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Last-Minute Decision Awards Two Start-Ups the “Rising Start-up” Title of 2024 in Hebrew University’s Asper Prize: GynTools and HydroX Each Win NIS 100,000 Prize

GynTools and HydroX both won the prestigious Asper Prize 2024 “the Hebrew University Rising Startup” Award presented at the 87th Hebrew University Board of Trustees meeting. Established by the university’s Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship with the Asper Foundation, the competition featured over forty startups, with GynTools and HydroX both emerging as the winners after presenting to a global panel of judges.

 

For the first time, this year, it was decided to award the prize to two start-up companies instead of one, due to the excellence and extraordinary breakthroughs presented by the companies.

 

GynTools and HydroX both triumphed in the 2024 Asper Prize “Hebrew University Rising Startup” competition, securing the prestigious title and a NIS 100,000 prize. This award was presented during the 87th meeting of the Hebrew University’s Board of Trustees as part of the annual “Asper Prize” competition. Established by ASPER-HUJI Innovate, Hebrew University’s Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship in collaboration with the Asper Foundation, the competition fosters a vital link between academia and industry by encouraging innovation and entrepreneurship among students, faculty, and alumni.

 

The two winning companies:

  • GynTools introduced GYNI, an AI-powered diagnostic system designed for quick and accurate detection of vaginal infections at the point of treatment, addressing a condition misdiagnosed in approximately 50% of initial consultations.
  • HydroX is revolutionizing hydrogen storage and transportation with a safe, non-toxic and non-explosive liquid developed at Hebrew University. This energy-efficient technology significantly reduces hydrogen storage and transport costs, paving the way for a sustainable hydrogen economy.

The competition attracted forty startups from diverse sectors, aligned with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). After rigorous evaluations by a panel including senior executives from top Israeli venture capital funds, five finalists presented their ventures to the global assembly of the university’s Board of Trustees. Following these presentations, GynTools and HydroX were both declared winners.

 

Prof. Asher Cohen, President of Hebrew University, remarked on the achievement, “I am proud to see the Hebrew University continuously leveraging scientific knowledge to advance human capabilities and knowledge. This commitment makes it a hub for entrepreneurs, innovators, and pioneering researchers. Our students are imbued with an innovative spirit, gaining skills from various disciplines and creative thinking, which empowers them to devise original solutions to humanity’s needs and sustainable development challenges. The Hebrew University stands at the forefront of combating humanity’s challenges and promoting sustainability, training a new generation of technological entrepreneurs poised to shape humanity’s future.”

 

Gail Asper, Chair of the Asper Foundation, added: “The Asper Prize finalists are grappling with the hardest issues of the day – from AI energy consumption to medical diagnostics, and from pinpoint cancer drug delivery to addressing food and feed shortages. We are excited about the future of ASPER-HUJI Innovate and look forward to seeing it continue to grow and serve as a magnet for thousands of students, researchers, and alumni.”

 

Dr. Amnon Dekel, Executive Director of ASPER-HUJI Innovate praised the finalists: “The startups showcased today are not only promising and excellent business innovators but also exemplars in sustainability, health, computing, and industry. They demonstrate the powerful synergy between business acumen, innovation and a commitment to global betterment.”

 

Three Other Start-Ups that Qualified for Finals

  • Intragel Therapeutics showcased SRGel, a gel-like polymer treatment for cancer that combines a high drug load to effectively reduce tumor size and extend patient lives, all without side effects.
  • Rumafeed focused on enhancing global food security by developing a method to remove toxins from potato leaves and stems, which are harmful to livestock and result in significant agricultural waste. Their approach not only increases farmers’ incomes but also promotes sustainable agricultural practices and food security.
  • CogniFiber demonstrated their advancement in neuromorphic optical processors that dramatically increase the speed of AI computations in sectors like algo-trading, servers, optical communications, and cybersecurity, achieving up to a 1000-fold speed increase while reducing energy usage by 99% and costs by up to 90%.

 

The Hebrew University of Jerusalem is Israel’s premier academic and research institution. Serving over 23,000 students from 80 countries, the University produces nearly 40% of Israel’s civilian scientific research and has received over 11,000 patents. Faculty and alumni of the Hebrew University have won eight Nobel Prizes and a Fields Medal. For more information about the Hebrew University, please visit http://new.huji.ac.il/en

 

Photo caption:

Left to right: Assaf Sayada – Hydro X; Ahinoam Lev Sagie and Nimrod Lev – GynTools; Gail Asper, Chair of the Asper Foundation; Prof. Asher Cohen; Dr. Amnon Dekel

Photo Credit: Maxim Dinshtein

 

 

 

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