TechNation: Social-media Analysis Is Hottest Segment in Anti-terror Startup Challenge

IFF partners with fragrance startup Amkiri ■ Eugene Kandel warns that future of Israel high-tech not assured ■ Screenz ties with Indian cellular firm Jio

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IFF partners with fragrance startup Amkiri

International Flavors & Fragrances, which agreed three weeks ago to buy Israel’s Frutarom for $7.1 billion, said over the weekend it was forming a partnership with the Israeli fragrance startup Amkiri. The startup’s Visual Fragrance Technology is an “ink” that is applied to the skin using specially designed applicators, allowing the user to adorn themselves with personalized body art that contains a fragrance whose scent lasts for up to 12 hours. “This is a significant innovation in the fragrance category, merging strong and deeply personal visuals with the resonance and emotion of fragrance,” said IFF CEO Andreas Fibig. “The potential for innovative applications are nearly endless and our teams are truly inspired by the possibilities,” he added. The product was launched into the market two months ago, with plans for a wider launch later this year. The Tel Aviv-based startup was founded in 2014 by Shoval Shavit, a designer and entrepreneur; entrepreneur David Chissick; and chemist Aliza Shavit. (TheMarker Staff)


Social-media analysis is hottest segment in anti-terror startup challenge

What are the hottest areas in military technology? If the 2018 Combating Terrorism Technology Startup Challenge is a good barometer, the answer is technologies for analyzing social media and online behavior. Another is drone-related technologies – especially counter-drone solutions, which this year represented the largest category of entries. On the other hand, kinetic weapons-related technologies, such as advanced weapons and sights, generated fewer entries than in previous years. There were also fewer cyber entries. Twenty startups were chosen from 210 entries to compete for $220,000 in prizes at CTTSC3, which is organized by the U.S. Defense Department, Israel’s Defense Ministry and the MIT Enterprise Forum of Israel. Although it is held in Israel, the contest is open to startups worldwide and entries came from 19 different countries. The finalists will present live at the “Combating Terrorism Technology Conference” on June 17, the first day of Cyber Week at Tel Aviv University. (TheMarker Staff)

Eugene Kandel warns that future of Israel high-tech not assured

Prof. Eugene Kandel, a former chairman of the National Economic Council, warned at a conference last week that Israel may not enjoy the same technological edge as it does now in another decade. “The country still hasn’t asked itself what knowledge we want to focus on and develop, in order to respond to challenges ahead of us we may not even be aware of,” he said. Kandel pointed to the shortage of high-tech professionals and said the industry was too reliant on a small segment of the population for human resources. “The percentage of Arabs in high-tech today is just 1.4%, even though their share of the workforce is 17%,” Kandel said. Aharon Aharon, CEO of the Israel Innovation Authority, expressed concern that the percentage of the Israeli labor force in tech has been stuck at 8.3% for the last decade and that this figure can only increase by recruiting women, ultra-Orthodox Jews as well as Israeli Arabs. (Lior Dattel)

Screenz ties with Indian cellular firm Jio  

The Israeli startup Screenz has signed an agreement with Reliance Jio Infocomm, India’s third-biggest cellar operator, to develop an innovative digital platform for “entertainment-based interactivity.” The two sides didn’t release financial details, but sources estimated the platform would cost 100 million shekels ($28 million) to develop. The partnership, to be called Jio Screenz, will be one of the only integrated providers of entertainment-based gamification in India, enabling broadcasters and publishers to create content, including live, real-time interactions between broadcasters and viewers like quizzes, polls and votes during a TV show. Jio, which was founded a year ago as part of the giant Reliance group, provides cellular services for 200 million subscribers. Founded in 2011 and part of The Box group, Tel Aviv-based Screenz – managed by Eli Uzan – develops interactive digital products for the television industry and counts Viacom, Sony Fox and ABC as customers. (Nati Tucker)