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The SwitchMed GreenPitch event: where "green entrepreneurs" meet investors in Israel

A very successful SwitchMed GreenPitch demo day event took place at RISE on Monday September 18th. The event, organized in close collaboration with our local partner TheHive by Gvahim, offered a wide investors’ floor to 9 Green Entrepreneurs.
Published on Oct 18, 2017

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Dealing with environmental emergency is crucial to put the Mediterranean area on a sustainable and flourishing path. While this challenge was until recently treated as if it was antagonistic with economic growth, it is now admitted that they can strengthen each other. Here is the starting point of every entrepreneurial adventure: where there is a problem, there is a start-up. 
This equation « problem = need = business » is also the project’ matrix of the nine entrepreneurs taken on to pitch to investors on 18th September as part of the « SwitchMed GreenPitch » program, at RISE, in the trendy Rotschild area, the beating heart of the « Startup nation ». 

The SwitchMed Green Pitch is the result of a cooperation between TheHive by Gvahim, which organized the workshops and Pitch Event and the SwitchMed: the whole program developed consisted in intensive coaching and networking workshops, supervised by top-tier mentors, after which selected seed and pre-seed start-ups pitched their project in front of a large audience including investors, experienced entrepreneurs, public actors and a panel of judges.

Meet here the nine entrepreneurs, with a majority of women at the head of them (66%), were called on stage to pitch their startups for 5 minutes, followed by questions from the judges. The ventures are at different levels of maturity (between 6 months and 4 years) and operate in various fields: from building and coastal materials (Criaterra by Adital Ela; ECOncrete by Shimrit Perkol-Finkel), medical and petrol waste management (Hygimed by Amit Sheleg), energy storage (Nostromo by Yaron Ben-Nun), to environmental and air monitoring (Radgreen by Sigalit Mutzafi; SmartAir by Uriel Klar) and textile industry (Algalife by Renana Krebs).

Green entrepreneurs have few opportunities to meet such a wide panel of investors and to put their project in the spotlight. Indeed, to be a green entrepreneur in Israel still means to be alone on an island. There are few windows of opportunity open in the neighbouring countries and the narrow Israeli market cannot fuel the exponential growth a successful start-up is supposed to follow. While all the warning lights seem to show the fund providers a green companies’ oriented path (as the COP 21 did), fundraising in sustainable entrepreneurship has not yet reached the required level to allow both economic and environmental goals to be achieved. 

The SwitchMed Green Pitch aimed to fill this gap between ambitions and concrete available resources. Among the attendees, several « niche investors », like Hutchinson KinrotCapital NatureIsrael CleanTech Venture and Terra Lab which invest in water and clean tech related technologies and business. Discussions between entrepreneurs and investors lasted a long time after the last pitch. 
Meet here ECOncrete (winner of the contest), a start-up operating in coastal infrastructure represented by its CEO Shimrit Perkol Finkel swept the first prize with flying colours.