Green Concrete Startup ECOncrete Wins Pitch to Rich Event in Tel Aviv
CTech – Eco-friendly marine infrastructure startup ECOncrete Tech Ltd. won first prize at the Pitch to Rich event that took place Thursday as part of Virgin Atlantic and Calcalist‘s Business Is an Adventure conference in Tel Aviv. At the event, five Israeli startups pitched their technologies to Sir Richard Branson, the billionaire co-founder of multinational conglomerate the Virgin Group. The conference, held in celebration of Virgin Atlantic’s new daily flight route from Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion Airport to London’s Heathrow Airport launched last month, took place at the Peres Center for Peace and Innovation.
Among the prizes won by ECOncrete are a trip to London to meet with top Virgin executives at the company’s headquarters, as well as an opportunity to join Virgin’s startup accelerator.
Founded in 2012 by marine ecologists Shimrit Perkol-Finkel and Ido Sella, Tel Aviv-based ECOncrete manufactures concrete structures that accelerate the growth of marine plants and animals, including fish, coral reefs, seaweed, and sea anemone. ECOncrete develops a bio-enhancing material, which it adds to its concrete mix to reduce its carbon footprint and encourage fauna and flora growth. The structures are designed with crevices and textures that mimic natural surfaces such as rocks to encourage living organisms to develop on their surface. Perkol-Finkel, who is CEO of ECOncrete, introduced the company.
The other four startups that took part in the event are listed below.
Founded in 2014 and based in Israeli southern town Ashkelon, Yofix Probiotics Ltd. develops dairy and soy-free fermented foods such as yogurt, made from cereals, lentils, grains, and seeds. The company raised $2 million in funding to date. CEO Steve Grun introduced the company.
Founded in 2015 in Tel Aviv, urban real estate startup Venn Ltd. operates co-living and working facilities that aim to promote a sense of community within large cities and create collaborations between entrepreneurs and asset owners. Venn currently operates facilities in New York, Tel Aviv, and Berlin. In June, the company raised $40 million from Pitango Venture Capital, Hamilton Lane Inc., and Bridges Israel. Co-founder David Sherez pitched the startup Thursday.
Israeli startup Hargol FoodTech, founded in 2016, farms grasshoppers commercially under strict conditions that enable it to create steady supply throughout the year. Its main farm is located in the Galilee. In June, the company raised NIS 4 million ($1.13 million) via crowdfunding platform ExitValley. CEO and co-founder Dror Tamir introduced the company.
Founded in 2012, EZsave Ltd. aims to help households and small businesses reduce the costs of services such as telecommunications, cooking gas, insurance, and mortgage. EZsave compares prices and negotiates with service providers in order to get the best deals for its customers. EZsave currently has 150,000 customers. The startup was pitched by Mishael Miller, who oversees its overseas expansion.