Over 120 start-ups from Israel and New York applied to the competition led by leading Venture Capital Firm Jerusalem Venture Partners (JVP). 16 went to the semifinals held in New York, of which 7 were chosen as the finalists to compete for an investment prize of $1 Million.
Jerusalem, June 19th, 2018 – Israeli startups Vicarius and mmuze awarded top prize in the NYC Play – JVP’s International Startup Competition. JVP NYC Play is the 1st-of-its-kind international startup competition building bridges of innovation and entrepreneurship between New York City and Israel.
The competition, led by leading Venture Capital Firm, Jerusalem Venture Partners (JVP) offered promising startups an extraordinary opportunity to gain significant exposure in global markets – primarily NYC – to liaise with leading industry partners, raise capital from growth-market investors, and receive $1 million investment from JVP to accelerate development, engage with the market and scale their business.
JVP decided to double the grand prize, investing over $2 million in the winners Vicarius & mmuze, who received $1 Million each. The grand prizes were awarded by JVP Chairman and Founder, Erel Margalit and JVP General Partner, Yoav Tzruya.
The competition targeted two main audiences: disruptive New York City startups that understand the value of setting up an R&D center in Israel, and the hottest Israeli startups seeking to establish marketing presence in New York City.
Over 120 start-ups from Israel and New York applied to the competition. 16 went to the semifinals held in New York, of which 7 were chosen as the finalists to compete for an investment prize of $1 Million.
“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, “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. Michael and Ran – I am proud of you and your teams. We will work together to build the next big thing”.
Vicarius protects clients against exploitation of yet-to-be-discovered software vulnerabilities. The platform, called Topia, analyzes existing trends in attacks to identify the common attributes each trend targets. Topia is live and already protecting dozens of organizations worldwide. Vicarius’ Topia clients enjoy a complete and automatic solution for the secure management of any software services in their network – shattering the conventional paradigm of software being treated as “safe” until a vulnerability is exposed. This new mind shift allows organizations to protect any software without involving the vendor or even their own IT teams. The company was founded in 2016.
mmuze is developing the next generation of Conversational AI technology, and is the only platform with vertical approach by-design and a focus on commerce scenarios. The mission of mmuze is to revolutionize customer-to-business interaction, by creating the first viable, scalable, conversational commerce technology. This will enable dramatic improvements – in terms both customer experience, incremental revenues and costs – in the areas of sales and customer service. Recently, mmuze has been listed as a vendor to watch by Gartner, and is working today with leading clients, including fortune 500 enterprises.
“We were very impressed by the level of startups that applied to the competition, where we saw interesting attempts by entrepreneurs developing products addressing global market challenges”, said Yoav Tzruya, JVP General Partner, “We are excited to see the finalists offering technological and business innovation in the areas of artificial intelligence, machine learning, computer vision, cloud, and more. The two winning companies operate in the core of large and growing global innovative industries: Cyber Security and E-commerce. Following our unique hands-on investment methodology, we aim to work closely with the CEOs and help them meet their goals, create value in the short term and achieve significant results”.
The NYC Play Competition was launched in February 2018, quickly gaining interest from the tech industry. Over 120 startups from Israel and the US entered the competition – the majority (67%) from Israel, and from the U.S. (33%). Submissions to the competition spanned a variety of areas: Media Technologies (15%), HealthIT (15%), Mobile (12%), Artificial Intelligence (11%), Enterprise Software (10%), IoT (9%), Automotive, Big Data & Analytics (7%), Fintech (7%), Cyber Security (6%), Food Tech (6%), Mobility or transportation (5%), Cloud Technologies (1%).
16 companies of the 120 were invited to present their product and technology as part of the semi-finals, that was held in NYC in March 2018. 7 companies out of the 16, were selected as finalists to compete for $1milion investment from JVP. The Seven finalists: Deep Learning Robotics, Mmuze, Browsi, Mobility Insight, RAS Robotics, Vicarius, FeelIt.
All of the Finalists are innovative companies with a groundbreaking idea, breakthrough technology, a clear go to market, a competitive advantage, professional and skilled team, as well as the potential to break into the global market.
The winners were selected by a team of judges including: Erel Margalit, JVP Chairman and Founder, Yoav Tzruya, JVP General Partner, Nimrod Kozlovski, JVP Venture Partner, Yoel Esteron, Publisher, Calcalist, Deneen DeFiore, SVP, Chief Technology Officer –Compliance & Security, GE Digital & Chief Information Security Officer, Julia Kagan and Barrel Kfir JVP Associate.
“We are excited about the win, which reflects the company’s success in achieving the first significant goals to establish its position in the market, “said Ran Zfoni, Co-Founder & CEO of mmuze, “The combination of innovation and execution we bring, coupled with JVP’s experience and knowledge in building leading global companies, will enable us to move quickly towards the vision that will change the way people shop online and enable every business in the world to offer personalized conversational shopping experiences.
“We’re humbled and excited to win JVP’s New York Play competition”, said Michael Assraf, CEO & Founder of Vicarius,
“We see it as a great opportunity to expand the reach of our breakthrough technology to the global market. Vicarius will use the funds awarded to change the way organizations protect their software and deal with vulnerabilities”.
About Jerusalem Venture Partners (JVP):
Jerusalem Venture Partners (JVP), is an internationally renowned venture capital fund based in Israel. Established in 1993 by Dr. Erel Margalit, JVP has raised to date $1.3 billion across 8 funds, and has been ranked numerous times by Preqin as one of the top-ten consistently performing VC firms worldwide. JVP has built over 120 companies, leveraging a broad network of partners and market expertise to help companies to become global market leaders. Among the pioneering firms of the Israeli venture capital industry, JVP has been instrumental in building some of the largest companies out of Israel, facilitating 12 Initial Public Offerings on NASDAQ and numerous industry sales. With a view to building industry leaders, JVP invests in early through growth stage companies in the spaces of Cyber-Security, Big Data, Fintech, Enterprise Software, Storage, Mobile, Media and IoT.
For More Information: Pnina Ben-Ami | VP Marketing, JVP | firstname.lastname@example.org