Jerusalem, Israel - Aug. 1, 2018 - When Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat first presented his plan to bring Bio-Technology development to Jerusalem, Israel, people were skeptical. Over the past ten years, Bio-Tech and other startup technologies have grown to attract attention from world-class business leaders. One factor has been the establishment of accelerators and incubators for the Israeli entrepreneurs to gain access to global multinational markets and philanthropists.

MassChallenge (MC) was founded in 2010, with an aim to make it as easy as possible for entrepreneurs to launch and grow new ventures. From Boston, MA.,  MC co-founders John Harthorne and Akhil Nigam have seen a movement grow to include, Israel, Mexico, Switzerland, Texas, and the United Kingdom.  

MassChallenge Israel is based in Jerusalem's Alliance House, located near the Machane Yehuda Market, and since its establishment in 2015, has accelerated over 100 companies.  Israel Ganot serves as Director and Yonit Serkin as Managing Director. Participants receive, among other benefits, four months of rent-free office space in the prime location.

On Monday night, in Jerusalem, top 10 winners were selected from 55 entrepreneurial early-stage startups, from across all industries, to go to Boston in November, to present their businesses for funding. 

At the MC Israel Finale, the Mayor and leaders from the Jerusalem StartUp community were in attendance.  Also attending the Finale were MC mentors, corporate partners and investors.

With Serkin acting as moderator of the program, Ganot introduced the Mayor and thanked him for leading the way. Barkat responded by telling the audience of his early career as an entrepreneur and co-founder of the very successful cyber-technology company CheckPoint.

Wendy Singer, CEO of StartUp Nation Central, was called upon to present the first winner, Solutum, makers of plastic bags which are dissoluble and better for the environment.

Second presenter, Israel Garot, is Senior Director of Business Development of the Jerusalem Development Authority. One factor in Jerusalem BioTech success has come from many diverse agencies working together to help get new business ideas up and running. Or Klier, Associate Director Boston Consulting Group, Yossi Vinitski,  Bank HaPolalim  High Tech and Elion LIttwitz of Rafael Technology Accelerator Program were among the other presenters. 

MyPart was an artistic award winner. QPower is a renewable energy chip, powered from light, vibrations, and heat energy. Ziron Labs is concerned with preserving privacy data in cloud stored information.

Among the other award winners was Yehudit Abrams, for her development of MonitHer, a hand-held device for early breast cancer detection. Abrams' son was not the youngest attendee, but seemed to thoroughly enjoy being on stage with his mother to accept the MC award.

Networking, food, drink and views of the Jerusalem's Old City Walls rounded out MC Israel Finale night. Among the invited guests was Maryland native Josh Lawrence, of Strattic, a web based security and optimization startup, partnered with entrepreneur Miriam Schwab.