<span style="font-weight: normal;">Semi-finalists:</span>

Supply in Demand: Supply chain solution startups feature prominently in StartUp+ semi-final

Covering everything from optimizing logistics and harnessing data for small businesses to developing an egg from plants and simplifying content online, 20 problem-solving startups have advanced to the semi-final of Calcalist and Poalim Hi-Tech’s StartUp+ competition, six of whom will advance to the finals in two weeks

20 startups have advanced to the semi-finals of the StartUp+ competition sponsored by Calcalist and Poalim Hi-Tech. The selected entrepreneurs were given the opportunity to present their projects during a three-minute pitch in front of the judges and then answered their questions. Of the 20, six companies will advance to the finals on July 27th. The top two finishers will receive a financial grant, professional guidance from Poalim Hi-Tech and an advertising package on the Calcalist website.
Among the judges in the competition: Renana Ashkenazi, General Partner at Grove Ventures; Dr. Yaron Daniey, Partner and Head of aMoon Alpha; Michal Kissos Hertzog, CEO of Poalim Hi-Tech; Tal Slobodkin, Managing Partner of StageOne VC; Guy Yamen, Managing Partner of TPY Capital; Yair Cassuto, Partner at Pitango VC; Maya Pizov, Partner at Amiti Ventures; Yael Elroy, partner at Viola Ventures; Rotem Eldar, Managing Partner at 10D VC; Nofar Amikam, Partner at Glilot Capital Partners; Avichay Nissenbaum, Managing Partner at lool Ventures; Assaf Wahrhaft, Partner at UpWest VC; and Emanuel Timor, Managing Partner at Vertex Ventures.
"There are two areas that are dominating the competition compared to last year," Yamen said. “One of them concerns the management of supply chains, from all sorts of angles, following the global problems we experienced. The second issue is e-commerce, which gained more dominance during the pandemic. Despite what's happening to e-commerce stocks, we've seen some interesting companies in this area. In my opinion in general, entrepreneurs who are setting out now, with all that is going on in the markets and the uncertainty involved, have a greater level of confidence. I do not know if this competition represents the whole industry, but I think there were more startups in the field of fintech than last year. This is an area that has received a relatively large blow, at least when it comes to public companies."
And these are the companies that advanced to the semifinals:
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תחרות סטארטאפ פלוס של כלכליסט מאיה ספיר־מיר, Polopo ; ניסו מויאל, V-Hola Labs ; מאיה רפפורט, FINQ ; אורן תדמור, IdentifAI ; אור ליטמן, Eyelig
תחרות סטארטאפ פלוס של כלכליסט מאיה ספיר־מיר, Polopo ; ניסו מויאל, V-Hola Labs ; מאיה רפפורט, FINQ ; אורן תדמור, IdentifAI ; אור ליטמן, Eyelig
(from right): Maya Sapir-Mir - co-founder, Polopo; Asaf Tsin - co-founder, V-Hola Labs; Maya Rapaport -CEO, FINQ; Oren Tadmor - co-founder, IdentifAI; Or Litman- co-founder, Eyelight)
What came first? The egg
PoLoPo develops engineered plants, which are able to produce egg white without the need for hens. PoLoPo emphasizes that it is not a vegetable egg substitute, but a protein with the same properties as that found in the egg, which can be harvested from the plants. In recent years there has been a need for new sources of egg white, which is widely used in the food industry. The living conditions of the chickens are not humane and even increase their chances of contracting bird flu and other diseases.
V-Hola Labs
Examining the car’s power consumption
One of the most difficult problems today with the penetration of electric cars into the market is the so-called "range anxiety", the fear of getting stuck on the road with a depleted battery. V-Hola Labs has a software solution for electric cars, which allows you to identify and analyze how much electricity the vehicle needs at any given moment. The company uses a sensor and an algorithm that combines electromagnetic information from the vehicle battery with additional information that the vehicle produces, to identify how to reduce power consumption, identify problems and malfunctions. The solution can be implemented in the car's various software systems, and the company believes that the solution is also suitable for future vehicles.
Customized financial AI solution
The company has developed a financial marketplace based on artificial intelligence, designed for the business market and the consumer market. FINQ allows competitors to offer financial products in one place, such as an investment portfolio, pension plan, savings, insurance and credit. The financial profile that the platform produces is customized for each user, allowing for smarter and more objective decisions, without an intermediary who may act for other motives.
