At least 14 Israeli companies were named among the “most innovative” firms in 2020 by US business magazine Fast Company. The publication featured hundreds of firms across 44 sectors and regions, including a list of the world’s top 50 most innovative companies. The firms appear in online features and in the March/April 2020 issue of the magazine.
Fast Company said each company featured in the sections was assessed “on a combination of innovation and impact, with a focus on what it’s accomplished in the past year.” The 434 organizations honored “lead their fields and are transforming the world,” the magazine wrote.
Israeli medical tech startup Healthy.io was the only Israeli company featured in Fast Company’s “top 50” list, which honored firms such as Snap, Tesla, Canva, Beyond Meat, Spotify, Vimeo, and Apple.
Healthy.io appeared in the 48th spot “for diagnosing with smartphones.”
Founded in 2013, Healthy.io developed a platform to turn smartphones into sophisticated diagnostics devices capable of analyzing urine samples. The company has two FDA clearances for a smartphone-based urine albumin test called Dip.io that aids in the diagnosis of chronic kidney disease, developed a consumer-focused UTI testing service in partnership with UK pharmacies, and recently unveiled a new digital solution in the US for the management of chronic wounds.
“We’re designing products that match the speed of life,” Healthy.io’s founder and CEO Yonatan Adiri told the magazine.
Healthy.io has raised some USD 90 million to date. It was recently featured in the annual AI 100 finalists report put together by New York-based research firm CB Insights.
Healthy.io also appeared first on Fast Company’s list of the ten “most innovative companies in 2020” in the Middle East which also featured three other Israeli companies—UBQ Materials, Intuition Robotics, and REE—alongside firms from Dubai, Lebanon, Egypt, and Ramallah.
Israeli waste conversion startup UBQ Materials ranked second in the Middle East list for “transforming garbage into raw materials for manufacturing plastic.” Founded in 2012 by Rabbi Yehuda Pearl, a founder of the globally recognized hummus brand Sabra, and Jack “Tato” Bigio, an entrepreneur and leader in the renewable energy sector, UBQ developed a patented process to convert unsorted household waste into a fully recyclable thermoplastic substitute.
The company is piloting its tech in the US with the Central Virginia Waste Management Authority, which ordered the first 2,000 recycling bins made with UBQ Materials’ converted waste material, has a partnership with McDonald’s in Latin America and the Caribbean, and recently announced a partnership with Daimler to test its solution for the production of “clean” automobile parts.
Israeli startup Intuition Robotics featured ninth in Fast Company’s Middle East list. Founded in 2016, the company developed a robot companion called the ElliQ, which aims to help elderly users stay engaged, independent, and connected to family and friends. The tabletop robot was recently named among “100 best inventions” of 2019 by Time magazine.
Intuition Robotics also recently unveiled its cognitive AI platform Q, which is available to third-party hardware companies. The company raised USD 36 million last month.
Israeli startup REE, featured in the tenth spot in the Mideast list, emerged from stealth mode last July after six years in development to introduce its unprecedented approach to vehicle design and functions, specifically for the electric vehicle market. The company developed an entirely flat and modular platform in which the motor, steering, suspension, drivetrain, sensing, brakes, thermal systems, and electronics are all integrated into the vehicle’s wheels. All components previously found under the hood of the car would now be incorporated into the vehicle base, and the inner wheel space would contain electric motors and a miniature gearbox.
REE has drawn some major investors including Mitsubishi, Mushashi, Linamar, Tenneco, and NSK Americas, who also serve as development and production partners for the startup.
In the biotech sector of the ten “most innovative” companies selected the publication, Israeli biomedical tech company Theranica appeared in the fourth spot for developing a migraine-zapping wearable device called Nerivio. The device, worn on the upper arm, provides migraine treatment through neuromodulation therapy, altering nerve activity through targeted delivery of a stimulus. It is controlled via an app and offers a migraine diary to track treatment sessions and migraine headaches which can be shared with healthcare professionals.
Theranica was recently named as one of 36 game-changing companies in 2020 by CB Insights. It was the only Israeli company on the list. The Nerivio, which received FDA approval to market last year, was also named among Time magazine’s best inventions of 2019 (alongside eight other Israeli innovations).
Also in the biotech sector was Syqe Medical, an Israeli pharma-tech company, in the seventh spot. Syqe developed the world’s first pharmaceutical-grade metered-dose cannabis inhaler. The drug delivery device enables physicians to prescribe precise dosages meeting pharmaceutical standards.
The inhaler received the world’s first-ever regulatory approval from the Israeli Ministry of Health as a medical device combined with cannabis.
