Over 180 Israeli startups have entered the Israel Stage of the Shengjing Global Innovation Awards 2015 competition, launched this February by leading Chinese management consulting firm Fund of Funds Shengjing Group. Internationally recognized VC firm JVP, the Israel partner of the global competition spanning China, the US, Europe and Israel, has received applications from all over the country for startups in the areas of Big Data & Data Science, Internet & Mobile, Enterprise Software, Cyber security, Storage, FinTech, IoT – Internet of Things, Wearable Computing and Digital Health.

The competition is a unique opportunity for the nearly 200 Israeli startups to gain exposure for their innovations from leading partners from around the world, to open up Chinese and other markets and to win awards worth $1.5M. Twenty startups from around the world will advance to the finals, due to be held in September in Beijing – including three from Israel, with a top prize of $1 million. The nine runners-up will split half a million dollars in prizes and all finalists will enjoy an opportunity for investment from the Shengjing FOF and exposure to leading investors in China and around the world. 

JVP launched the Israel stage of the competition in February to unprecedented interest. JVP’s local competition partners included global technology corporations with strong footholds in Israel such as EMC and Deutsche Telecom, leading Israeli academic institutions such as the Hebrew University’s Technology Transfer Company Yissum and IDC Executive Education as well as international accounting firm PwC and the Herzog Fox & Neeman Law Firm (HFN). 
With applications being submitted from close to 60 towns and cities in Israel, the startups spanned a wide variety of fields including Web & Mobile Applications (21% of the applicants); Internet of Things (IoT) (19%); Enterprise Software and Cyber Security (12%); Media Technologies (11%); Big Data and Fintech (8% each). See infographics for a detailed breakdown and sub-categories. Over half of the startups which entered the competition had received prior funding of up to a million dollars, while 47% had no funding whatsoever. 

In the coming weeks the professional teams from JVP and its competition partners will narrow down the field to the top forty and top twenty candidates, with the three finalists to be selected at the Israel semi-finals on June 30. The finals will be part of the Zhongguancun International Entrepreneur Festival. 20 finalists in the competition are expected to go on a road show which will include meetings with Chinese tech giants such as Alibaba, Baidu and Xiaomi. The road show will receive extensive coverage by official Chinese TV network CCTV. 

“The Global Innovation Awards serve as a potential significant springboard for Israeli startups,” said Yoav Tzruya, JVP’s Partner who is overseeing the review process, “The competition has attracted an unprecedented number of entrepreneurs from all parts of the country from a wide variety of fields highlighting Israel’s innovative spirit, including current growth themes such as Mobile and Web as well as future growth engines such as Wearables and IoT. The exposure to global markets, China in particular, represents a key opportunity for the development of such a new growth engine in Israel’s hi-tech industry and not just the individual startups.”

About ShengJing Group – ShengJing Group is devoted to setting up a global innovative ecosystem. The company provides growth-type enterprises with comprehensive, professional and systematic high-end training and consulting, serving as a leading integrated intellectual service platform in China. To date, the ShengJing Group has released dozens of high-end original training programs such as The Power of Capital and The Power of Business Model, successfully driving thousands of SME’s to innovate with the concept of “practice, pragmatism and effect”. Over the past 12 months, ShengJingJiacheng FOF Platform has invested in over 35 tier-1 investment institutions and incubators accumulating to over RMB 4 billion yuan, including noteworthy groups such as Legend Capital, Matrix Partners China, Shunwei Capital Partners, GGV Capital, Fortune VC, Tsinghua Holdings M&A Fund, Yonghua Investment, Oriental Fortune Capital, China Renaissance Partners, Meridian Capital, Hina Investment, Share Capital in China; 5 leading funds in USA; And 5 outstanding funds in Israel including JVP. Over the coming two years, ShengJingJiacheng FOF intends to increase its global investments to RMB 10 billion yuan, covering China, USA and Israel, the three countries most active in entrepreneurship in the world. Investments include VC Funds, M&A funds and targeted funds of listed companies, covering the whole value chain ranging from early stage, growth stage, merger and acquisition through to targeted placement of listed companies.

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