The $10,000 prize was awarded to the Defi team for their development of a compact portable defibrillator.
Sudden Cardiac Arrest is caused when the heart stops beating properly, and its pumping function is “arrested."
Automated External Defibrillators (AED) are ambulatory devices designed to automatically analyze the patient's heart rhythm and, if it is found to be in need of fibrillation, deliver the electric pulse (or "shock") to the heart in order to restore the normal heart rhythm. These devices are typically stored in a briefcase container, mounted to walls in public places. Hand-carried AED’s are expensive, and their size and shape impede portability. The product on which Technion students are working is a cost-effective, accessible alternative to the traditional defibrillator that would significantly decrease its size and price and make AEDs more plentiful.
The Defi team also took first place earlier this year in the iTrek competition, which was held at the Technion and at Cornell Tech.
The BizTEC Entrepreneurship Program, which was founded in 2004, is part of t-Hub, the Technion Entrepreneurship and Innovation Center, headed by Professor Ezri Tarazi and under the leadership of Ohad Yaniv who heads startup programs. Graduates of the entrepreneurship program have founded dozens of active companies that have collectively raised more than $1 billion, including Breezometer, Augmedics, Windward, Houseparty, and Presenso. This year, around 100 teams applied for the program, and of them, 37 were accepted. Eleven teams made it through to the finals and presented their developments to the audience.
Two teams took second place: BrainSense, which developed a system that monitors stroke events by identifying changes in brain activity and whose members are Technion students; and Oral Detect, which developed a home system for the early detection of tooth decay and won the BME-Hack Biomedical Engineering Hackathon that took place at the Technion earlier this year. Third place was taken by Soltrex, a team of Technion graduates that developed a fully autonomous technology for the cleaning and operation of solar panels.
Technion President Prof. Uri Sivan opened the event and said: “In the past few years we recognized that entrepreneurship is a far broader field than tech entrepreneurship or business entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurship is a state of mind that can be applied in every sphere of the lives of us all and is tightly connected with leadership. In recent years, here at the Technion we developed numerous social entrepreneurship programs, meaning groups of people that go out to the community and use entrepreneurial tools and entrepreneurial thinking to better the community’s condition, working together with the community. I thank Dita and Yehuda Bronicki who support the program, not only materially but also spiritually. Their spirit is instilled in every aspect of the entrepreneurship program.”
Also in attendance were numerous entrepreneurs, and senior representatives of the venture capital industry in Israel, many of them Technion alumni.