International Investor Flock to Israel for Startup Festival

Investors from all over the world came to Tel Aviv to take part in the premier event in Israel to showcase the best startups the country has to offer. Known as the Geektime Techfest, it self-describes as the conference whose aim it is to fertilize “the tech ecosystem in the start-up nation.”

Now in its ninth year, the conference was launched by the on-line magazine Geektime in partnership with Leumi-Tech, a subsidiary of Bank Leumi which focuses on the world of hi-tech.
CEO of Geektime, Moran Bar explained that “The conference serves as a springboard for start-ups to be noticed by venture capital funds, ‘angel investors’ and big companies looking for the next thing. We have start-ups in cybertech, virtual reality, advertising tech, smart agriculture, medical tech, every sector really.”

Tel Aviv’s David Intercontinental Hotel was the venue for the gathering, which covers every aspect of both local and global technology, hi-tech and start-ups. The start-ups with the greatest potential for success take part, and are introduced to a large number of investors, both international and local.

The opening ceremony was led by the keynote speaker, Tzameret Fuerst, co-founder and former CEO of Circ MedTech, the company which developed PrePex, a divice to reduce and prevent the spread of HIV in sub-Saharan Africa.

After the keynote address Fuerst invited participants to choose one of three stages for their focus.

• The Future Tech Stage: This is where Israel’s hottest trends for the future were showcased, such as autonomous cars and smart cities.
• The Growth Stage: Leading experts in products and marketing presented their experiences getting their startups off the ground and running.
• The Start-up Stage: This is where the new companies with the most potential were introduced.

On the Start-up Stage ten Israeli start-ups which were hand-picked by Geektime, participate in a friendly competition. The founder of one of the 10 startups chosen this year by Geektime, Karin Kloosterman, founder of Flux, explained:

“The Geektime event is very much like the TechCrunch Disrupt conference, where 10 companies are brought to the stage to ‘battle it out.’ However, in Israel it’s not about the competitiveness, but cooperation between us, since Geektime always picks companies from different fields.”

The 10 featured start-ups were selected from a field of 300 applications.

“We cherry-picked each of the start-ups we’re showcasing according to various criteria, including the level of exposure they have,” said Geektime’s Bar.

“We are looking for companies that already have a product that shows promise, but are still relatively unknown, so as to provide that initial exposure to more than 1,500 industry guests this year.”