Apple cofounder Wozniak to be chief scientist at Israeli-American firm
Steve Wozniak, who cofounded Apple Inc. with Steve Jobs, will serve as chief scientist at Primary Data, an Israeli-American firm that specializes in data virtualization. As chief scientist, the former Apple exec is expected to be involved in product development. “‘Woz’ has a unique way of seeing the world through the eyes of both an engineer and a visionary, and his energy, curiosity, and excitement about technology is inspiring,” said Primary Data CEO Lance Smith, referring to Wozniak by his nickname. The entrepreneur behind the company is David Flynn, its chief technology officer, who in 2005 founded data-storage company Fusion-io, which went public in 2011. Until recently Wozniak was chief scientist at Fusion-io, but has now followed Flynn to Primary Data, which Flynn decided to found in Israel and is headquartered in Los Altos, California. Primary Data grew out of the Israeli startup Tonian.
Israeli pair wins global PayPal app development competition
A team from Tel Aviv won PayPal’s BattleHack app development competition, the company announced last week. The Israelis, Shai Mishali and Pavel Kaminsky, will share the $100,000 grand prize after besting 13 other teams in the competition finals, which took place at PayPal’s Silicon Valley headquarters. In the finals, competitors had to develop an app that fosters community – either local or global – and that incorporates the application programming interface from PayPal or its Braintree or Venmo subsidiaries. The Israelis created AirHop, an application that enables users to share carrier or Wi-Fi access. Finishing second in the competition was a team from Toronto, while a Boston team finished third. PayPal, which provides online payment and money transfer services, described the Israelis’ app in a blog post as enabling “a mobile phone with no connectivity to ‘hop’ on to another person’s device to make a phone call or send a text in exchange for a PayPal-enabled payment.”
Singapore investment firm provides funding for TA University’s tech transfer company
Tel Aviv University’s technology transfer company, Ramot, has entered into an agreement with Temasek, a Singapore-based investment firm, through which Temasek will provide $5 million as the second lead investor in funding Ramot’s Technology Innovation Momentum Fund. A subsidiary of India’s Tata Industries is the lead investor in the Momentum Fund, which is now closed after being oversubscribed at $23.5 million. Temasek’s investment will be devoted to developing technology in a number of fields, including engineering and pure science, environment and clean tech, pharmaceuticals and health care. Temasek was founded in 1974. As of this March, it had $177 billion invested in a range of sectors, including financial services, media and technology, energy, transportation, telecommunications and life sciences.