By: Mickey Chesla, Israel New Tech Blog Manager
Hundreds of Investors and Global Agriculture Experts from 20 Countries Attend AgriVest 2015 in Israel Showcasing Potential for Investment in Israeli Agricultural Technology
Some of the most promising and innovative Israeli agritech startups pitched their technologies this week at the third International AgriVest Conference held at the Weizmann Institute of Science. The conference is an initiative of Invest in Israel, Israel NewTech, the investment promotion center at the Israeli Ministry of Economy, the Trendlines Group and Trendlines Agtech, and GreenSoil Investments. DouxMatok was chosen as the outstanding company by conference participants who listened to all company pitches before assessing and grading each company.
Some 350 businesspeople, entrepreneurs, government officials, scientists and investors from Israel and abroad attended the conference, according to the press release.
Oded Distel, Director of Invest in Israel at the Israeli Ministry of Economy said: “The Ministry of Economy is delighted to once again be showcasing some of the most exciting and innovative Israeli agtech companies at AgriVest. We have seen the value that this event has had for Israeli companies in the past and hope that this year will result in positive relationships being developed between companies, investors and government officials both in Israel and around the world.”
In her opening remarks, Dr. Nitza Kardish, CEO of Trendlines Agtech said: “We have instituted an event that is not only an integral part of the Israeli agritech landscape, but may well have the power to influence the agriculture of the future. The AgriVest conference is a unique platform for Israeli startups and entrepreneurs to meet with investors and key people in the global agricultural industry, with an eye to reveal the potential of investing in innovative developments.”
Chairman and CEO of the Trendlines Group Steve Rhodes explained why investing in Israeli agritech companies was more beneficial than ever. Rhodes said: “Israeli agritech is on the map, with many exits in the last year and, I believe, many more on their way in the coming year. The global growth of investment in agritech 2014 reached a record breaking $2.36 billion raised which is testimony to positive trends in this sphere.”
The highlight of the conference was a competition between 12 Israeli startups that presented the newest innovations in Israel’s agricultural technology. The companies were selected by a professional, independent committee headed by Dr. Avi Perl, Chief Scientist at the Israeli Ministry of Agriculture from more than 40 companies that vied for the privilege of exhibiting at the conference. During the event the startups were assessed and graded by the participants and at the end of the conference DouxMatok was crowned the winner. The company has developed a method to create special, sweeter sugar in an effort to reduce the amount of sugar required in foods. Dr. Nitza Kardish, CEO of Trendlines Agtech and Mr. Oded Distel, Director of the Investment Promotion Center at the Israeli Ministry of Economy presented the winners with a prize for consulting services courtesy of Ernst & Young Israeland two tickets to the prestigious Pioneers Festival in Vienna.
Second prize was awarded to BioFishency, developers of an all-in-one water treatment system for land-based aquaculture – proven to increase the number of fish threefold and significantly reduce water usage.
During the conference, professional panels and lectures featured major investors as well as key people from the agricultural technology sector, including Eyal Lipetz-Eliassi, DuPont, Sam Fiorello, Danforth Plant Science Center, Ofer Haviv, Evogene, Pam Marrone, Marrone Bio Innovations, Barry J. Schindler, Greenberg Traurig, and Alexander Wigelmann, KWS SAAT. Adam Anders,Anterra Capital, Dror Berman, Innovation Endeavors, Arama Kukutai, Finistere Ventures fund, Michael Lee, Syngenta Ventures, and Jinesh Shah, Omnivore Partners.
Gideon Soesman, Co-Founder and Managing Partner, GreenSoil Investments remarked: “AgriVest showcases technologies that will enable us to produce unique foodstuffs, additives, seeds and agricultural products to combat the stress on our dwindling natural resources. Investing in new crops, treatment methods, waste reduction and yield enhancement will provide solutions to the world’s food crisis and can deliver sizable returns to investors.”