OurCrowd, the world’s largest global venture investing platform, today hosted the OurCrowd Pandemic Innovation Conference, a live interactive event, which brought together thousands of top investors, entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, corporate executives, government officials and press from over 90 countries around the world.
Breaking news included an announcement from SaNOtize CEO Dr Gilly Regev that the company’s coronavirus therapy is pursuing clinical trials in the UK. Currently undergoing clinical trials in Canada, Regev said that, if approved by regulators, SaNOtize’s technology, based on nitric oxide and supported by Nobel Prize-winning research, will be the only recognized therapy on the market proved to prevent COVID-19 from infecting the upper respiratory system.
Remote medical consultations via telemedicine, altered waiting rooms and precision medicine guided by big data analytics – these are just part of the “revolution” that will transform the future of healthcare, according to Dr Paul Rothman, Dean of the School of Medicine & CEO, Johns Hopkins Medicine, the world center of data on the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We went from providing a couple of dozen telehealth visits a day before the pandemic to about 5,500 every day in a few weeks,” Dr Rothman said, estimating that 30 percent of visits to the doctor will be replaced by online consultations.
“I think we’ve come a tremendous distance from our early vaccine technologies,” said Joseph Jacobson, head of the MIT Molecular Machines Research Group when asked if a vaccine could be developed as quickly as people hoped. “We’ve got a tremendous number of tools in the tool chest. I think we will be able to be successful both on the vaccine front and on the therapeutic front for COVID.”
Away from medicine, companies like data.world, Ripple and TechSee reported growing sales. Tovala, which provides home-cooked gourmet meals using a smart oven, reported a fourfold increase in business since September and a 20 percent increase in orders from existing customers.
The OurCrowd Pandemic Innovation Conference, streamed on June 22 to thousands of participants around the world, also discussed priorities for the $100 million OurCrowd Pandemic Innovation Fund.
“We think this crisis is going to have an impact on many different aspects of society as well as the economy. The overall strategy for the fund is to put together a portfolio that includes medical as well as non-medical opportunities,” said David Sokolic, one of the Fund’s principals. “One of the areas where we expect an acceleration is in education. The world has been through a massive experiment in distance learning in the last few weeks. We think this crisis is going to open an opportunity to experiment with new forms of education.”
Investors addressing the conference included some of the top investors in the world. Attendees heard key insights from Scott Bessent, CEO & Chief Investment Officer, Key Square Group, Jeremy Levine, Partner at Bessemer Venture Partners and Deven Parekh, Managing Director, Insight Partners.
The Conference also featured Ruth Atherton, Deputy General Counsel and Director, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Dr. Paul Rothman, Dean of the Medical Faculty at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Chemi Peres, Chairman of the Board of Directors, The Peres Center for Peace and Innovation, and Neil Ackerman, Head of Advanced Technologies, Global Supply Chain, Johnson & Johnson.
Also speaking was Eli Beer, founder and president of United Hatzalah, who recovered from COVID-19 after 30 days of intubation and coma.
“The second time they came to me and said sorry we have to put you again into a coma, and I was crying, and I actually thought I’m never going to come back and I had to say goodbye to my family and I had to say again goodbye to all the volunteers and supporters of United Hatzalah and I though this is it – and a few days later, luckily, miraculously, thanks to prayers from all around the world, I was able to wake up,” Beer said.
The conference heard from investors and CEOs whose companies were thriving during the world economic crisis because the pandemic has accelerated the adoption of digital technology in new areas including working, studying and exercising from home, alternative food offerings, remote technical assistance and cybersecurity.
“We believe that now actually is a very effective time to invest, because not only are financial crises often good entry points into the market, in this case the private market, but in addition, it is a social inflection point,” said Jon Medved, CEO and founder of OurCrowd. “These changes in society, whether it is socially distanced work or learning, or new needs to protect ourselves from cyber hacking, these are the ‘new normal,’ which absolutely indicate a new opportunity to take advantage of big trends. Today we see several companies who are growing in the pandemic, whose revenues are going up, who are acquiring new customers and who are both doing well and doing good.”
A major feature of the Conference was access for attendees directly to startup CEOs and topic experts in over a dozen live meetings. Startups participating included data.world, Barcode Diagnostics, and Ripple. More than 180 one-on-one investor meetings with startup CEOs were scheduled. Hundreds of networking connections and meetings were arranged by attendees, proving that in a world profoundly changed by the pandemic, the global tech ecosystem can still come together to meet, learn, invest and get business done.
About the conference: The OurCrowd Pandemic Innovation Conference brought the global ecosystem together online on June 22 with registrations from over 90 countries. The top tier live interactive conference featured top speakers, unusual content, direct access to startup entrepreneurs, and outstanding networking. Top investors, entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, corporate executives, and others received extraordinary insight into investment and partnership opportunities, with exclusive exposure to cutting-edge startups, the entrepreneurs behind them, and the corporate leaders deploying them. The theme of the conference, Innovation in a Pandemic, reflected the reality of the global crisis, how breakthrough technologies are addressing challenges from prevention and cure to social distancing and food supply, and what the tech investing world will look like in the future. The Conference sought to create online the powerful experience of the annual OurCrowd Global Investor Summit, the fastest-growing tech conference in the world, which saw over 23,000 people register from 186 countries in February 2020. OurCrowd, the most active venture investor in Israel, sits at the center of the global startup ecosystem and is uniquely positioned to connect all the players. The Conference took place twice on June 22 to ensure access for attendees from around the globe. Eastern Hemisphere Broadcast: 9 a.m.–12 p.m., Israel time. Western Hemisphere Broadcast: 6 p.m.–9 p.m., Israel time. For more information: https://events.ourcrowd.com/pandemic-conference/
About OurCrowd: OurCrowd is a global venture investment platform that empowers institutions and individuals to invest and engage in emerging companies. The most active venture investor in Israel, OurCrowd vets and selects companies, invests its capital, and provides its global network with unparalleled access to co-invest and contribute connections, talent and deal flow. OurCrowd builds value for its portfolio companies throughout their lifecycles, providing mentorship, recruiting industry advisors, navigating follow-on rounds and creating growth opportunities through its network of multinational partnerships. With $1.4 billion of committed funding, and investments in 200 portfolio companies and 20 venture funds, OurCrowd offers access to its membership of 48,000 individual accredited and institutional investors, family offices, and venture capital partners from over 183 countries to invest alongside, at the same terms. OurCrowd’s portfolio is diversified across sectors and stages, ranging from seed and series A through late stage and pre-IPO firms. Since its founding in 2013, OurCrowd portfolio companies have been acquired by some of the most prestigious brands in the world, including Uber, Canon, Oracle, Nike, and Intel. To register and get involved, visit www.ourcrowd.com.
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