To say that Israeli ingenuity is driving the world’s most game-changing technologies is no exaggeration – in fact, it’s almost an understatement.

Growing collaborations between Israeli startups and big industry are pushing the envelope to ever greater heights. Two recent examples are Consumer Physics’ SCiO molecular scanner built into the new Changhong H2 smartphone and VocalZoom’s optics-based voice-recognition technology being nurtured at Honda for tomorrow’s connected cars.

On February 16 in Jerusalem, some 5,000 investors, entrepreneurs, journalists, industry leaders and corporate partners from 62 countries will get an up-close look at about 100 disruptive Israeli startups at the OurCrowd 2017 Global Investor Summit, the biggest equity crowdfunding event in the world and the biggest investor event in Israel.

Under the banner “The Future Is Here and It’s Called Collaboration,” the summit presents an opportunity to gain firsthand insight into this trend and to interact with the entrepreneurs behind it. Representatives of multinationals including Credit Suisse, Honda, Johns Hopkins, Porsche, Octo Telematics, HP, Nokia, Samsung Ventures, Samsung and Amazon are expected.

“The goal of the summit is to bring together all the players in the ecosystem and realize how we can create value for each of them,” says OurCrowd General Partner David Stark.

OurCrowd General Partner David Stark. Photo: courtesy
OurCrowd General Partner David Stark. Photo: courtesy

Face time with investors, VCs and corporate partners has obvious value for startups. For investors, meeting innovative entrepreneurs and seeing how to take an active role in their companies increases the probability that their investment will be successful, Stark tells ISRAEL21c.

For established corporate executives like Nick Sugimoto, Senior Program Director at Honda Silicon Valley Lab, the summit simplifies scouting for innovation.

Sugimoto says Honda has “expanded and deepened our presence in the innovation ecosystem in Israel since the partnership between Honda and OurCrowd was announced at last year’s event. We are looking forward to sharing updates on our activities in Israel and meeting more potential partners who are focused on revolutionizing the future of mobility.”

Most of OurCrowd’s 100 portfolio companies will be on display. Participants will see live demos of 10 extraordinary technologies, including VocalZoom and SCiO.

Members of the media are poised to report on some significant business announcements around the February 16 conference. That was certainly the case at CES 2017 in Las Vegas earlier this month.

At CES, next-gen Wi-Fi semiconductor maker Celeno Wireless Communications, headquartered in Ra’anana, announced partnerships with Airgain on developing smart antennas and with NGCodec for wireless virtual reality.

Tel Aviv-based Argus Cyber Security, the world’s largest independent automotive cybersecurity company, announced partnerships with Qualcomm and Elektrobit to collaborate on advancing the adoption of cybersecurity in autonomous cars.

Pixie’s “Location of Things” platform, which gamifies finding your stuff, was named one of the “9 must-see products at CES” by Entrepreneur magazine. Pixie is based in Herzliya Pituah.

IoT home automation software platform Stringify of California won a 2017 CES Innovation Award and was listed as one of the “Cool Products from CES Unveiled.”

Overview of summit highlights

At the opening plenary of the summit, OurCrowd CEO and founder Jon Medved will discuss how the crowd is revolutionizing startup investing, illustrated by successes resulting from the OurCrowd global network.

A session titled “The Future Is Coming: Six Tech Themes that Will Change the World” will explain why investors should focus on artificial intelligence/machine learning, augmented reality as business tool, autonomous driving, voice-driven apps, industry and agricultural drones, and digital health – all areas where Israeli companies are prominent.

Another session will explore how businesses are leveraging the collective intelligence and connections of the crowd, a concept that will be concretized in an on-site crowd-investing hackathon.

Senior executives of global firms will join CEOs from breakthrough startups in illustrating how established companies are deploying startup technologies.

OurCrowd’s investment pros will present a live vetting session, and high-tech experts will discuss why Asia is a growing source of capital for startups.

Among other sessions planned are “How Technology Has Changed How People Experience Sports,” “From Seed to Billion-Dollar Company” and “The Global Outlook for Startups.”

Medved tells ISRAEL21c that the summit is a critical offline component of online equity crowdfunding.

“In order to gain trust and confidence, especially to start, investors want to meet us and those who do the due diligence on their behalf, and I understand that completely,” Medved says.

“That’s why we do hundreds of events around the world, averaging dozens a month. I just got back from Indonesia, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore, China and India. The Global Investor Summit is part of this process of community building,” he continues.

“We’re making a huge social network around growing startup companies, and that requires face-to-face, good old-fashioned human interaction with the whole tribe, including hundreds of people coming to Jerusalem from Asia, North America, Europe, Africa, South America and Australia.”

For more information on the 2017 OurCrowd Global Investor Summit, click here for English, here for Spanish or here for Chinese.