TechNation: New App Lets Tourists Get VAT Refunds Online

Two startups win anti-terror contest, DreaMed gets U.S. nod for diabetes tech

File photo: Tourists waiting for VAT services.
Yael Cohen

New app lets tourists get VAT refunds online

Israeli startup Refundit has launched a pilot program for an app that lets tourists get value-added tax refunds online without waiting on long lines at the airport. The pilot is taking place in several European countries with visiting Israeli tourists, but the aim is to roll out the system across the continent where 150 million tourists every year are entitled to VAT refunds of some 26 billion euros ($30.2 billion). The app lets users scan receipts as they make purchases as well as their passports and airline tickets and relays it to local tax authorities 12 hours before the flight home. The refund is paid through PayPal or the user’s credit card. “Our solution helps everyone – the tourist, retailers and the host country by making shopping more attractive,” said Ziv Tirosh, who formed Refundit this year with Uri Levine, cofounder of the popular navigation app Waze. The app is free but Refundit is charges 9% for its service. (Gabriela Davidovich-Weisberg)

Two startups win anti-terror tech contest

Israeli startups CardioScale and Colugo on Monday were named the winners of the 2018 Combating Terrorism Technology Startup Challenge, or CTTSC3, organized by the U.S. Defense Department and Israel’s Defense Ministry. The two were chosen from hundreds of entries and 23 finalists for the General Technologies Track of the contest. CardioScale, which won the $100,000 first prize, uses a proprietary medical monitoring algorithm embedded in a portable arm-cuff to enable big improvements in triaging, monitoring and survival rates for victims of terrorist attacks and other mass-casualty events. Colugo, which won the second prize of $10,000, has developed UAV technology that provides the advantages of both quadrotor and fixed-wing technologies. The technology enables drones to take off and land vertically like a drone and fly for long distances and durations like a fixed-wing UAV. Another 13 finalists are competing in the Urban Navigation Track, two of whom will be awarded prizes following a “live demonstration” later in the year. (TheMarker Staff)

DreaMed gets U.S. nod for diabetes tech

Israel’s DreaMed Diabetes said on Monday that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved its Advisor Pro software to help manage diabetes treatment. Advisor Pro assists healthcare providers in managing type 1 diabetes sufferers who use insulin pumps and continuous glucose monitoring by providing insulin-delivery recommendations. “Type 1 diabetes, managed with greater attention, leads to improved patient quality of life and reduced payer health-related costs,” DreaMed CEO Eran Atlas said .Advisor Pro is targeting around 500,000 U.S. patients with type 1 diabetes who use pumps the company said. In February Advisor Pro received regulatory approval in the European Union. Founded by 2014 by Atlas and three partners, DreaMed has raised $6.5 million from investors including Medtronic, Norma Investments, which represents businessman Roman Abramovich, and Israel’s OurCrowd.In 2015 DreaMed licensed its artificial pancreas technology for integration into insulin pumps made by Medtronic Diabetes. (Reuters)