The Coronavirus has not stopped the activities of the Italian Embassy in Tel Aviv and the Intesa Sanpaolo Innovation Center from supporting Italian startups and innovative businesses in Israel.
Two important initiatives were recently completed: the first edition of the Israel-Italy Acceleration Program and the EcoMotion 2020 virtual event.
Israel-Italy Acceleration Program
The first accelerator programme for Italian startups in Israel was successfully completed. The programme was launched by the Italian Embassy in Tel Aviv and the Intesa Sanpaolo Innovation Center, the Intesa Sanpaolo Group company chaired by Maurizio Montagnese and managed by Guido de Vecchi.
Seven startups took part in the Israel-Italy Acceleration Program, which, in full compliance with the safety measures introduced as a result of the spread of the Coronavirus, were able to take part in on-site or, for a brief period, remote training and development activities at the Eilat HighTech Center, the accelerator sponsored by the Israeli-American group Arieli Capital, which operates innovation programmes for universities, research institutions, governments and large companies.
The programme is part of the cooperation agreement for industrial, scientific and technological research and development between Italy and Israel. It aims to develop new business ideas in one of the world's most advanced innovation ecosystems. Israel is ranked first in terms of startups per capita and patent applications, with 4.1% of GDP being invested in research and development. As a result, the country can count on its outstanding ability to attract capital: 47% of the companies have a significant foreign shareholding or are entirely controlled by foreign groups, compared to the European average of 9%.
There were a total of 40 applications for the Israel-Italy Acceleration Program. From these, the Selection Committee selected the best startups operating in the health tech, smart mobility and clean tech sectors. The Committee members included the Chief Scientist of the Italian Embassy in Israel, Stefano Ventura, and Dani Schaumann of the Intesa Sanpaolo Innovation Center, Danny Biran, former Vice President of the Israel Innovation Authority, Jeremie Kletzkine of Startup Nation Central, and Dan Fishel of OurCrowd.
The seven finalists chosen to take part in the program are BionIT Labs, SynDiag, Materias and Elysium in the health tech sector; Isaac and Djungle in smart mobility; Nanomnia in clean tech.
The international crisis caused by the Coronavirus forced the startups to return to Italy early, postponing the final event to a later date. Nevertheless, the outstanding professionalism and ongoing commitment of all partners involved ensured the successful completion of the programme which included the organisation of more than 250 b2b meetings, 100 connections with major global companies and more than 30 one-to-one sessions with international investors that contributed to the growth of the young Italian entrepreneurs.
The conclusion of commercial agreements, as well as the high degree of satisfaction of the participants, led the Italian Embassy in Tel Aviv and the Intesa Sanpaolo Innovation Center to repeat the initiative with a new call for proposals due to be published shortly.
"The first edition of the Accelerator programme in Israel has just ended and was a complete success," said Gianluigi Benedetti, the Italian Ambassador to Israel. Our seven startups were presented with a significant number of business opportunities, new partnership proposals and for some of them, even a round of investment. It was a unique opportunity to be completely immersed in Israel's extraordinary innovation ecosystem and to fine-tune design ideas and technological solutions in a continuous, rigorous exchange with Israeli and international experts, investors and entrepreneurs. The Embassy that launched this initiative last year, confident of the potential that the synergy existing between the Italian and Israeli economic systems continues to offer, has even greater expectations for the second edition of the program which will be announced in a few days with participation coming from a broader section of the country system and twice the budget".
The General Manager of the Intesa Sanpaolo Innovation Center, Guido de Vecchi, commented: "Supporting the growth of the best Italian technology businesses even through international accelerator programmes is part of the mission of the Intesa Sanpaolo Innovation Center and Israel, along with being one of the most important providers of innovative technologies for our Group. It is the best example of a successful innovation ecosystem where research institutes, incubators, investors and government can provide effective support in the training and growth of the most promising startups."
Or Haviv, partner and head of Arieli Capital's global innovation platforms and CEO of Eilat Tech Center, added: "We are honoured to have managed this first Italian startup program in Israel. We are very satisfied with the results we have achieved having generated real business and thus increased the value of these young companies. Despite the global crisis caused by the coronavirus, we succeeded in completing the programme remotely via online communication with considerable professional commitment from everyone, but also with enormous satisfaction. We look forward to continuing this successful relationship between the Italian and Israeli startup ecosystems".
EcoMotion 2020 Virtual Event
EcoMotion is one of the world's most important events regarding the future of mobility, bringing together the world's leading automotive and high-tech companies in Tel Aviv.
This year, because of the spread of coronavirus, EcoMotion staged a Virtual Event which was attended by over 400 participants representing large corporations and 150 international startups.
Intesa Sanpaolo Innovation Center, which has always participated in the initiative, accompanied some of the most important Italian mobility companies to the event to work alongside seven promising startups: Sentetic, supported directly by the Innovation Center itself, and Parkofon, Automotus, Nickelytics, V2X, TUC and WeGlad, which embarked on a development program in Turin also involving Techstars, one of the most important international accelerators.
