Not a week goes by without having an Israeli startup in the front page of TechCrunch, Mashable or the New York Times these days. It’s no wonder then that Israel was recently ranked as the number 2 hotspot in the world for venture investmets (according to the Latin American Venture Capital Association). The Five Israeli startups below have released exciting products in the last couple of weeks in different areas: we have an app for Google Android, Online Gaming Animation, Homeland Security, Personalized music video channels and a couple more.
Here are the recent Israeli startup product releases that you don’t want to miss:
A moment before Apple comes out with its new version of the iPhone, TuneWiki, an Israeli-based startup which launched in December 2007, posted a video of their karaoke application TuneWiki, running on the Android platform emulator. The company was founded by two former IDF fighter pilots, is raising a first round of funding from Benchmark Capital’s Israel Fund (unconfirmed). You can watch the video demo here or try it yourself here.
MeeMix, the Israel-based free personalized Internet Radio founded in 2006, is going beyond music recommendations – MeeMix users can now enjoy music videos channels to pair with their audio channels. How doest it work? Go to Meemix.com and type an artist name, click on the ‘video mode’ button on the player and enjoy video recommendations in the genre you selected. The video inventory ranges from official music videos to user generated content. There’s room for improvement as a lot of the videos I got for ‘rage against the machine’ were pretty irrelevant, but I still found it pretty addictive.
WeCu Technologies (a.k.a “we see you”) spent five years quietly working on technology that could potentially change border security. Unlike existing methods such as polygraphs or biometric systems based on identifying an individual under emotional pressure, WeCu uses stimuli. In under a minute, the system shows the suspect different images, that trigger subtle physiological and behavioral changes during the exposure to the stimulus. A picture of a partner to the activity, items from the scene of a crime that the suspect carried out, the symbol of the organization in whose name he is acting or a code word will trigger the reaction with the suspect and effectively identify the threat. The company was founded by Prof. Shlomo Breznitz and Dr. Boaz Ganor. It is led by CEO Ehud Givon and recently received a $3 million cash injection from a private investor. Mass production is expected within two and a half years.
Copenda is positioning itself a people search engine – targeted towards finding people for dating purposes. The site relaunched last week with a complete redesign and more filtering and control options for the users. If you happen to have a MySpace, Friendster or Hi5 profile and you are listed as ‘single’, don’t be surprised to see your name come up in the results page! One of the biggest challenges of dating sites is traffic and Copenda capitalizes well on that pain by creating affiliate relationships and offering other distribution channels to the dating sites.
Why settle for a generic microsoft smiley in a chat window when you can send your friend Austin Powers asking if he’s sexy? Israeli startup PopTok emerged last week, allowing users to show movie star video messages in AIM and MSN Live Messenger chat windows. According to the site “PopTok provides clips of scenes, gestures and great lines from your favorite movies, TV shows and music videos.” Led by CEO Illi Edri, pop talk was recently funded by JVP Studio, the seed investment arm of Jerusalem venture partners.
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