Saving billions of male chicks from a gruesome death each year turned out to be a hot topic at two major events of AgriFood Week events in Tel Aviv.

Two very different startups offering solutions to this global issue won startup competitions held at FoodTechIL 2019 on September 23 and AgriVest 2019 on September 24.

SooS won the startup competition at FoodTechIL 2019. Photo by Sivan Farag

Here’s the problem in an eggshell: Commercial hatcheries around the world produce 15 billion chicks each year. Approximately half are females that can lay eggs, and half are males that have no commercial use and are therefore crushed or suffocated to death after hatching. In addition to the suffering and abuse, this practice wastes energy, water, incubation space and production capacity.

Judges at the Strauss Group-EI Food Startup Competition at FoodTechIL awarded the €10,000 prize to SooS Technology of Beersheva for its unique solution.

Founded in 2017, SooS is developing an AI-driven incubation technology that uses temperature, humidity, CO2 and sound vibrations to change genetic male embryos into functional female chickens capable of laying eggs.

At AgVest’s Best Israeli Agtech Company Competition, the judges awarded the $7,000 prize from EY Israel to eggXYt.

This multiple award-winning startup’s technology enables sex detection of chick embryos immediately after the eggs are laid and before they enter the 21-day incubation process. This technique will enable hatcheries to send those billions of eggs to the global food supply.

The company’s motto: Count your chickens before they hatch.