JERUSALEM – Israel’s reputation for groundbreaking technology is one reason it’s described as the “Start-up” nation. Much of that new technology was recently on display in the “Our Crowd” conference in Jerusalem, displaying solutions for everything from coronavirus infection to the wildfires in Australia.
Our Crowd is an annual event that showcases Israel’s innovations from medicine to agriculture and technology. The start ups at the Our Crowd summit address a number of challenges facing the world including the most pressing one of the day … the coronavirus.
For example, Sanotize uses nitric oxide to kill topical infections including the coronavirus.
“All the stores ran out of hand sanitizer buts we have the gel. And it’s a gel that releases nitrous oxide when you put it on your hands. 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. That’s how it works.”
Our Crowd is the Dream of Founder Jonathan Medved:
“Our Crowd is the world’s largest democratic venture investing platform. We allow people from all over the world to invest in great start ups that are being built here in Israel and around the world. They’re changing the world in such areas as cyber security, mobility, healthcare, adtech. They’re creating the next big thing.”
Fleur Hassan Nahoum, Deputy Mayor of Jerusalem:
“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.”
At the summit, global investors meet Israeli innovators. 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. But also the brilliance, the genius of Israel and Jerusalem particularly is off the charts.”
This year thousands of investors from more than 180 countries came on what some call a tech pilgrimage … some 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 that’s developed a new technology called dart radiation that’s curing cancer.
Our Crowd reports that thirty six 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 cyber security or shooting missiles out of the sky. What do you guys put in the water here? And the answer is the we have a long tradition in the Jewish people of turning curses into blessings.”
Many see phenomenon as an expression of Tikkun Olam.
Fleur Hassan Nahoum:
“Tikkun Olam is a very central Jewish value that we are not here just to help ourselves. We’re here to fix and heal the world. It’s a very central Jewish value and for us, we see our technology as an expression of that value.”
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 “hagoylim,” a light to the nations. And this is the manifestation of that prophecy, that destiny. Israel today is providing solutions to problems that affect the world. And whether it’s the Coronavirus or hunger, our companies are on it.”
The goal of Our Crowd is to change the world. They call it the double bottom line, making money and doing good. In 2020 Our Crowd had 1.4 billion dollars committed to start ups while fighting fires in Australia, curing cancer and combatting the coronavirus.
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