First prize of NIS 100,000 awarded to Avertto for developing a system to prevent and heal strokes
Avertto, a startup in the health field, emerged victorious in this year’s highly competitive Asper Prize startup award. The award, presented by ASPER-HUJI Innovate, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem’s Innovation and Entrepreneurship Center, and the Asper Foundation, recognized Avertto’s outstanding achievement in using innovative technologies to make a positive global impact. With 45 startups vying for the prestigious prize, the competition was substantial, showcasing ground-breaking solutions to significant challenges in various sectors such as healthcare, food security, global warming, education, and industrial manufacturing. These startups were founded by Hebrew University researchers, alumni, or relied on the University’s intellectual property while also meeting the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s). First prize of NIS 100,000 awarded to Avertto for developing a system to prevent and heal strokes.
Information about the winning startup
Avertto works to prevent strokes and to heal the disease, instead of treating it. Strokes are a key cause of disabilities and endanger the lives of millions. If it is administered in time, treatment for stroke damage is efficient. Avertto aims for early intervention instead of treatment. Avertto has developed a system that monitors blood flow to the brain, detects any changes and provides real-time alerts to enable timely treatment.
Throughout the competition, the entrepreneurs had the opportunity to pitch their startups to industry experts and high-ranking venture capitalists, opening doors to potential funding and partnerships. The five startups that reached the final round presented their ventures to the Board of Governors of The Hebrew University whose members are senior leaders from all over the world and who, along with a distinguished panel of judges, chose the winning startup.
Among the five finalists were a diverse range of innovative startups. ANINA Culinary Art caught the judges attention with their mission to transform “ugly vegetables” that are typically discarded into swift, tasty, and nutritious meals. Avertto impressed with their development of a medical device capable of real-time stroke detection, facilitating timely treatment. Daika Wood showcased their groundbreaking wood material created through the recycling of wood waste while maintaining its original properties. Quai.MD demonstrated their AI-powered solution that economically assists healthcare providers in complex medical diagnoses. Lastly, RumaFeed utilized innovative molecular technologies to eliminate toxic chemicals in potato greenery, thereby preventing the wastage of millions of tons of potato leaves each year.
Prof. Asher Cohen, President of the university: “I am proud of the Hebrew University and its ability to harness scientific knowledge to create technology to make the world a better place. I have no doubt that the knowledge and tools our students acquire here at the university, and the interdisciplinary ecosystem gives them the means for becoming the next generation’s technology entrepreneurs who will be at the forefront of human development, especially in the field of sustainability and combating the climate crisis.”
Gail Asper, chair of the Asper Foundation adds: “Thank you to the startup companies that competed for the 2023 Asper Prize. We believe that the future of creating a positive impact on society and the environment and for improving humanity lies in innovative technologies created by innovative entrepreneurs. We are pleased to continue supporting startups, demonstrating our appreciation of novel technologies that benefit the public good.”
Dr. Amnon Dekel, Director of the Center for Innovation at the university congratulated the finalists and gave details of the criteria for choosing the winning startup. “Thank you to all the startups that entered the competition and for their efforts to make the world a better place. You, the brains behind the startups, are at the forefront of tomorrow’s world in that not only are you holding your own in the commercial world, but you are also serving as an important model for the world of sustainability.”
The five startup finalists:
- ANINA Culinary Art aims to reshape the food industry through a unique technology that incorporates “ugly” agricultural produce, which is one of the most common causes of food waste. Annina creates swift, tasty and nutritious meals using “recycled vegetables”, and in doing so cares for the environment.
- Avertto works to prevent strokes and to heal the disease, instead of treating it. Strokes are a key cause of disabilities and endanger the lives of millions. If it is administered in time, treatment for stroke damage is efficient. Avertto aims for early intervention instead of treatment. Avertto has developed a system that monitors blood flow to the brain, detects any changes and provides real-time alerts to enable timely treatment.
- Daika Wood invented a method to recycle wood waste into 100% natural wood, retaining its natural features such as warmth and acoustics without utilizing plastics or petroleum. Daika Wood strives for more sustainable ways for using and producing wood.
- MD helps healthcare providers, especially physicians, reach complex medical diagnoses economically, using AI. The startup prpvides an AI based solution that integrates into the doctors’ work process and helps physicians give the best and fastest diagnosis based on the specific patient and the hospitals’ recommended medical protocols.
- RumaFeed strives to improve global food security and nourishment, taking into account global population growth and the increase in per capita food consumption. Potatoes contain poisonous chemicals, so hundreds of millions of tons of potatoes are thrown away annually. RumaFeed utilizes innovative molecular technologies to remove the toxic chemicals and increase the potato growers’ revenues, while maintaining sustainable agriculture.
Picture Left to Right: Gail Asper, Dr. Hila Ben-Pazi, Prof. Asher Cohen, Yaniv Kirma, Ayelet Cohen, Dr. Amnon Dekel Credit: Bruno Sharvit
- Gail Asper – Chair of the Asper Foundation
- Dr. Hila Ben-Pazi – Co-founder and CEO of Avertto
- Prof. Asher Cohen – President, Hebrew University of Jerusalem
- Yaniv Kirma – CTO Avertto
- Ayelet Cohen – Executive Deputy Director, Asper HUJI Innovate
- Dr. Amnon Dekel – Director of the Center for Innovation, Hebrew University of Jerusalem