Top Ten Finalists Receive Personal Mentoring Leading up to the Coller $100,000 Startup Competition Finals
Finalists of the Coller $100,000 Startup Competition receive quality support and mentoring from industrial entrepreneurs and academics leading up to the competition finals.
Preparations for the annual Coller $100,000 Startup Competition at Tel Aviv University’s Coller School of Management for new ventures began two months ago. This is the second year the competition is being held for Tel Aviv University students or young alumni who are partners to new ventures just starting out. The aim of the competition is to help and promote the ventures through the generous investment of $100,000 in the winning venture, and providing exposure and professional support. The final round of the competition will take place on Wednesday, 6 June 2018 at 18:00 in the lobby of the Recanati building.
This year, too, the competition was open to ventures from a broad spectrum of enterprise, ensuring that all those reaching the final round are particularly interesting. The leading teams are from a rich diversity of disciplines at Tel Aviv University, including engineering, computer sciences, business administration, biology and more. Some of the competing teams present devices for online monitoring of water consumption, software for improving development processes and making them more efficient, applications for improving learning processes, a substitute for plastic, an online solution for the patient’s medical file, a waterless toothbrush, and more. The profile of the contestants this year seems to have had a definite impact on the high level of the projects and the judges will have a hard time selecting the winner.
About a week ago, 10 teams were selected out of the 60 competitors who reached the semi-finals this year. Of these five will be chosen to present their ventures at the final event to a panel of judges that will include faculty members of the Coller School of Management, venture capital fund managers and entrepreneurs. Among the judges will be Jeremy Coller, founder and CEO of Coller Capital, Izhar Shay, a Prior Fund General Partner at Canaan Partners, Tzahi Weisfeld, General Manager of Microsoft for Startups, Fiona Darmon, Partner in Jerusalem Venture Partners (JVP), and Dr Iris Ginzburg, Director of the MBA Programs in Innovation and Entrepreneurship at the Coller School. The winning startup will receive a $100,000 investment to develop the venture. All the top ten ventures that reached the semi-final round will benefit from the exposure to the audience of interested parties and investors at the final event to be held on 6June 2018.
In addition, all the top ten teams have enjoyed the benefit of personal mentoring from industrial entrepreneurs and academics who conducted several individual consulting and advisory meetings on pitching, and financial, business, and legal issues.
Sharon Barak, , a graduate of the Coller School of Management (MBA) and a competitor from one of the teams that reached the semi-finals, is a chemical engineer who once worked in the plastics industry and decided to make a switch to developing a venture that would contribute to a greener environment. She says: “I registered for the competition out of a desire to get funding for a venture and I was pleasantly surprised by the support and professional mentoring that so precisely met our needs – particularly at the pitch and business model level.”
Omer Blaier, founder of the CASTOR venture, decision support software for use in 3D printing for manufacturing, got to the semi-finals and benefited from a series of mentoring meetings with the entrepreneur Eyal Benjamin: “Winning the competition, from my point of view, can enable us to examine our product in the market and to raise additional capital. The professional personal mentoring that my partner and I received through entering the competition gave us knowledge that will be useful in making a pitch to potential investors (conveying the right message in five minutes).”
Dr Eyal Benjamin, a serial entrepreneur, who guides the competing teams from registration to the final round, says: “Participating in the competition takes a lot of effort, particularly in view of the paucity of resources that startups have at their disposal and the need to focus on the venture’s development aims. However, in contrast to other competitions, beyond learning how to think, the contestants in the Coller competition benefit from high-quality support and mentoring from professionals in industry and experts in academia, a rare combination that is unique to the competition. Another special feature of the competition is the broad range of the ventures, from medicine, 3D printing, acoustics, social applications and more. Such an impressive range can only develop among contestants coming from a large and prestigious academic institution. In view of the quality of the ventures, I am sure that the judges will not find it easy to make a choice.”
This year’s Top Ten startups
1) BrighTap water meter sensor and water quality and consumption monitoring system include app and web data services. BrighTap IOT water meter can be a standalone sensor attached to any standard water tap, pipe or hose to transform them into a smart device. In addition, BrighTap sensor can be an OEM to any device (refrigerator, water bar). BwareIT combines a unique in-house developed analytic algorithm and turbine technology to measure water flow. BrighTap reduces water consumption by 15% and saves more than 45 liters of water per household a day.
2) CASTOR is the first intelligent 3D printing software for manufacturing.
3) Fit Vision is a smart gym that leverages your daily workout to make it personalized, more professional and interactive by using a hands-free analysis tool to upscale your training level.
4) GoldBuzz is an internal social network for companies – the professional Instagram. Employees (users) can share their professional achievements, congratulate each other, ask for help and network within the organization, all using fun and easy storytelling tools.
5) MDLinks – the physician’s medical data – is smart medical data software that arranges endless patient raw medical data into clear interactive flow charts. It actively searches for and presents relevant information for the physician in real time, arranging the medical file as a living process, providing a clear view instantly and allowing an understanding of what medical workup has been done, where the patient stands now, and what are the next steps to be taken. It connects the medical personnel involved in the patient’s medical workup, allowing them to communicate, share and consult via a messaging and video conference system, providing a true platform for multidisciplinary treatment for any given scenario.
6) Novel Acoustics are innovative acoustic technologies for enthusiasts and professionals in the home and production environments.
7) Shelfie is a web-based platform connecting small retail store owners to enable them to rent shelves in stores to present and sell their goods.
8) Solutum seeks to replace plastics by developing a novel formula that can be used to create products with adjustable time-scale biodegradability.
9) T-Fresh is a single use waterless toothbrush incorporating the mechanics, chemistry and physics of how to combine liquid with a toothbrush in an easy and elegant way. A patent has been applied for in the US. The product is aimed at the mouth care and oral hygiene sectors.
10) TuneFork audio personalization technology guides you through a simple test which characterizes your hearing, creating a personal audio profile. Because its self-test is clinically accurate, it provides the best results possible, truly the Gold Standard in audio experience. It uses test results to tailor a precise audio filter for each and every user, creating the perfect match between your sound system and your hearing.”