OurCrowd Annual Summit 2023
by Exequiel Lacovsky
The OurCrowd Summit is one of the premier events in the startup world and the largest investor event in the Middle East. It provides exclusive exposure to breakthrough technologies, the entrepreneurs behind them, and the corporate leaders deploying them. The OurCrowd Summit is packed with corporate meetups, VC forums, insider access to accelerators and labs, and touring opportunities.
This year the summit was attended by 9000 people from over 81 countries and included the participation of hundreds of speakers from the tech and VC industries. Israel’s president, Isaac Herzog, U.S. Ambassador to Israel Thomas Nides, and Moshe Lion, mayor of Jerusalem, were among the top officials that joined the summit.
As every year does, Noga participated in the OurCrowd summit on February 15 at the Jerusalem Convention Center. This year's theme was Startups: Saving the Planet. While it’s almost impossible to choose among the many highlights of the OurCrowd summit, we listed some of them:
1) Abraham Accords had a central place in the summit. Large delegations from the UAE, Morocco and more countries from the Middle East joined this event. There was a special panel on “What's Next for the Middle East: Insights from Leaders of a Regional Power,” in which leaders of the Gulf States and North Africa described their countries' unique journeys to preeminence in tech and trade, their personal perspectives on growing regional cooperation, and their significant initiatives for the future. In a heartfelt address, H.E. Eng. Abdulla Abdul Aziz Al Shamsi, Director General Abu Dhabi Investment Office (ADIO), said it was his first time in Israel and emphasized the power of partnership to drive innovation and support sustainable investment opportunities.
2) Top 10 Tech Trends
Senior members of the OurCrowd investment team presented the most disruptive technologies for next year. The top ten chosen were the following: fusion, space, healthcare, decarbonization, foodtech, energy storage, AI, specialized silicon, metaverse, and reforestation.
3) The OurCrowd Maimonides Award for Lifetime Achievement in Science, Leadership, and Menschlichkeit was received by Morris Kahn- Amdocs founder and president of SpaceIL. This award is bestowed in recognition of industry figures with lifetime achievements.
4) Fauda co-creator and star Lior Raz and his creative partner, Avi Issacharoff, discussed investment and financing of broadcast and original content.
5) More than 100 people from LATAM and Spain - including VCs and representatives from startups and corporations- did not want to miss this experience. Countries such as Mexico, Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Brazil, and Spain were all represented at the summit. This was a record for LATAM and Spain.
6) FoodTech held a central role in the summit. There was a special exhibition of food tech startups such as DouxMatok, MAOLAC Crafting Nature's Wonders, Egg'n'Up, Mermade, Sufresca, ProFuse Technology, SavorEat, and Blue Tree Technologies Ltd. In addition, there was a session on “Is FoodTech Ready for primetime?” with speakers such as Dr. Lara Ramdin, Chief Innovation Officer, Dole; Efrat Boker Ferri, CEO, Sufresca; Maya Ashkenazi Otzmagin, CEO, MAOLAC; Michael Gordon, CEO, BlueTree Technologies; Noga Sela Shalev, CEO, Fresh Start FoodTech Incubator; Ari Melamud, CEO DouxMatok and Ofek Ron, CEO, Plantish.
During those panels, the companies presented themselves, their products, and their stage of development. The topics covered were: the need for reinventing “sugar,” the importance of reducing food waste and plastic consumption, food functionality, and the product’s eating experience. They also talked about how to approach investors. In particular, they pointed out the need to show credibility over time by achieving KPIs and the possibility of scaling up the business.
The panel's second part consisted of a POC simulation between a corporation (Dole) and a startup (Blue Tree). The discussion focuses on the challenges ahead of a POC, the economic matrix, and the legal aspects (NDAs, LOIs, and MOUs)
During the summit, FreshStart, Ourcrowrd incubator for food tech, announced it had reached ten investments with three companies (Pigmentum, ProFuse Technology, and Blue Tree) already raising external funding totaling $22 million.