JERUSALEM, Israel – We have often told you about Israel's groundbreaking technology and how it's described as the startup nation. Much of that technology is together in one place this week at the annual "OurCrowd Summit" in Jerusalem.
"OurCrowd" is an annual event that showcases Israel's innovations. From medicine to agriculture and technology these Israeli startups are putting their mark on their fields.
The startups at the OurCrowd Summit address a number of challenges facing the world including the most pressing one of the day – the coronavirus.
SaNOtize uses nitric oxide to kill topical infections, including the coronavirus.
“All the stores ran out of hand sanitizer so we have the gel and it’s a gel that releases nitric oxide so if you put it on your hands and I can show you. You take it like that and put it on your hands and you rub it. All the bacteria and viruses, everything on my hand, all of it is gone. That’s it,” SaNOtize CEO Dr. Gilly Regev told CBN News.
OurCrowd is the dream of founder Jonathan Medved.
“OurCrowd is the world’s largest democratic venture investing platform,” he told CBN News. “We allow people from all over the world to invest in great startups that are being built here in Israel and around the world. They’re changing the world in such areas as cybersecurity, mobility, healthcare, AdTech. They’re creating the next big thing.”
Jerusalem Deputy Mayor Fleur Hassan-Nahoum said the event is about showing how remarkable Israeli innovations are for the world.
“Israel is now at the forefront and in the center of problem-solving technology for the entire world. We know how to export solutions, and this really is the pinnacle of where we display that,” she said.
At the summit, global investors meet Israeli innovators. For former NBA star and investor Michael Redd says he comes because of his Christian faith.
“First and foremost, the presence of God is here. This is His land. This is His people. There’s an energy here and a presence that I’ve never experienced and felt before. So if you’ve never been here before, come for that reason alone initially alone. But also the brilliance, the genius of Israel and Jerusalem particularly is off the charts,” said Redd.
This year thousands of investors from 186 countries came on what some call a tech pilgrimage. Investors even came from some of the Arab nations in the Middle East. They found companies like Erdgybees that is helping fight the catastrophic fires in Australia and Alpha Tau. The company developed a new technology called dart radiation which is curing cancer. Our crowd reports that 36 of its companies have been bought out by brand names like Intel, Uber, and Canon.
“People ask themselves often, you’re a little country, nine million people. How come you’re curing cancer? How come you’re solving Parkinson’s tremor, how come you’re helping the Australians fight those awful fires and how come you’re solving problems of cybersecurity or shooting missiles out of the sky? What do you guys put in the water here? And the answer is we have a long tradition in the Jewish people of turning curses into blessings,” said Medved.
Many see the phenomenon as an expression of Tikkun Olam.
“Tikkun Olam is a very central Jewish value that we are not here just to help ourselves. We’re here to fix, heal the world. It’s a very central Jewish value and for us, we see our technology as an expression of that value,” Hassan-Nahoum explained.
Medved sees this marriage of groundbreaking innovation and investment through the lens of the Bible.
“I look at it more biblically. I think that this is our destiny here in Israel. Your viewers know that we were destined to be a “Or Lagoyim”, a light to the nations. And this is the manifestation of that prophecy, that destiny. Israel today is providing solutions to problems to affect the world. And whether it’s the coronavirus or hunger, our companies are on it.”
The goal of OurCrowd is to change the world. They call it the double bottom line, making money and doing good. In 2020 OurCrowd had 1.4 billion dollars committed to startups while fighting fires in Australia, curing cancer and combatting the coronavirus.
“The world faces a lot of challenges as your viewers know and the challenges run from whether it’s virus outbreaks or security problems or simply just feeding the world,” said Medved. “Many of these challenges require technological excellence. Here in Israel, we’re really good at this innovation stuff and our crowd is identifying the best Israeli companies we can bring to bear our global network of investors .”