May 21, 2018 | Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU), Tech 7 innovation community, and the Mata Foundation for Development and Growth will host the South’s “biggest innovative entrepreneurship festival” SilicoNegevBGU on Wednesday, May 23, at BGU’s Abraham Ben David Ohayon Behavioral Sciences Complex. This is the first year for the festival, which initially began as a startup competition in 2016 where 20 ventures competed for 500,000NIS ($138,485). The event, an entrepreneurship and financing day for young companies, includes the 2nd annual SilicoNegev competition for tech startups focused on the Negev region and working to strengthen the Negev on national and international levels. Seventy startups applied to the competition, of which 15 had the chance to pitch their companies for five minutes during a pitch night event on Tuesday, May 1st. The three finalists, companies Stress Factor, Green-Eye Technology, and Sindesy IoT Solutions, will go on to present their technologies at the event Wednesday. Green-Eye Technology uses machine learning and AI to provide precise herbicide application, transforming the pest control process in agriculture. Stress Factor measures accumulated damage concealed in the immune system, the source of chronic stress. Sindesy IoT Solutions uses unique, patented sensor deployment technology and cloud-based real-time data analysis to transform the water heating business. The winner announced that day will also get an investment of up to 500,000 NIS ($138,845) from the Mata Foundation for Development and Growth. Each startup featured in the competition is focused on the Negev region and working to strengthen the Negev on national and international levels. The startup competition “kicks off at the growing southern arena of the innovation industry in Israel,” a press release announcing the event said. “The University is the beating heart of the developing innovation ecosystem of the Negev. For that reason, our joint venture with the SilicoNegevBGU event, which includes the most significant startup competition in the area, is natural. The University promotes entrepreneurship in the south through its Advanced Technologies Park, attracting international companies that raise the quality of jobs in the Negev region, as part of the vision of turning the Negev into the wellspring of innovation coming out of Israel,” Prof. Rivka Carmi, President of the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev said in the statement. The winner of last year’s competition was Consis Medical, a company developing an innovative disposable colonoscopy device used for colon screening and expected to reduce the costs of gastro-therapy and treatments significantly. The company was founded in 2016 by Oleg Popov and Raphael Moisa, co-founders and CEOs of the leading engineering company from Beer-Sheva, IBEX Technologies. SilicoNegevBGU is a full day with a packed agenda, featuring speakers like the Israel Innovation Authority’s CEO Aharon Aharon, Airobotics CEO & Co-Founder Ran Krauss, and Microsoft Israel R&D Center General Manager Assaf Rappaport.