VLX start-up incubator offers bug-eyed, ice-cool technology innovation

More investments in hi-tech are needed as the start-up nation is currently going through “the quiet before the storm” as the COVID-19 world recession is reshaping the global economy.

Icebow ice-cubes, an innovative way to brand a company while having a cold drink. (photo credit: Courtesy)
Icebow ice-cubes, an innovative way to brand a company while having a cold drink.
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Humanity faces the threat of antibiotic resistant infections, which is why VLX Ventures decided to invest in Omnix.
“Insects don’t have our immune system,” VLX Ventures greenhouse CEO Ori Choshen told The Jerusalem Post, asking “how is it that an insect can land on a dead cow, start eating, and not catch any infections?”
The reason is insects can secrete a peptide from their mews that perforates the cell membranes of any infections that might seek to do them harm, which kills them.
“This is such a rapid process, a germ doesn’t have time to adapt to it and mutate into a peptide-resistance strain,” Choshen explains. “This is a huge game-changer.”
While it’s clear that in a world without antibiotics any infection might lead to death, he points out that even light infections would simply become a life-long condition and not a passing ailment.    
Owned by Jewish-Iranian businessman Vincent Tchenguiz – a British national whose family moved to the UK after the Iranian Revolution – and Xenia VC, the greenhouse offers a great deal of support, as well as seed funding, to a variety of Israeli start-ups.  
“We mainly invest in pharma [developing drugs], AI and Computational Biology,” Choshen said, “but when we see something very interesting, we go for it.”  
Such a company is Icebow, which uses advanced optics to offer ice cubes with a company logo at their core so they can last for an entire hour in a drink.
This might seem like no more than a neat party trick, but the ice industry is a billion dollar one – and the Israeli company also offers an energy saving way to produce ice.
“Factories usually pour water on a frozen surface and then heat it and refreeze the product,” Choshen told the Post. “This company has a unique solution to save 24% of the energy currently spent to make ice.”
Called the Arktika-1 model, the market potential is outstanding, starting with small events such as weddings and parties and ending with large-scale operations such as the Olympics.  
With COVID-19 disrupting social life as we once knew it, party tricks might need to be kept on ice for a while, but the hi-tech industry waits for no man.  
“Here in Israel, things are still good but this is the quiet before the storm,” Choshen warned the Post. “The storm is going to hit. The country needs to invest more in this sector as it will need a growth engine to help it up from where it could end up.
“Besides,” he added, “the world is marching to odd and difficult places and you don’t know what the future might bring with it.”  
Because of the flight restrictions, Eximore is unable to fly to Mexico to take part in a massive step for the company: human patients trying its innovative medical solution.  
Eximore offers to insert a nanotech plug made from a medical drug inside the human tear duct near the eyeball.  
The medicine is then easily absorbed in the eye due to the natural fluids in that part of the body, for a period of up to six months. This will help patients who forget to apply eye drops as well as help prevent dry eye and glaucoma. And the process doesn't require any surgery.      
“It’s a little bit like not being able to come to your own wedding,” Choshen pointed out, “but we’ll find a way to overcome.”