Identifying genetic diseases easily and affordably
Millions of babies each year are born with serious genetic diseases, but today non-invasive tests are unable to detect most of the genetic defects in the fetus. Amniocentesis tests are done at relatively late stages, are invasive, and are considered dangerous. IdentifAI is the first in the world to read the complete DNA sequence of the fetus early in pregnancy and identify any genetic defect, using a simple blood sample from the mother. After genetic sequencing, the company separates the embryonic DNA fragments and rebuilds the puzzle. The solution does not even require FDA approval, but rather an expedited regulatory process.
Seeing with the help of the sense of touch
Today, there are solutions that help the blind and visually impaired, but they can only help them in certain scenarios. That is, sometimes a blind person arrives at a new place without access for the blind. EyeLight's solution is a wearable touchpad the size of a smartphone. The device uses cameras, sensors, machine learning and computer vision, to map the user's environment and provide them with three-dimensional information about their environment through sensations of touch and in real time, within a range of five to seven meters.
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תחרות סטארטאפ פלוס של כלכליסט דניאל ליכטנשטיין, Hypercore ; גיא אירון, IKIDO ; דני צ'רקסי, Kardome ; גיא גדניר, JourneyZ ; מתן אלמלם, Bly
תחרות סטארטאפ פלוס של כלכליסט דניאל ליכטנשטיין, Hypercore ; גיא אירון, IKIDO ; דני צ'רקסי, Kardome ; גיא גדניר, JourneyZ ; מתן אלמלם, Bly
From right: Daniel Lichtenstein- co-founder, Hypercore; Guy Eron - co-founder, IKIDO; Dani Cherkassky - founder, Kardome; Guy Gadnir - co-founder, JourneyZ; Matan Elmalam - co-founder, Blyp
Common Ninja
Make a profit from E-Commerce
Nowadays developers who want to implement e-commerce systems need to understand how to implement each system individually, which may turn into deep frustration. Some systems require learning new code languages. Common Ninja has developed a universal API (ready-made code set), through which developers can integrate with the trading systems of Wix, Shopify, BigCommerce and more. The company claims that the platform can reduce the integration time by 90%.
Eggs from engineered plants
The company offers a vegetable egg substitute, based on starches and fiber, and mimics all uses of a regular egg. Egg'N'Up's solution is designed to solve the needs of food manufacturers, who constantly suffer from fluctuations in egg supply and price. The herbal substitute does not require them to change their production processes. According to the company, the solution does not include engineered plants, cholesterol-free, gluten-free and low-calorie.
Protecting open source
The use of open source is growing in the high-tech industry, but security does not always go hand in hand with it - and malicious attacks are increasing. Illustria offers a proactive security solution that repels malicious code components and prevents them from compromising development processes and company computers. The company uses metadata and static and dynamic analysis to develop a special methodology that identifies Zero-Day attacks (attacks through previously unknown security vulnerabilities).
Giving insights to marketing and sales teams
Product development times in SaaS B2B companies are getting shorter, but in these companies, the marketing and sales people are often left behind, and find it difficult to access all the relevant potential customers following each product update. The Bagel platform is designed to bridge the gap between product people and marketing and sales teams, offering insights about their customers and product updates.
Supply chain management in transparency and efficiency
As they become larger and more complex, the logistics of supply chains become cumbersome. Fixefy's solution digitizes invoices and contracts with vendors, extracts information from any source and system, and compares it to e-commerce systems. This way Fixefy can understand if there are incorrect charges, delivery of incorrect quantities, if there are unnecessary orders, where to save and how.

Managing loans in a digital and smart way
Today, almost every aspect and stage in the business of business lending is managed manually, without a digital solution tailored to the needs of the lenders. Sometimes it takes two weeks of work to report just one transaction. Hypercore's platform operates flexibly and supports almost any loan model. The company's solution enables customers to operate in an orderly manner, minimizing errors and reducing costs.
Risk management in the world of chips
The Covid-19 pandemic has created a severe crisis in the supply chains of semiconductors, which are needed in a variety of industries. The IKIDO system collects information from various sources to help engineers know which electronic components are best for them to use. This is to work around possible problems in the supply chain. The system identifies, assesses and monitors risks in real time and offers alternatives to product developers, starting from the early stages of development and throughout the product life cycle.
