Matricelf wins Israel's Startup World Cup contest

For the first time being held in Israel, the competition is sponsored globally by Pegasus Tech Ventures and organized locally in Israel by Tech It Forward.

Matricelf CEO Asaf Toker at the Startup World Cup competition (photo credit: Courtesy)
Matricelf CEO Asaf Toker at the Startup World Cup competition
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Matricelf, a Tel Aviv-based company developing a personalized platform for autologous regenerative medicine, won first prize in Israel’s Startup World Cup competition.
The company will represent Israel at what is said to be the largest start-up competition in the world, with the finals to be held in San Francisco later in the year.
This was the first year that the competition was held in Israel. The competition is sponsored globally by Pegasus Tech Ventures, and organized locally in Israel by Tech It Forward, which does marketing consulting and event coordination for tech companies. Competitions are held in more than 50 regions around the world, with one finalist winning the grand prize of a $1 million investment.
The award was Matricelf’s second in two weeks. At the end of December, the company was named the winner of the Startup+ competition by Calcalist and Poalim Hi-Tech.
“Matricelf is an unbelievable start-up, in terms of innovation, impact, medical achievement and advancement,” said Tech It Forward founders Jessica Rosner and Jennifer Elias. “Its CEO, Asaf Toker, is passionate about his vision and mission, and his passion has inspired the judges and the audience. We are looking forward to going to the Grand Finale in Silicon Valley this coming November, and we believe that, thanks to Asaf, Israel has a very high chance of winning first prize, and giving handicapped people the ability to walk again.”
Matricelf’s platform for autologous matrix and cell implants is designed to treat a wide range of medical conditions, and is built on eight years of research and $12m. in grants. The company was established in 2019 by Prof. Tal Dvir of the Laboratory for Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine of Tel Aviv University, and currently has eight employees and two patents.
“I hope that we will bring the trophy to Israel for the first time, but more importantly, that we will help disabled patients with spinal cord injuries walk again,” Toker said following the competition.
Coming in second place in Israel was I-BrainTech, an AI-powered brain-training solution designed to enhance the KPIs of individual athletes and to empower coaches using innovative neuro sport insights.
In third place was Hargol FoodTech, which specializes in growing large quantities of grasshoppers in captivity as an alternative protein source.
The second- and third-place winners won consulting hours offered by Tech It Forward and Leumitech, as well as memberships at Google for Start-ups and The Platform, a Tel Aviv-based entrepreneurship hub.
About 100 start-ups applied for the competition, and the seven judges met with 58 of them before choosing the finalists.