June 19, 2018 | Israeli-based venture firm Jerusalem Venture Partners announced the winners of their international startup competition NYC Play, a first-of-its kind global competition “building bridges of innovation and entrepreneurship between New York City and Israel,” a statement from JVP said Tuesday. The event took place Monday in Jerusalem with seven finalists competition for a $1 million investment. The winners, software protection platform Vicarius and an AI-powered virtual shopping assistant for businesses named mmuze received a total of $2 million ($1 million for each company) after JVP decided to double the grand prize.
The competition, which initially had over 120 startups from Israel and New York apply, targeted New York City startups that understand the value of setting up an R&D center in Israel and Israeli startups seeing to establish a marketing presence in New York City. Sixteen startups went to the semifinals in New York and seven startups were chosen as finalists to pitch their companies for a $1 million prize.”It was an exciting process and the choice wasn’t easy. We met talented entrepreneurs who developed breakthrough technologies”, said Erel Margalit, JVP Founder and Chairman, who awarded the grand prizes along with JVP General Partner Yoav Tzruya, “The competition has demonstrated, how promising Israeli innovation is, and how important is the process of empowering companies and turning them into global leaders. I am excited to welcome the two new companies to the JVP family. Alongside the investment, they will receive support in turning their technologies into a successful business product and support in opening a new hub in New York.”
The NYC Play competition was launched in February with startups from sectors like media technologies, healthIT, mobile, artificial intelligence, enterprise software, IoT, automotive, big data and analytics, fintech, cybersecurity, food tech, transportation and mobility, and cloud technologies applying from New York and Israel. The seven finalists included Deep Learning Robotics, a computer vision system for robotic arms, Browsi, an online ad visibility technology, RAS Robotics, an autonomous robotics system that performs tasks in hotels, hospitals, and other public institutions, Mobility Insight, a startup that optimizes the timing of traffic lights, FeelIt, a printable sensors company, mmuze, and Vicarius.
The winners were selected by judges that included Erel Margalit, JVP chairman and founder, Yoav Tzruya, JVP general partner, Nimrod Kozlovski, JVP venture partner, Yoel Esteron, publisher of Israeli financial daily Calcalist, Deneen DeFiore, SVP, chief information security officer at GE Aviation and CTO – tech security and compliance at GE, and Julia Kagan and Barrel Kfir, JVP Associates.
Jerusalem Venture Partners was established in 1993 by Erel Margalit and has raised $1.3 billion across eight funds to date. It has built over 120 companies and has been in instrumental in building some of the largest companies in Israel.