PHOTO: Israel21C Executive Director Brian Abrahams, left, and Moran Zilbershtein, Israel's economic consul and head of the economic and trade mission to the West Coast.
BY DEBORAH MOON
When the 9th annual TechfestNW conference returns as a virtual conference Dec. 2-4, 2020, Israeli technology will be in the spotlight for the third straight year. TechfestNW features Main Stage speakers, PitchfestNW, networking and a virtual expo.
Innovators from three Israeli tech companies will be on the Main Stage speaking about “Innovation in the time of COVID: How Three Israeli Health Tech Companies are Responding to the Pandemic” from 10:55 to 11:30 am, Dec. 2. Israel21C Executive Director Brian Abrahams will interview the trio, whose innovations have been featured in Israel21C articles.
“Israelis are famously adaptive to seemingly enormous problems, which is part of why the country is one of the world’s leading generators and incubators of innovative technology,” says Abrahams. “During the corona outbreak, Israeli entrepreneurs went into overdrive to create hundreds of new technologies that could help the world combat this new virus and go safely into the future. We will take a dive into three promising startups developing technologies that can improve our lives in today’s and tomorrow’s new pandemic reality.”
Those companies are:
• Sonarax has multiple solutions in the Covid era including contact tracing in epidemic and pandemic environments to touchless device operation;
• Diagnostic Robotics makes medical robots that utilize AI and predictive analytics models to solve a global challenge: strained health budgets and workforces; and
• TytoCare has developed a sm, software and processes allowing remote medical appointments that can examine heart, lungs, throat, ears, skin, abdomen, heart rate, and body temperature.
PitchfestNW offers content geared specifically to the startup community, and more than 70 startups will pitch to a panel of venture capital judges. Among those startups will be 10 Israeli tech companies that will share their visions of the future.
“We’re excited to see our Israeli startups participate and remind everyone that the startup nation is alive and well,” says Moran Zilbershtein, economic consul and head of the economic and trade mission to the West Coast.
“PitchfestNW will be our first business delegation to Oregon,” says Zilbershtein. “Even though it will be virtual, we’re excited to bring some fantastic early-stage Israeli startups to meet with Oregon’s venture capital and business community leaders and hope to see success stories coming out of this great event. Israel already has a significant presence in Silicon Valley, and this event could be the first cornerstone that connects Israel’s innovative ecosystem to the Silicon Forest.”
PitchFest will also include Hilos, a local startup with Israel connections.
The strong presence of Israeli speakers, startups and judges is thanks to a collaborative effort of Jewish Federation of Greater Portland, Israel21C, California-Israel Chamber of Commerce, Economic Mission to Israel (West Coast), Consulate General of Israel (West Coast), Miller-Ink, OurCrowd and Arizona-Israel Technology Alliance.
Including Israel in the fest appeals to Mark Zusman, founder of TechFestNW and editor/publisher of Willamette Week. In addition to the obvious appeal of having the startup nation participate in a tech fest, Zusman says that celebrating the accomplishments and contributions of Israeli innovators can help normalize the public’s perception of Israel in the face of bad PR.
This event will be held on Cadence, a virtual platform that is easy to use, web-based and offers a mobile app experience.
Tickets are $20, and all proceeds go to nonprofits that work to make innovation and technology more accessible: GirlsBuild, The Blueprint Foundation and Outside the Frame. Tickets are available at techfestnw.com/get-tickets.