Joy Ventures Venturing into Neuro Wellness Field

A new investment firm, Joy Ventures, recently opened their offices in Herzliya Pituach, Israel. The company will be an incubator, nurturing the development of start-up companies and will also invest in research projects. Joy was launched by the Israeli-Japanese Corundum Open Innovation Fund with $50 million dedicated to the first phase of its operations.

Joy Ventures will work with startups, tech incubators for entrepreneurs, and grants for academic research in the new and exciting field of Neuro Wellness. Neuro Wellness is a field which will influence the development of new consumer products and technologies based on research in neuroscience.

Heading up the company is Avi Yaron, a serial entrepreneur. He is the founder of Visionsense and invented a cutting-edge tool for the complex brain surgery.

“Many years of being involved in the development of brain surgery technologies, made me realize the human need for joyful and relaxed moments and how critical they are for our health. Many neuro researches show that the modern life intensity contributes to prolonged hostile emotions of sadness, anger, anxiety, guilt and more. These emotions, in turn, generate stress and collect a heavy toll from our health. Originally developed to make things easier for human beings, technology actually intensifies the tension we live in. For this reason we decided to invest in neuro wellness by leveraging the large body of research and neuro developments in Israel. We plan to promote the development of scientifically-proven consumer products which are based on neuro science to alleviate stress, promote calmness and happiness and enhance people’s well-being in the long term,” said Yaron.

Four Israeli Tech Companies Receive Funding for Startups

After four successful fundraisers, the Israeli high-tech sector secured $114 million in support for two venture capital funds and two startups. Joy Ventures, a venture capital investment company received the bulk of the funding, $50 million. Co-founder Avi Yaron said Joy Ventures will use the seed money to invest in startups especially dedicated to developing consumer products offering relief from stress and mood alteration. Yaron called this new type of consumer product “neuro-wellness solutions.”

Another venture capital company, First Time, raised $40 million out of an expected $60 million for a fund which will invest in three startups. This is the second fund that co-founders Ilan Shiloah, Nir Tarlovsky and Jonathan Benartzi launched, and it will focus on startups connected to the internet, media, eCommerce and the Internet of Things. The First Time 2 fund will be seeding startups with between half a million and two million dollars each.

The two startups receiving funds are Chorus.ai, and Laminate Medical Technologies, receiving $16 million and $8 million in funding, respectively. Chorus.ai’s technology uses proprietary speech-recognition technology to transcribe, analyze and give real-time feedback on sales calls. The idea is to help sales representatives analyze their on-call performance to increase sales.

Laminate, founded in 2012, developed a device which supports blood vessels for people on dialysis. The money was raised from a European venture fund and a Chinese pharmaceutical company.

Israel Hosts Huge Cyber Technology Conference

When it comes to getting Israel positive publicity, the most recent 4th annual Cyber Security Conference could certainly add to the PR efforts.  So for individuals such as Daniel Taub – a past Israeli Ambassador to the UK – such news of the second largest conference and exhibition of worldwide cyber technologies would likely be welcome.

In attendance at the three-day event (held between January 30 and February 1) were representatives from the entrepreneurial world, executives from cyber firms, and investors who made up the audience to receive global speakers in cyber security and other industry-related matters. At the exhibition were more than 250 firms and 100 start-ups which presented cutting-edge problem-solving methods to potential threats faced by a large variety of industries.

The event hosted hundreds of individuals from outside of Israel.  This gave Israel exposure, attendees an opportunity to present their latest cyber technological innovations, and everyone the chance to benefit from the innovative conference and exhibition.

The event was opened by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who previously launched the country’s National Cyber Authority which is 100% committed to cyberwarfare. Other key speakers came from top firms including: Checkpoint, Cisco, HP, IBM and Matrix.

Israeli Technology Brings Reality to Super Bowl ‘Viewing’

It is one thing for US football fans to be able to watch the Super Bowl, but it would be quite another to actually participate in it.  With the latest technology built by Replay Technologies – an Israeli-based company – that is now possible.  Be the Player  is an immersive game experience based on the free-D feature that Replay Technologies developed (a firm that was purchased by Intel in March 2016).

Game players can actually experience for themselves first-downs and fumbles from the viewpoint of the play thanks to Intel’s 360 Replay, also developed in Israel. The way it worked at the 2017 Super Bowl was that 38 5K cameras (with a 5,000 pixel resolution) were installed at the Houston stadium which were able to give viewers who were “the Player” “immersive experiences.”  The added benefit was that the players were not impacted at all; there was no need for them to wear any devices.

As James Carwana, Sports Group General Manager at Intel pointed out:

“This technology is absolutely changing the game. Fans are going to be able to watch the game not just from the sidelines, but from the center of the field. It’s an incredible medium that creates amazing new sports experiences.”  He added that with the area digitized, the technology creates a ““three-dimensional voxel” – or cube – instead of a two-dimensional pixel.”

The sentiment was echoed by FOX Sports, when Senior VP of Field and Technical Operations, Michael Davies said that a virtual reality service is created that broadcasts the game, giving players a video game-like experience. He

added that “the cameras, backed up by a huge bank of Intel computing power, allow a moment to be recreated in 3D space, so that a ‘virtual camera’ can be placed at the player’s eye line – not unlike how limitless camera views can be created in video games.”

Prior to the game, player Tom Brady was featured in a commercial with the tagline “Intel 360 Replay makes anything look epic – literally anything,” with him adding “wait till you see it in the game.”  Much research and testing went into this, with three offline tests conducted by Intel and FOX Labs at the Santa Clara Levi’s Stadium.

This is not the first time Intel’s 360 Replay has been used for something revolutionary in the gaming industry.  Basketball fans who were at the 2016 All-Star game were able to access Replay Technologies’ free-D video format, equipping 3 stadiums with the technology with the positioning at the time of 28 HD cameras to capture video that can be compiled into one shot.  But this just takes it to the next level!