Last updated October 11th 2018
Three Israeli companies were among 50 ventures selected by TIME Magazine for its list of 50 “genius companies” for 2018 published late last week and available in newsstands.
It is the first annual “genius companies” list by the esteemed American magazine, known for its hard-hitting cover photos. The publication said it asked its vast network of editors and correspondents “to nominate businesses that are inventing the future,” and evaluated candidates “based on key factors, including originality, influence, success, and ambition.”
The 50 selected companies, the magazine said, “are driving progress now, and bear watching for what they do next.”
Companies that made TIME’s list include industry giants like Apple, Amazon, Airbnb, Disney, GoFundMe, Nike, and Lockheed Martin. Recent ventures include Bird, the electric scooters sharing company that in launched in Tel Aviv and Paris this summer, Rihanna’s Fenty Beauty cosmetics line, and the genetics testing company 23andMe.
The three Israeli companies on TIME’s round-up are:
Aidoc is an artificial intelligence-powered software that analyzes medical images of organs to identify the presence of diseases. It assists radiologists in expediting problem-spot detection through specific parameters such as neuron-concentration, fluid-flow, and bone-density in the brain, spine, abdomen, and chest.
TIME wrote that “to date, its software has scoured nearly 260,000 images, saving 50,000 hours of human work,” and the technology is being used in 50 medical facilities around the world.
Aidoc was founded in 2016 by Guy Reiner, Elad Walach, and Michael Braginsky, graduates of the elite Israeli military program Talpiot, which trains recruits with advanced abilities in science and technology to become research and development experts.
“The amount of data available has created an overload,” Walach, 30, told TIME. “AI can provide the value from the data that will really impact patient outcomes today.”
Aidoc has raised $10.5 million to date, closing a Series A funding round for $7 million in April 2017. In December, it announced that it received CE (Conformité Européenne) marking for the world’s first commercial head and neck deep learning medical imaging solution. It also has FDA approval to scan images for brain hemorrhages.
Walach said in a statement that Aidoc was “truly proud to be working with such a strong R&D team, that was able to develop a line of products that created market traction significant enough to lead to this decision.”
“It is exciting to see that radiology is back in the front line of med-tech. We are more dedicated than ever to continue our part in working towards addressing growing challenges in radiology, and in developing innovative solutions to solve some of the biggest data and imaging challenges of our generation,” he wrote.
Aidoc was named by NoCamels as one of eight innovative Israeli startups tackling brain tech.
Lishtot, Hebrew for “to drink,” develops products able to effectively and rapidly detect contaminants in drinking water – without ever touching it.
Lishtot’s TestDrop and TestDrop Pro ($49.95) test water quality within a few seconds via a handheld keychain device that tests a sample electronically and returns a blue or red light to indicate whether a water sample is good to drink or not. They can test for 20 contaminants including E. coli, lead, arsenic, mercury, copper, chlorine, and protein at EPA and WHO standards.
The Jerusalem-based company, co-founded by Dr. Alan Bauer, who serves as chief scientist, and Netanel Raisch, who serves as CEO, also developed the Lishtot App, which allows users to report problems to utility companies and search, based on location, for data about any contamination events, as well as add videos, images, comments, and access their testing history.
“We want to create a platform for drinking water quality data and information like nothing that exists today,” Raisch told NoCamels earlier this year. “People have no idea what’s in their water and it’s the second most essential resource that nearly everyone on the planet pays for in one way or another. We think people deserve to know more about the water they drink and we hope to cement Lishtot as the place everyone goes for info about their water.”
The TeStraw, a pen-shaped device currently in development, will give users an accurate indication of exactly what types of contaminants are in the water sample, as well as the specific concentration level. Another upcoming device is the TestPipe, an advanced water-monitoring product that checks the quality of tap water in residential homes. Currently undergoing further development and research, the TestPipe is set to fit easily under any sink and connect to a LED-light display on the kitchen faucet that, at any given moment, makes sure the tap water is not contaminated.
The startup made international headlines this year with its innovative tech, snagging first place in January at the Startup Night competition at the CES 2018 annual conference, the largest tech and innovation tradeshow of its kind.
Lishtot was also among 18 Israeli companies selected in April for the India-Israel Innovation Challenge, which supports Indian and Israeli entrepreneurs in partnering for digital health, agriculture and water technology solutions in India. Company representatives flew to India with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as part of a business delegation.
Workspace empire WeWork was co-founded by Israeli entrepreneur Adam Neumann and Miguel McKelvey in 2010 in New York. The company has since grown to include 373 locations in 69 cities, including 10 in Israel, a majority in Tel Aviv.
Last year, after a $300 million investment by Japan’s Softbank, it became valued at over $20 billion and holds the title of the seventh most valuable private-market start-up in the world.
The company has also embarked on offshoots, launching WeLive, an urban co-living community that provides furnished apartments, communal spaces, and shared amenities, in New York City and Arlington, Virginia. It is said to be bringing its WeLive project to Tel Aviv.
WeWork also launched Rise by We, a wellness club and “superspa” also in the Big Apple, that builds on the “We” concept of communal experiences, launched earlier this year. It also recently announced a relaunch of the early-stage startup accelerator WeWork Labs.
Late last year, WeWork announced the acquisition of a private coding school in New York and launched a private children’s school — WeGrow — for “conscientious entrepreneurs,” headed by Rebekah Neuman, a founding partner of WeWork, its chief brand officer, and Neumann’s wife.
Neumann was named this year among TIME Magazine’s 100 more influential people for “revolutionizing the way we work and reimagining how we live.”