Hiatus

Hey Everybody!

I will be taking an indefinite break from writing this blog.  I finished my MBA in Israel, and I’ve moved to India with my girlfriend to work in exports.

I had a great time writing Israel Start-up News, and I learned an immense amount about a wide variety of topics.  It has been fascinating to see how human beings are working so hard to improve our condition every day by creating new treatments for diseases or new ways to eliminate waste without hurting the environment.

Israel in particular is truly exceptional in the vast amount it contributes to technological and scientific innovation, and my respect for that country has grown tremendously.  It is nothing short of stunning that a group of people with such a difficult history and vulnerable security situation can rise to the occasion again and again with innovations that improve the lives of ordinary people around the world.

I hope Israel continues to produce promising start-ups and amazing new technology.  I am not a scientist or engineer, and don’t really have the qualifications necessary to work in a start-up myself.  But hopefully I can make enough money in my own business so that one day I can be an investor in other promising start-up ventures.

Sincerely,

Dani Dechter

Microvascular Eye Receives CE Mark for Varicose Veins Treatment

Microvascular Eye Technology, a 2004-formed subsidiary of Micromedic Technologies, has received EU CE Mark certification for its treatment for varicose veins. The new tool, originally developed for eye application, is “SpiderCan”, a miniature syringe that can be used on small blood vessels.

Another Micromedic unit, Bio Med Technologies, also has good news: it’s marker for diagnosis of cancer of the head and neck have successfully completed preliminary trials.

TGE Tech Turns Trash into Electricity; Plans Pilot Programs

Maayan Venture’s portfolio company TGE Tech has “developed and patented a system whereby unrecycled refuse can be converted into fuel with a special patented device that turns garbage into gas – syngas, a well-known element that has some of the properties of gas, oil and coal,” according to Israel21c. The technology addresses a huge environmental problem — trash — whlie at the same time supplying “green energy”. While not as efficient as oil or coal, the electricity provided by TGE can be sold at a premium as part of government incentive programs.

A pilot program near Tel Aviv has been setup and a much larger program in Israel is being planned that will convert up to 200 tons of garbage per day into electricity. More systems are being planned for some South American and European countries.

Check out the full article here.

Worklight Raises $12M with Pitango Leading Round

WorkLight Inc., a startup that provides web 2.0-style access to a wide variety of enterprise applications and databases, today announced that it has closed a series B round of funding totaling $12 million led by Pitango Venture Capital, Israel’s largest VC. Founded in 2006 by CEO Shahar Kaminitz and CTO Yuval Tarsi, the company was initially backed with $5.1 million from Genesis Partners, Index Ventures and Shlomo Kramer.

Worklight’s flagship solution is a server-based software product that allows companies to leverage consumer tools such as RSS, iGoogle and. Facebook behind the corporate firewall, working with internal IT controls for completely secure use by enterprise employees. Most recently the company announced Workbook, a secure Facebook overlay that enables collaboration, access to enterprise applications and knowledge sharing using the popular social networking application.

The round triggers renewed commitment from Genesis Partners, Index Ventures and Shlomo Kramer, a world renowned security expert and Imperva CEO.

Check out the press release.

Foamix to Develop Medical Foam with Galderma

Foamix Ltd., a 2003-founded Israeli developer of dermatological foam medications has signed a deal with dermatology specialist Galderma to develop an innovative dermatological  foam jointly.  The foam will be used to treat atopic dermatitis, a disease which affects about 10% of infants and 3% of the total population in the United States. It’s main symptom is itchy and rashy skin that can spread from area to area.

The development of the foam product will be directed to fortify the skin barrier by delivering a very high concentration of barrier-enhancing oils in an easy-to-apply formulation. Poor adherence to maintenance treatment for atopic dermatitis and parental anxiety about using topical steroids are common features seen among children with atopic dermatitis, and therefore, foams, which do not need extensive rubbing for spreading and absorption, offer an improved treatment modality for this disease.

Foamix CEO Dr. Dov Tamarkin said his company is “very proud to partner with an industry leader such as Ferndale.”  “Foam offers properties that increase usability, encourage compliance and boost user satisfaction. Foamix foams are alcohol-free and they can be designed to provide skin barrier properties, which are crucial for effective atopic dermatitis treatment, while using delicate, FDA approved ingredients, to ensure the safety of the patients.”

Foamix is not backed by venture capital. It was founded with a $5 million from its founders and private investors. The company already has several million dollars revenue from cooperation agreements.

For more see the press release.

Sightix to Debut on Israel’s Shin 1

Webware reports on Sightix, an Israeli startup developing a social network search engine now in beta that takes the identity of the searcher and their preferences into account when performing the search. According to the sight, “Sightix is providing a unique search service specifically to Social Networking Sites (SNS) which filter search results through the user’s social graph. As such, each user’s who search will receive different, individually personalized and relevant results relating to the social entity that they are looking for.”

CEO Ari Gottesmann gives Webware this example: “Say you’re searching for a nightclub. The clubs your friends talk about will get a higher relevance than your friends of friends. It’s much more likely that this ranking will yield results that work for you than searching a general engine that doesn’t give extra weight to your friends’ recommendations.”

The tool is not intended to be used as a destination search page itself, but rather be embedded as a search engine in other social networking sites. The site will be launched May 1 on Israel’s social networking Shin 1.

Evogene and Compugen Break News

Evogene and Compugen have both made headlines today. The two companies are related – Evogen was spun off of Compugen six years ago as an independent startup. Evogen will receive NIS 7.2 million from venture capital fund AquAgro. The ag-biotech startup develops improved plants for the agricultural and biofuel industries through plant genomics. A few weeks ago I wrote a post about the Evogene partnership with Rehovot-based CBD Technologies to collaborate on the improvement of cotton fiber properties.

Compugen announced yesterday its discovery of a blood-based biomarker for the diagnosis of lung cancer. The dual-listed firm (Nasdaq:CGEN) is involved in the identification and licensing of molecular level biomarkers and processes using computational biology tools. The discoveries are used in therapeutic and diagnostic products, for which it receives royalties.

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