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תחרות סטארטאפ פלוס של כלכליסט אלכנס יבטונשקו, Salvador ; כפיר ניסים, Pickommerce ; נעה גדות, The5Starz ; רווית דדון, ASAT ויובל שפריר, Urbanico
תחרות סטארטאפ פלוס של כלכליסט אלכנס יבטונשקו, Salvador ; כפיר ניסים, Pickommerce ; נעה גדות, The5Starz ; רווית דדון, ASAT ויובל שפריר, Urbanico
From right: Alex Yevtushenko - co-founder, Salvador; Kfir Nissim - CEO, Pickommerce; Noa Gadot- founder, The5Starz; Ravit Dadon -co-founder, ASAT and Yuval Shafrir - co-founder, Urbanico
Smart devices that will really listen
We are already talking to our smartphones, and in the future a voice interface will become even more common. But Siri and Alexa are not always able to understand human speech. Kardome's system offers enhanced voice recognition, which mimics the human hearing system, including the way human ears operate. The company's 3D audio technology is able to differentiate between speech and background noise, knowing who the speaker is, where they are and what they are saying - even if there are several different speakers. The system is able to address each of the speakers individually.
Increasing customer revenue
JourneyZ's platform focuses on creating value for SaaS software companies' customers for the business market. The company's system is able to provide insights to marketing managers and customer success to understand what is most important to their customers. The system learns customers' usage habits and offers how they can be given added value.
Harnessing data for small and medium-sized businesses
Nine out of 10 e-commerce businesses will not survive the first year, in part because they are unable to make use of the data the online store produces. Blyp's system analyzes their information and sends the business owner messages in real time about business insights about the store, products, customers and marketing. The updates explain what happened at the business, what the proposed solution is and how the events will affect it.
Recovering quickly from cyber attacks
One of the biggest problems with cyber attacks on companies is the length of downtime thereafter. The recovery time may take between days and weeks, while the Salvador solution allows you to recover from a cyber attack within 30 seconds. The hardware that the company manufactures allows its customers to recover automatically and with the click of a button, without the need for much technical knowledge. The company has registered a patent and offers information protection and information corruption detection - without the need for a network connection.
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תחרות סטארטאפ פלוס של כלכליסט דניאל שטרנליכט, Common Ninja ; בילי ינקו, Egg'N'Up ; דניאל ויינר, Illustria ; אוהד בירון, Bagel ; ליאור הראל, Fixefy .
תחרות סטארטאפ פלוס של כלכליסט דניאל שטרנליכט, Common Ninja ; בילי ינקו, Egg'N'Up ; דניאל ויינר, Illustria ; אוהד בירון, Bagel ; ליאור הראל, Fixefy .
From right: Daniel Sternlicht - co-founder, Common Ninja; Billy Yanko - CEO, Egg'N'Up; Idan Weiner - co-foundr, Illustria; Ohad Biron - co-founder, Bagel; Lior Harel - co-founder, Fixefy.
The grasping robot
In the world of e-commerce, the grasping process is still performed in a manual process by human workers. This is because robots today have difficulty identifying items with different weights, shapes and textures. Pickommerce's system, known as Dumbo, is a robot that works at a rate of 500 to 600 items per hour. The robot is able to analyze the item in front of it using artificial intelligence, figure out how to hold it and how to arrange it inside a box in a smart and economical way.
Creating authentic content for businesses
30% of web reviews are fake and generated by bots. The5Starz platform increases trust by creating content from authentic consumers of the product, as opposed to network influencers. The system is aided by automation, a rating system and artificial intelligence. The platform helps those people to give reliable and quality reviews, and yes, negative reviews are also helpful in increasing authenticity.
Simplifying content online
There are many people who have difficulty absorbing the English language, such as immigrants, the elderly with disabilities or those who simply do not speak the language at a high level. The ASAT automated system (short for As Simple As That) is based on artificial intelligence, which can simplify all video, audio and text content in English at the touch of a button, while retaining its original meaning. This is in contrast to today's manual abstraction methods, which require a lot of time and money.
Assess risks in an urban environment
The company has developed a platform that allows insurance companies to manage risks more effectively in an urban environment. This is in contrast to the current situation, where local authorities collect a lot of information but it is not clear. The company has created an imaging (digital coordination) of an urban environment, which allows to increase the resolution and improve the accuracy of risk assessment by targeted areas, and analyze the frequency of events relevant to insurance companies, such as crime frequency and damage to urban infrastructure.
First published: 14:53, 13.07.22