Seven Israeli and Israeli-founded companies were among over 400 firms featured by US business magazine Fast Company on its annual “World’s Most Innovative Companies” for 2019.
The monthly publication’s editors and writers said they sought out groundbreaking businesses across 35 industries in every world region, listing the top 10 in 41 categories such as AI, Biotech, Branding, Health, Robotics, Food, Security, and Middle East, for a total of 410 organizations.
Fast Company also released its annual “50 Most Innovative Companies” but no Israeli firms made that list. In 2018, Israeli-founded navigational app Waze was featured in the top 50 alongside giants such as Apple, Amazon, Netflix, and Spotify, and Israel had its own category with 10 top startups. An additional 5 Israeli companies and startups were featured in other categories.
This year, Fast Company featured a Middle East category and named four Israeli startups to its list of 10 businesses in the region.
1. Sight Diagnostics, an Israel-founded company that develops lab-grade blood testing systems, and which recently raised $27.8 million for the technological and commercial expansion of diagnostics system OLO as well as regulatory efforts in the US and R&D.
OLO leverages AI with a revolutionary method to ‘digitize’ blood, allowing patients to receive blood test results within minutes at the point-of-care, and with just a finger-prick. The system takes detailed images of blood and then analyzes them with AI-driven computer vision algorithms. It was first deployed in African countries and India in 2014 to detect malaria.
Sight Diagnostics now says its technology offers Complete Blood Counts (CBCs) – the most prevalent blood test in the world, and plans to develop further applications.
Fast Company said Sight Diagnostics, No.1 in the Mideast category, was chosen “for accurately diagnosing illnesses from a few drops of blood.”
2. Vayyar Imaging, an Israeli company founded in 2011 that developed revolutionary technology that can “see” through objects, including liquids and human tissue, to deliver 3D images with a host of applications.
The tech is being used across industry sectors including automotive, construction, agriculture, smart homes, robotics and medical care.
Fast Company says Vayyar was selected “for making low-cost, 3-D-imaging technology to improve health and safety.”
NoCamels has reported that Vayyar’s sensor-based technology “can see through skin and tissue to detect cancer masses, look through walls and create a 3D image of hidden structural foundations; or, it can be used to create a smart home that tracks the location of persons needing care, as well as their vital signs as they move around the house.”
Last year, Vayyar launched what it called the “world’s most advanced millimeter-wave 3D imaging chip,” which provides a high-resolution, mobile, and cost-effective 3D imaging solution.
3. Innoviz Technologies, a leading Israel-based provider of solid-state LiDAR sensors and perception software for the future of autonomous cars.
Featured in fourth place in the Mideast category, Fast Company says Innoviz was selected “for helping autonomous cars see their surroundings.”
The company recently launched new offices across the world including in the US, China, Japan, and Germany, and opened new headquarters in the central Israeli city of Rosh Ha’ayin.
The new HQ , a 4,000-square meter facility, includes labs, garages for test vehicles, and other manufacturing capabilities.
Last month, Innoviz entered its newest strategic partnership with Harman International, a Samsung subsidiary that focuses on connected technologies for automotive, consumer and enterprise markets
Last year, Innoviz entered an agreement to supply German auto giant BMW Group with its automotive-grade LiDAR InnovizOne and computer vision software for its autonomous vehicle production
Innoviz was founded in January 2016 by Keilaf, Oren Rosenzweig, Oren Buskila, and Amit Steinberg. The company has raised $82 million to date, including a $73 million Series B funding round in 2017, which included participation from Delphi Automotive and Magna International.
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4. ECONcrete, an environmental tech company founded in 2012 by marine ecologists Dr. Shimrit Perkol-Finkel and Dr. Ido Sella, that develops sustainable concrete for constructing ecologically active infrastructures in coastal and marine environments as well as in urban landscapes.
In 10th place in the Mideast category, Fast Company chose ECONcrete “for pouring concrete that stimulates biodiversity, reducing the ecological footprint of coastal projects.”
The company was recently featured in an episode of the popular web series Nas Daily.
Three more Israeli companies were featured in other categories, including:
5. Nanit, an Israeli-developed baby monitor that uses computer vision, machine learning and advanced camera sensors to track a baby’s sleep cycle and development.
Nanit appeared in seventh place in the Data Science category “for helping babies – and parents – get more rest.”
Nanit says its product is the first smart monitor to merge computer vision with data-backed sleep science, to produce the most advanced and secure camera technology ever introduced to the home.
The company says its technology can be applied more widely “since tracking and understanding sleep patterns and anomalies can lead to early detection of other disease states like sleep apnea, seizures, autism and more.”
Nanit has ongoing partnerships with major universities and institutions including the Technion, Ben-Gurion University and the City University of New York to study the effects of infant sleep on the overall health of a baby and their family.
Last year, the company raised $14 million in a financing round led by one of Israel’s leading VC firms, Jerusalem Venture Partners (JVP).
JVP chairman Dr. Erel Margalit said at the time that “Nanit takes the science of sleep one step forward and revolutionizes this field through computer vision and machine learning technology. Nanit’s unique home-based camera monitors and analyzes sleep patterns in real-time and updates parents on their children’s quality of sleep, something which directly affects their physical, mental and emotional development.”
Nanit was founded in 2016 in New York by Dr. Assaf Glazer, Tor Ivry, and Andrew Berman.
6. Israeli-founded Waze, sold to Google in 2013, featured in second place in Fast Company’s Transportation sector, down one spot from last year.
Founded in 2009 by Amir Shinar, Uri Levine, and Ehud Shabtai, the company, a social traffic and navigation platform that collects input from users to provide warnings of auto accidents and other disturbances on the road.
After experimenting with a carpool service since 2016, Waze officially rolled out Waze Carpool late last year in Israel and in the US.
7. TripActions, a US-based corporate travel tech company founded by Israeli entrepreneurs Ariel Cohen and Ilan Twig, that recently raised $154 million in a Series C funding round led by Andreessen Horowitz.
TripActions placed eighth in the Travel category for “incorporating a user-experience mind-set into managing corporate travel.”
This startup, said Fast Company, “is shaking up the sleepy corporate travel world by making it easier than ever for companies to book and manage employee travel.”
Twig has said the company is “re-thinking the way that corporate travel is run and supported globally. With AI and machine learning, we’re able to deliver a truly customized traveler experience at scale, allowing us to reduce the time to book a trip from more than hour to a mere 6 minutes.”
“We’re also using this technology to deliver incredible support. Imagine a world where every travel headache –– whether that be a flight delay or a lost hotel room –– is taken care of before you even knew something was wrong. This is exactly what TripActions is able to offer to our customers today,” he added.