The second cycle of Brainnovations, IBT’s BrainTech accelerator program, culminated in an exciting Demo Day event September 18th. Over 150 investors and industry leaders gathered at Google Campus in Tel Aviv to hear eight startup teams present, and check out their solutions first hand.
Dr. Yael Fuchs Shlomai, Brainnovations Program Manager, was pleased by the event turnout and the great reactions all around to the teams: “This group of teams is really unique. For one, they represent an extraordinarily diverse cross-section that demonstrates the richness of the BrainTech arena today. These companies are active in diagnosis, therapeutics, early intervention, assistive devices and wellness. Their potentially breakthrough solutions have the potential to offer dramatic relief to people suffering from cognitive decline, autism, ADHD, Parkinson’s, stroke and more. It is truly moving for us to see how Brainnovations is really fulfilling IBT’s greater mission of bringing real, effective solutions from the lab to people who need them.”
Even though the four month cycle had only just ended, evidence was plentiful of the real impact participation has already had on the teams. Elad Wallach, CEO of TailorMed, which is introducing a deep learning platform that increases effectiveness of medical image diagnosis, gave one example: “I just returned from the U.S. where I met with a leading Harvard hospital, with whom we hope to establish a beta site cooperation. This lead was born at Brainnovations and is already quite advanced. I can’t thank the team enough for their tireless support on our behalf!”
The success of Brainnovations owes a lot to a dedicated group of mentors, who volunteered their time to provide guidance to the teams, as well as generous partners. “We are very grateful for the support of our sponsors and mentors, they really made this program possible,” said Fuch Shlomai.
Amit Rappel, CEO and co-founder of Re:mind, which is developing a device for early detection of stroke, also emphasized how valuable participation in the accelerator was for them: “The ability of the IBT team to connect us to the mentors and experts who were exactly the right people to advise us, is truly priceless. And every one of the lectures we attended enriched our knowledge in ways we couldn’t have even imagined before. For example, use cases by medical device companies gave us valuable insights on how to understand and work effectively within the structure of ObamaCare. This is of course crucial for us as we prepare to approach the U.S. market.”
IBT is planning to expand its activity for startups developing brain related technologies beyond the accelerator. “We’re passionate about helping our teams succeed, and continue to work with the graduates of Brainnovations Cycle 1,” said Yael Fuchs Shlomai. Dan Sztybel, Founder of MyndYou, which graduated the first cycle in May, was on hand to testify to this. “We talk with Miri or Yael every week, and it’s amazing for us to have their continued support.”
Miri Polachek, IBT’s Executive Director, added: “Our vision for IBT going forward it to expand and deepen the ongoing support we provide to innovators and startups in this sector, at all stages of their development. This vision means helping many more companies and giving each team exactly what it needs to succeed. In order to be able to do this important work, we need to develop our resources, and we’re now looking for the right partners to take this journey with us.”
The success of Brainnovations, and the important work done by IBT, is a consensus in Israel’s Braintech sphere. Ophir Shahaf, VP Business Development at eHealth Ventures incubator, testified to how his organization looks to IBT to scout for their investments: “For us, Brainnovations serves as a very important ‘funnel’ that brings out only the best talent. When I look at the great teams coming out of this program, I know that these are the best people, and the best technologies, emerging from Israel’s BrainTech arena today.” And that’s saying a lot.