Easy2Hike Wins a $100,000 Investment from the Coller School of Management
The Coller School of Management launched the Coller $1,000,000 Startup Competition this year. This competition is for students and recent alumni of the Coller School of Management and other departments at Tel Aviv University who are at the beginning of founding their startups. This year the competition attracted applications from various fields, including gaming, online solutions, health, journalism, hobbies, recreation and more.
According to Prof. Moshe Zviran, Dean of the School of Management, “The values of entrepreneurship and innovation are an important element of academic studies and administrative activity. The Coller Competition encourages entrepreneurial thinking among the students of the School of Management and Tel Aviv University and aims to assist entrepreneurs in their early stages by allowing them to combine entrepreneurial spirit with knowledge and tools acquired during their studies.”
According to Dr. Iris Ginzburg, Head of the Sofaer International MBA and the MBA in Management of Technology, Innovation and Entrepreneurship, "The first stages of entrepreneurial initiatives are critical to success later, and therefore the competition places emphasis on projects at this stage. The competition allows participants to experience the challenges of the business world and creates a connection between their studies and practice, while being provided guidance and assistance from mentors from the academic and industrial fields.”
Easy2Hike, a platform for enriching the nature experience, won first place prize in the Coller $1,000,000 Startup Competition Finals – a $100,000 investment.
Five teams, out of 70 applications, competed in the competition finals. The final event was attended by Prof. Joseph Klafter, President of the University, British businessman Jeremy Coller, who was the driving force behind the initiation of the competition, and Prof. Moshe Zviran, Dean of the Faculty of Management. Jeremy Coller, who was also a member of the panel of judges, noted that he considers the dynamic environment of entrepreneurship and innovation to be a key element in research and teaching, and that the aim is to establish the leadership of the School of Management in these fields in the international academic arena.
Prof. Moshe Zviran, Dean of the School of Management, referred to the competition, which was launched this year, saying, "The ventures that reached the final stage have proven intellectual and business maturity, even though they are in their early stages, which indicates a combination of entrepreneurial activity and academic background.”
The winning venture can choose between a $5,000 cash prize and a $100,000 investment to develop the startup, reflecting an initial value of $1 million. The prize and grant are given by the Coller Foundation for Philanthropy. The winning startup, Easy2Hike, which belongs to entrepreneurs Erez Talgam, a graduate of the MBA Program in Management of Technology, Innovation and Entrepreneurship at the Coller School of Management and his partner Uri Bar, provides a unique platform that creates a new standard for hiking and improves the experience for visitors to public parks around the world. In addition to the hikers, park managers also receive advanced tools that enable them to generate insights into visitors' behavior which allows them to create a customized experience for visitors, improve park management and increase revenue. The entrepreneurs chose the investment grant from the two options offered to the winners.
In addition, She’z, Galivac, CASTOR, and SkinCope participated in the competition finals. She’z is an application for professional counseling for women based on a cooperative economy, by the entrepreneurs Keren Raviv, Adi Bengal Dotan and Nir Bernstein. The startup's advisors include journalist Lihi Lapid, who came to support the team members at the competition finals. Galivac is a virtual startup that develops innovative VR screening and placement tests to enable companies to recruit quality and appropriate employees while saving time, money and manpower. CASTOR is an application that enables 3D printing of computer game models. SkinCope is a medical monitoring platform for patients with skin diseases.
In addition to Jeremy Coller, the panel of judges included Izhar Shay, General Partner at Canaan Partners Israel, Yanki Margalit, Chairman and Investor of Pixter Media, Noga Kap, startup mentor and investor, Dr. Iris Ginzburg, Head of the MBA Programs in Entrepreneurship and Innovation at the School of Management, and Prof. David Mendlovic of the Faculty of Engineering, who also serves as Director of TAU Ventures. The event was hosted by Prof. Sean Weiss, Associate Professor of Entrepreneurship at Ryerson University in Canada, who led the competition committee.