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March 20, 2019 11:59 am

Israel Innovation Authority Announces Nine Recipients of Impact Grants

avatar by Hager Ravet / CTech

Participants at the DLD Tel Aviv Digital Conference, Israel’s largest international high-tech gathering, held at the Old Train Station complex in Tel Aviv on Sept. 6, 2017. Photo: Miriam Alster/Flash90.

CTech – Israeli government innovation arm the Israel Innovation Authority (IIA) announced Tuesday the winning startups in its Grand Challenges Israel incentive program for companies taking on humanitarian and health challenges. The nine winning companies will receive grants ranging from NIS 500,000 to NIS 1 million (approximately $139,000-$277,000).

The winning startups are grasshopper farming startup Hargol FoodTech; Senecio, a startup developing a process of automated release of sterile mosquitoes designed to reduce the mosquito population and fight disease; automated drought insurance startup OKO Finance; IoT smart hygiene startup Soapy Care; online agriculture marketplace Farmster; food waste reduction company Amaizz Advance Agricultural; ZZappMalaria, a company that develops mobile and web apps for managing the processes of eradicating malaria; Sharp Mentoring, which develops wheelchairs for kids and teens in developing countries; and home solar water purifier company Jacob’s Well.

The competition was part of the international Grand Challenges initiative, dedicated to the development of technological solutions to challenges in the fields of health, water, and nutritional security in developing countries.

Like in every IIA project, the support given to startups is aimed to finance research and development efforts, said Naomi Krieger Carmy, head of IIA’s societal challenges division, in a phone interview with Calcalist Tuesday.

Through this project and an upcoming conference next week, IIA is looking to increase awareness to impact investing in Israel and encourage local investors to chip in, Krieger Carmy said. People tend to confuse impact investment with philanthropy, but it is about focusing on projects that have a social impact without foregoing financial returns, she added.

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