Tech Talk: Going geek in the Negev

A round-up of the latest hi-tech news from Israel and around the world.

One of the Geekcon Green inventions: A satellite dish stove (photo credit: Courtesy)
One of the Geekcon Green inventions: A satellite dish stove
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Geekcon Green (aka summer camp for geeks) took place April 16-18 at Khan Be’erotayim in the Negev, near Ezuz. It was a 52-hour long challenge in which 90 designers, hackers and engineers from Israel and abroad got together to think “outside-the-box” and create hands-on ecological innovations.
Participants in the sustainable technology camp had to overcome technical challenges and quickly build crazy inventions, such as a 3D-printed jacuzzi, or come up with a way to build projects and develop innovative blueprints for environment friendly living, such as providing a low-cost wifi hot-spot for farmers in remote areas of the country.
Among the creations from past years were: a mobile shower made from plastic irrigation pipes; a balloon carrying a camera that can pass through the earth’s atmosphere and take pictures (it rose to a height of 26 km and then was blown by the wind all the way to Saudi Arabia, so it probably will not be coming home); an apparatus made out of paint cans for growing vegetables that require watering only once every month or two; and orchestra instruments made completely from recycled materials.
Data security
Last week, Canadian mobile phone manufacturer BlackBerry acquired Israeli file-sharing security startup WatchDox. BlackBerry aims to offer its users improved control over their information and files, even after they leave the network. The WatchDox technology is an excellent added value service that complements BlackBerry’s EMM (Enterprise Mobility Management) technology, and will be offered alongside BlackBerry’s BES12.
The Enterprise File Synchronization and Sharing (EFSS) market is extremely hot, and WatchDox is working hard to differentiate itself.
WatchDox’s technology enables organizations to share and control sensitive documents on any computer or mobile device, while at the same time providing complete visibility to organizations of every document that is edited, copied or forwarded.
The WatchDox technology also allows users to limit or prevent access to documents, even after they’ve been downloaded to another computer.
In addition, this service is also available by cloud computing and can be installed throughout an entire organization and thereby prevent documents from being stolen.
BlackBerry executive chairman and CEO John Chen said BlackBerry is constantly expanding the potential of data security so that it enables more collaboration and sharing rather than creating limitations.
“This acquisition represents another key step forward as we transition BlackBerry into the premier platform for secure mobile communications software and applications, supporting all devices and operating systems,” he said last week. “Together with last year’s Secusmart acquisition, Samsung partnership, our own internal development efforts, and now the acquisition of WatchDox, we now have capabilities to secure communications end-to-end from voice, text, messaging, data and now enterprise file-sync-and share.”
WatchDox’s corporate headquarters are located in Palo Alto, California and its research and development center in Petah Tikva. Among the company’s customers are leading organizations for which document- sharing and mobility is of supreme importance, such as governmental bodies, health clinics and financial, legal and media organizations.
More than 150 companies on the Fortune 1000 list use WatchDox.
“Enterprises require secure mobile solutions that enable users to more easily collaborate and increase their productivity,” said Moti Rafalin, CEO and cofounder of WatchDox.
“WatchDox meets this need by uniting data-centric security with a user-friendly experience that is highly valued by our customers. The combination of BlackBerry’s security leadership and EMM portfolio with WatchDox technology will bring the most productive and collaborative mobility solution to organizations that need innovative ways to conduct business securely and efficiently.”
Maribel Lopez, founder of Lopez Research, said information sharing across organizational boundaries can significantly increase employees’ productivity, but it can also expose organizations to unwanted economic damage if appropriate control is not carried out.
“WatchDox provides this control and enables centralized data security,” she said. “File-sync-and-share technology will serve as an important extension for cross-platform EMM portfolios, since it enables new capabilities while retaining an extremely high level of security, which is an absolute necessity for companies.”
Pros and cons of crowdfunding
On April 29, the AtoBe Entrepreneurs Club will hold a festive crowdfunding event at the Azrieli College of Engineering Jerusalem.
This event is one of the club’s monthly meetings held at the college in which students meet entrepreneurs, college graduates, businesspeople and industry leaders.
The AtoBe Club evening will begin with cocktails, registration and plenty of time for networking, and the main event will feature a panel titled, “The pros and cons of reward crowdfunding: How to stack up vs. Angels & VC’s.” Guest speakers will include Oren Simanian from Indiegogo and Zack Miller from OurCrowd.
Technology meets online marketing
The AdTech Israel Summit – the leading digital marketing conference in Israel – will also take place Wednesday at the Na Laga’at Center at Jaffa Port. Digital marketing is a highly competitive field, and Israeli technology companies are among the most successful in the world. Over 50 world experts from the US, Europe and Asia will be speaking at the summit.
At the summit, there will be sessions in which participants, start-up founders, advertisers, publishing and PR directors, to name a few, will discuss the latest issues affecting the digital marketing industry and learn how startups are capitalizing on the booming mobile market.
Entrepreneurship on Tap
Entrepreneurship on Tap (entrepreneurs & beer) is an event sponsored by GEW (Global Entrepreneurship Week). At each of these exciting informal events, entrepreneurs speak about their journey to success, including hardships they’ve endured and challenges they’ve overcome.
At the Entrepreneurship on Tap that took place this past Monday in Tel Aviv, Giora Mandel, CEO and cofounder of Hulyo, an app for booking flights and hotels, spoke about his firsthand experiences and offered advice on how to promote businesses.
If you run a young startup, have developed an interesting app or have a question, please feel free to contact info@
Translated by Hannah Hochner.