The Intesa Sanpaolo Innovation Center also played a leading role in the webinar Meet the Italian Smart Mobility Ecosystem and Opportunity, a virtual conference dedicated to investment opportunities in Italy focusing mainly on smart mobility.
The event, sponsored by the Intesa Sanpaolo Innovation Center, was kicked off by Gianluigi Benedetti, Italian Ambassador in Tel Aviv.
The seven startups of the Israel-Italy Acceleration Program
BionIT Labs develops medical devices which apply information technologies to bionics in order to “turn disabilities into new possibilities”. The first device being developed by BionIT Labs is Adam's Hand, an innovative myoelectric hand prosthesis based on a patented mechanism.
SynDiag has developed software for gynaecologists that uses artificial intelligence for the early detection of ovarian cancer. SynDiag offers doctors the ability to easily conduct diagnostic imaging tests, with an accurate and objective evaluation, producing standardised medical reports in less time and at a lower cost.
Materias has patented a process that generates stratified and graduated polymeric foams in a single phase using simple gas foaming technology, by creating unique conditions that alter the gas absorption phase over different periods of time. This technology can be used to create different products, generating different lines of business.
Elysium Tech offers a decentralised platform based on blockchain technology to securely share confidential health data between patients, doctors and healthcare facilities. Leveraging a decentralised data exchange protocol, it aims to encourage the exchange of medical records, therapies and drugs and can be extended to include any other type of data that can be shared.
Isaac focuses on structure dynamics, which is the study of building behaviour in response to earthquakes, wind or other vibration-inducing phenomena. Isaac is developing three different types of services related to the earthquake resistance of existing buildings: a system for diagnosing and assessing the earthquake resistance of structures, one for the continuous monitoring of the building and another – innovative and patented – for continuous earthquake protection and monitoring.
Djungle focuses on digital customer engagement. It serves two main markets: the Retail sector and the Smart City sector. Djungle uses gamification methodology to engage communities through digital channels, particularly the mobile channel. Its core technology was designed and developed based on the guidelines of the Octalysis Framework, a model that uses the fundamental psychological drivers of gamification to create lasting and authentic engagement, interactivity and positively changing consumer attitudes towards a product or service.
Nanomnia encapsulates agrochemical compounds into customised organic nanoparticles to ensure that they are released and delivered in controlled doses to the targeted plant tissues. This prolongs exposure time and prevents excessive uptake of non-biodegradable chemicals into the soil. Nanoparticles developed by Nanomnia with different biodegradable and biocompatible polymers do not cause any kind of environmental contamination and remain stable during storage.
The seven startups brought to EcoMotion by the Intesa Sanpaolo Innovation Center
Sentetic has developed technology for plant and infrastructure maintenance in Industry 4.0. Thanks to the use of integrated sensors, artificial intelligence algorithms and machine learning technologies, this startup is able to control the behaviour of industrial systems and infrastructures, estimating the probability of failures or anomalies and scheduling maintenance activities in advance.
Parkofon offers an all-in-one mobility platform using location-based technology and automates driving-related transactions such as payments for parking, tolls, pay-per-use insurance, electric or gas recharging and fleet management.
Automotus helps cities to build and maintain organised and sustainable mobility ecosystems through video analysis software that provides information about vehicles (cars, bicycles, buses, taxis, electric scooters) and pedestrians: it identifies number plates, detects traffic violations and indicates available parking and loading/unloading areas. With Techstars Smart Mobility Accelerator it has started testing with the City of Turin within the Torino City Lab.
Nickelytics offers a new way to advertise by installing promotional images on vehicles that travel a predetermined number of kilometres per day on busy city streets. Companies that use Nickelytics' service will be able to receive information about the length of the journey and obtain quantitative and demographic information about the groups of people exposed to the ads. Tracking technology records every impression, using the data collected to digitally re-target consumers. Nickelytics works with several mobility operators (taxis, car rental and fleet companies), which are compensated based on a predetermined set of parameters.
V2X Network completely automates the process of recharging electric vehicles for the end-user, eliminating the inconvenience of managing multiple charging applications, price variations and anxiety about autonomy. V2X Network's white label solution enables the OEM to offer a fully integrated electronic mobility experience. When using the V2X network, an electric vehicle can automatically search for, reserve and pay the charging station.
TUC brings a new technology (TUC) to the market which can continuously digitise and reconfigure the mobility experience within vehicles, making them intelligent and multimodal. It can also rationalise and simplify the vehicle's entire electronic system. The TUC is a multimodal plug, a digital/structural connector that can be implemented during the design or restyling of the chassis of the main means of transport. It is designed as both a structural fixing point where the various elements that make up the internal experience of the vehicles can be securely fastened and as a system of digital hubs & switches for exchanging and processing data between the various connected devices. The entire system is managed by the TUC Brain, a single control unit connected to the user's personal devices that enables the experience inside the vehicle to be managed and configured directly from a smartphone.
We Glad is a super-early stage social impact startup. The original idea being validated is focused on developing an app primarily for people with temporary or permanent disabilities that can support urban mobility by finding personalised routes that are free of architectural barriers depending on the type of disability and the type of mobility aid needed.