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Israel: bringing the future forward

I had the honour to attend the OurCrowd Global Investor Summit in Jerusalem in March this year. I have been monitoring OurCrowd’s portfolio of companies for some time; I was looking forward to meeting with some of the companies as well as to explore new ideas at the Summit. This year’s Summit surely did not disappoint. My extensive notes from the visit fall into a few important themes.

Fast Forward to The Future

I am not boasting by saying if you want to see what the future will look like, go to Israel. Israel has an abundance of talented engineers and data scientists who are not afraid to build technologies beyond one’s wildest imagination. Here’s what I found particularly interesting and hopefully relevant to most readers:

Cyber goes everywhere; as we are getting more and more connected, we are becoming more prone to cyberattacks. From the autonomous car we are driving to the electronic fridge in our home. Cyber security goes beyond the office setting but to ourselves personally. Have we thought of how securely is our Credit Card detail being stored? How much does the Dark Web know about our identity? How easy is it for criminals to steal from us without even being able to put up a fight? As everything is connected these days, cyber security is needed in every point we are connected. Thanks to @BradJoffe, I had a pleasure to visit one of the incubators in Jerusalem, called Labs/02 where quantum physics is being applied to create cyber security solutions in 5G networks.

Medtech is at the forefront of technology innovation as global populations are living longer yet being sicker for longer. Surgical Theatre (VR/AR empowered surgical planning technology), Zebra Medical Vision (AI powered diagnostic radiology tool), Insightec (MR guided surgical ultra sound without incision), were just a few great and inspiring companies. This is just the beginning of our healthcare revolution! Most of these technologies are powered by AI and machine learning to eliminate human errors in diagnostic. I can’t wait to see more of them as I am already 41% dead according to the skit by NAS DAILY.

SkyTranAutomobiles for better transportation; autonomous driving is not a question of when, is a question of how. A lot of technologies are focusing on improving safety, energy consumption, and the cognitive capabilities of the vehicle. Flying cars are getting closerto becoming a reality and is being tested in Israel with launch planned for India later this year. If you want to see the future of clean and cost-effective solution to alleviate urban traffic, check out skyTran.

 

 

 

 

Drones user cases are popping up everywhere, from disaster rescue to combatting criminals, from putting out fires to picking apples from trees. The pitch here is safety, fully autonomous and cost reduction. With global climate change, we have witnessed more and more natural disasters. Since we are the cause mother nature’s anger, we should be the one who fixes it using technology. Drones can be used to collect data and make flood predictions in certain areas (Climacell). It can deliver blood, medical suppliers and even lifelines to remote or inaccessible locations (Zipline drone). It can guide fire fighters to evacuate to safe area or police to combat criminals (Edgybees). I feel like the “Men against Fire” episode of Black Mirror is already here today. Here is a video of the autonomous apple picking drone to blow your mind away: Tevel – Apple picking drone

Some things don’t change (as much)

After seeing all progression in technology, what hasn’t changed much is how I observed tech stories being pitched to journalists. PR has been a huge part of my career, in the next post, I will share my thoughts about quality journalism in the tech industry, as well as some insights I gained about funding vs. IPO while I was in Israel.