The only Israeli company in the ten most innovative firms in the health sector was Zebra Medical Vision—in the 10th spot. The Israeli AI medical imaging insights company that developed platforms to read medical scans and automatically detect anomalies. Through its development and use of different algorithms, Zebra Medical has been able to identify visual symptoms for diseases such as breast cancer, osteoporosis, and fatty liver, as well as conditions such as aneurysms and brain bleeds.
The company received its fourth FDA 510(k) clearance in November for its HealthCXR device for the identification and triaging of pleural effusion (water in the lungs) in chest X-rays.
Zebra Medical Vision was recently featured among the 100 most innovative companies in AI by CB Insights.
In the transportation sector featuring ten innovative companies selected by Fast Company, Kodiak Robotics took the sixth spot for “autonomously driving freight loads from Dallas to Houston.” The company is based in Mountain View, California, and was founded by Israeli entrepreneur Paz Eshel, a former venture capitalist, and American entrepreneur Don Burnette, a co-founder of self-driving trucking company Otto and former software technical lead at Uber. Burnette serves as the company’s CEO.
The two founded Kodiak Robotics to alleviate the current strain on the freight market through self-driving technology.
“We believe self-driving trucks will likely be the first autonomous vehicles to support a viable business model,” Burnette said in 2018 when the company raised USD 40 million in a Series A financing round.
Israeli video creation platform Wochit was the only Israeli company in the video sector featuring ten innovative companies from across the world. Vimeo took the top spot, Hulu ranked third, Tinder came in fifth, and Wochit came in tenth.
Founded in 2012, the Israeli company created a video platform geared toward media companies that simplifies and automates video creation.
In the data science sector, two Israeli-founded companies were featured: ClimaCell, the US-based, AI-powered weather intelligence platform company created by Israeli founders, in third place, and Duality Technologies, which enables secure digital collaboration for enterprises, in sixth place.
Founded in 2015, ClimaCell automates operational decisions and action plans based on how historic, real-time, and future weather will impact businesses. It produces hyper-local weather forecasts using vast quantities of traditional and non-traditional data (IoT devices, drones, cellular signals, satellite signals, and street cameras), and targets weather-sensitive industries.
The company is based in Boston and has more than 150 corporate clients, including Delta, JetBlue, the New England Patriots, and ride-sharing, Israeli-founded startup Via. ClimaCell was also recently featured among the 100 most innovative companies in AI by CB Insights.
Duality Technologies was founded in 2016 to focus on data encryption and data privacy. Duality’s technology enables advanced analysis of data while it remains encrypted—without exposing the raw data during the entire analytics pipeline.
The company was co-founded in 2016 by Turing Award winner professor Shafi Goldwasser; MIT professor Vinod Vaikuntanathan, the co-inventor of the foundational BGV homomorphic encryption scheme; and Dr. Kurt Rohloff, founder of the Palisade homomorphic encryption open source library.
TripActions was founded in 2015 by Israeli entrepreneurs Ilan Twig and Ariel Cohen in a bid to overhaul business travel. The company developed an AI-powered platform that centralizes trip booking—flights, hotels, car rentals, transfers—as well as tracks expenses and provides 24/7 personalized global support for executives and employees on the move.
The startup has grown quickly to serve over 3,000 global customers by the end of 2019, and manages more than USD 2 billion in annual travel budgets. Its clients include multinationals, such as WeWork, Lyft, SurveyMonkey, Lime, Canva, and Zoom.
Headquartered in Palo Alto, the company has nine offices throughout the US, UK, Netherlands, and Australia, and employs over 1,000 people worldwide.
TechSee an Israeli AI-powered visual customer engagement company, was the only Israeli firm in the VR/AR sector on Fast Company’s 10 most innovative companies in that industry. Snap snagged the top spot, followed by Microsoft. TechSee came in ninth.
Founded in 2015, the company developed a visual engagement solution powered by artificial intelligence and augmented reality that aims to revolutionize the customer experience, enabling them to receive augmented reality-based visual guidance through their smartphones from a virtual technical assistant.
TechSee’s technology is being used by wireless service providers, consumer electronics companies, insurance companies, and utility companies, according to Fast Company.
Viz helps optimize emergency treatment using deep-learning technology to analyze CT scans and automatically detect and alert physicians of early signs of large vessel occlusion strokes. Its platform, Viz LVO, helps triage patients directly to a stroke specialist and fast-track life-saving care. The software is available in over 300 hospitals across the US.
Viz.ai was founded in 2016 by a global team of experts, including Dr. David Golan, an Israeli statistics and AI expert. The startup has offices in San Francisco and Tel Aviv and has raised over USD 70 million to date.
This article first appeared in NoCamels, which covers innovations from Israel for a global audience.