DUBAI, United Arab Emirates--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Aviram Family Foundation partnered with Forbes to host the inaugural “Aviram Awards – Tech for Humanity” event and pitch competition. The culmination of a months-long search for the most promising startups that combines great business with strong impact on humanity from the Middle East and North Africa. At an event in Dubai following a live on-stage pitch competition, Aviram Family Foundation and Forbes awarded the Grand Prize to Ari Gargir, CEO, RedC Biotech Ltd., winning $500,000 as well as mentoring from entrepreneur Ziv Aviram, Founder & President of the Aviram Family Foundation. Additionally, the second-place finisher, Bara Wahbeh, Cofounder & CTO, Akyas Sanitation received $100,000; and the third-place finisher, Saar Safra, CEO, Beewise, received $50,000.
Israel-based RedC Biotech is developing an innovative industrial process to produce Universal Red Blood Cells (RBCs) for life-saving blood transfusions and a unique platform for advanced therapies, addressing an over $20 Billion global market.
The event also included a special virtual conversation with President Bill Clinton.
Aviram Awards – Tech for Humanity is the first initiative launched by the Aviram Family Foundation, founded by Ziv Aviram, the co-founder of world-changing solutions Mobileye and OrCam – and his family. Aviram Awards – Tech for Humanity’s mission is to encourage promising entrepreneurs to combine substantial business with real benefit for society which will impact the lives millions.
Judged by world-acclaimed business leaders including Ziv Aviram, Founder & President of the Aviram Family Foundation, Fatima Al Jaber, Member of the Board of Directors of Al Jaber Group, Steven Bertoni, Assistant Managing Editor, Founders, Forbes, Christina Hu, Chief Business Officer, G42 Sports Analytics and Diana Wilde, Cofounder of Aurora50. The competition attracted hundreds of applications from start-ups from across the Middle East and North African region. To qualify, startups were required to be a viable high-tech business with an established concept that positively impacts humanity, less than $5 million in total revenue since inception, and to be based in Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Morocco, Saudi Arabia or the United Arab Emirates.
This competition will take place annually and is designed to provide a springboard for long-term growth for these entrepreneurs and make their ideas a reality. Following an extensive judging process, during which semi-finalists participated in a virtual event where they received coaching from mentors identified by Forbes and tips on how to hone their pitches, the pool of applicants was narrowed down to five finalists, including:
- Ba Alf Seen Ltd (Jordan): The start-up behind AKYAS, an innovative wastewater treatment system in a compostable, portable, compact bag, that aims to reduce waterborne diseases and to transform waste into bio-products that can be used for land reclamation or other agricultural purposes
- Beewise (Israel): The first and only AI-powered Robotic Beehive. To extend the lives of bees, improve pollination and increase honey yields, Beewise has created an autonomous, solar-powered hive that can monitor bees around the clock, constantly assessing their needs and applying treatment in real-time—all without human intervention.
- Bio-Circular (Biotic) Ltd. (Israel): Biotic wants to solve the world’s pollution crisis by accelerating the transition away from fossil-based plastics. To do so, the company has created durable, bio-based, and fully biodegradable polymers that can be used for the vast majority of today’s plastic needs, including in packaging, disposables, and single-use products.
- BMTA&C (Morocco): After discovering that farmers can lose as much as one-third of their harvest because of limited access to cold storage solutions, the team at BMTA&C invented a solar fridge that extends the shelf life of crops from 2 to 20 days.
- RedC Biotech Ltd. (Israel): RedC Biotech is developing a revolutionary process that mass-produces red blood cells from stem cells, which can then be used by hospitals and relief organizations all over the world, intending to eliminate the need for volunteer blood donations and provide more lifesaving treatments.
At the Aviram Awards – Tech for Humanity Event, which took place in Dubai today, these five finalists were invited to pitch live on-stage to the judging panel and event attendees. During the event’s reception, the Aviram Family Foundation and Forbes announced the ultimate winners:
- Ari Gargir, CEO, RedC Biotech Ltd., was named the Grand Prize winner, awarded a $500,000 prize and expert mentoring with Ziv Aviram
- Bara Wahbeh, Cofounder & CTO, Akyas Sanitation, was named the Second Prize winner, awarded $100,000
- Saar Safra, CEO, Beewise, was named the Third Prize winner, awarded $50,000
- Ari Gargir, CEO, RedC Biotech Ltd. was named the Audience Choice winner, awarded expert mentoring with Ziv Aviram
Entrepreneur and businessman Ziv Aviram said: “Proud to announce Ari Gargir, CEO, RedC Biotech Ltd., from Israel, who presented a groundbreaking idea that provides a significant solution to developing a patented revolutionary stem cell cultivation process in bioreactors. The competition was a very exciting journey in which we were exposed to hundreds of startups that combines cutting-edge innovation and technology, with benefit to humanity across the Middle East and North African countries. I am thrilled by the tremendous commitment of the entrepreneurs who have taken ideas, developed them, and have in their power to create a new life reality that will improve the world present and future. I want to thank our partners at Forbes, who have engaged in the project, which will become an annual tradition that celebrates innovation and a commitment to doing good.”
“The submissions we received for the Aviram Awards – Tech for Humanity demonstrate the incredible breadth and potential of entrepreneurs across the Middle East and North Africa,” said Steven Bertoni, Assistant Managing Editor, Founders, Forbes. “The winners we selected exemplify the vanguard spirit of the region’s next generation of business leaders, and their desire to drive change by formulating solutions for some of society and the environment’s biggest challenges. We are delighted to have partnered with the Aviram Family Foundation to spotlight these incredible talents.”
During the event, President Clinton, 42nd President of the United States, joined a keynote conversation with Ziv Aviram to discuss entrepreneurship, leadership, and thoughts on our ever-changing world. Earlier in the day, attendees at the Aviram Awards – Tech for Humanity event heard from OTHER expert speakers including Vishal Badiani, Head of Creative Strategy, Snap Inc; Donna Benton, Founder & CEO, The Benton Group; Ambareen Musa, Founder & CEO, Souqalmal.com; Noor Sweid, General Partner, Global Ventures; H.E. Salwa Abdul Aziz Zein, CEO of HH Sheikh Ahmed Bin Faisal Al Qazzimi Group of Companies; Reim El Houni, CEO, Ti22 Films & Dubai ON demand and Executive Producer, Studio Expo; and Rita Yahan-Farouz, Singer, Songwriter, Artist. Speakers discussed wide-ranging topics as part of an agenda focused on how technology is helping to solve some of the most pressing issues in the Middle East.
For more information about the Aviram Awards-Tech for Humanity, go to the website here.
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About Aviram Family Foundation
Aviram Family Foundation was established in 2021 by businessman and entrepreneur Ziv Aviram and his family with a sense of duty and commitment to promoting values of community and providing professional, educational, and financial resources for people, ventures, and solutions that have the power to change the day-to-day reality of the citizens of Israel and the Middle East.
The foundation promotes social and community involvement using education for action, mentoring and creating opportunities. The foundation has set itself a goal to harness the experience and tools of the business world and combine technology and entrepreneurship with doing good to fulfill ideas and solutions that will enhance the quality of life in the society and environment.