage startups with the highest potential impact and innovation in their particular field." On the panel of judges are prominent Israeli entrepreneurs including Yanki Margalit, the founder and CEO of Aladdin; Dr. Shimon Eckhouse, the founder of Syneron and ESC; Benny Levin, the founder of NICE; Professor Ruth Arnon, the co-inventor of Copaxone; Dr. Yoram Karmon, CEO of PowerPaper; Danny Yachin and Gilad Nass, research analysts at IDC and Shenkar. The cover story in Red Herring's forthcoming magazine edition will be "The Stars of David" where the nine finalists will receive international exposure as the "Nine Good Bets" and Israel will be portrayed as a hot environment for technology. 'Nine good bets' Selected by Red Herring Itemfield BeInSync Zend Technologies Amimon Axerra Networks Discretix Brainsgate Deep Breeze Mazor Surgical Technologies