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Top 10 Equity Crowdfunding Investment Opportunities for Startups Revealed at 2017 OurCrowd Global Investor Summit in Jerusalem, Israel

27 Feb

OurCrowd Global Investor Summit Reveals Top 10 Trending Equity Crowdfunding Investment Opportunities in Jerusalem for Global Angel, Seed-Stage and Venture Capital Investment Firms 

By Robert Hoskins

OurCrowd Global Investor Summit Reveals Top 10 Trending Equity Crowdfunding Investment Opportunities

OurCrowd Investor Summit Reveals Top 10 Trending Equity Crowdfunding Investment Opportunities

Jerusalem, Israel – OurCrowd made history in the crowdfunding industry and hosted the biggest equity crowdfunding investment summit ever held in Israel called the “Startup Nation.” With more than 6,000 guests from 82 countries attending, including startups, venture capitalists and strategic investors, the event was packed with entertainment, excitement and information to capture a real vision for the future in Israel. Also in attendance were over 200 multinational corporations including Honda, Innogy, GE, Shell, Intuit, Microsoft, and Samsung Ventures.

Click here to watch more videos or Click here to see more event photos!

Over the past 12 months of working with leading ag-tech, auto-tech, bio-tech, drone-tech, fin-tech, high-tech, security-tech, space-tech and virtual-tech startups, OurCrowd has identified its top 10 investment opportunity categories of global startups and entrepreneurs equity crowdfunding that investors should be researching and considering for equity investments during 2017:

Top 10 Equity Investment Opportunities

1. Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning Go Mainstream
2. Seeing Is Believing: VR and AR Become a Critical Business Tool
3. Obey the Sound of My Voice: Voice-Driven Apps Filter Out the Noise
4. Apples and Oranges: AgTech Disrupts the World’s Oldest Industry
5. Industrial and Agricultural Drones Take Off
6. Is That a Doctor in Your Pocket? Digital Revolutionizes Healthcare
7. Here, There, Everywhere: Blockchain Applications Finally Take Hold
8. Boldly Going Where No Company Has Gone Before: SpaceTech
9. Cybersecurity for Critical Infrastructure Becomes Critical
10. Autonomous Driving Picks Up Speed

1. Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning Go Mainstream

Driven by exponentially faster computing power and cloud computing, “teaching machines” is becoming easier and more scalable, enabling AI to go mainstream across a wide range of industries: including consumer marketing and retail, entertainment, digital health, and newer areas like autonomous driving and advanced robotics.

We are most excited by companies building applications which solve real world problems, applying AI in areas that can truly have an impact on the quality of our lives.

2. VR and AR Become Critical Business Tools

Did you know that in operating rooms across the US, brain surgeons are already using Virtual Reality (VR) to rehearse and simulate surgery in order to be more effective?  VR and Augmented Reality (AR) is not just about show business, entertainment, and 3D gaming, but also about saving lives, industrial solutions, and infrastructure.

In our view, VR and AR are about to go mainstream and will be used across a wide range of sectors from sports analytics to building airplane wings. These are definitely interesting technologies to keep an eye on!

3. Voice-Driven Apps Filter Out Background Noise

Have you ever tried using Siri in a car going over 50 KPH?  Or talking to Alexa with the kids making noise in the background? Good Luck! As we all know it does not work.

However, we believe the era of voice driven computing is coming. In the last 10 years, we have moved from primarily using keyboards to swiping and using touch-screens. OurCrowd believes that in the next five years we will move to talking to our devices as the primary mode of man – machine communication.

Core voice recognition software has become almost perfect at understanding the human voice and getting our words correct. The missing ingredient is its ability to enable our machines to get a clear signal and cancel background noise so that Siri really can HEAR what we are saying.

We are excited about companies finding innovative ways of making this happen.

4. Ag-Tech Disrupts the World’s Oldest Industry – Farming

As we all know, the world oldest industry has not been known for its technological flexibility. However, these days we witness the blooming of Agriculture-related technologies for different reasons.

Traditionally farming is a family owned business and we now see how second generation of farmers are much more techie and open to adopt advanced farming technologies. In addition, the last two years have seen mass consolidation between leading players in AgTech creating deep pockets and a big appetite for acquisitions.

5. Industrial and Agricultural Drones Take Off

Over the past couple of years, we have heard a lot (maybe too much) buzz about Amazon using drones to deliver packages to your doorstep or bring you fast food on demand.

While this is fun, we think the most interesting and profitable uses of drone technologies lie within industrial and agricultural markets.

Drones are already playing critical roles in facility security, mining, oil and gas exploration, crop protection and surveying landmass. Building industrial scale drones, which are robust and reliable is difficult and challenging, but companies that can meet that challenge are where we want to focus.

6. Digital Healthcare Puts a Doctor in Your Pocket

As much as we try not to overuse this term, artificial intelligence is actually a powerful factor in the rapidly growing digital health sector. Letting us crunch old data sets from electronic medical records all the way to data collected from wearables will increase our quality of life and perhaps even prevent deaths.

Similarly, computer vision and machine learning are enabling companies to extract new insights and diagnostics from images.

7. Blockchain Applications Finally Take Hold

Timing is everything! In the buzzword competition of 2016, blockchain was the hands down winner.   Since then there have been fits and starts for this important financial technology. Many VCs have been disappointed with their investments in this sector; however, we think now is the time to take a fresh look, as this technology matures and evolves beyond Bitcoin across multiple applications such as: sharing economy, data security, logistics, and of course, banking and finance.

8. SpaceTech Goes Where No One has Gone Before

We are thrilled to see that a sector dominated by governments and states is now opening up to private ventures. NSLComm is inspiring entrepreneurs to aim high. We now see prestigious VC funds building space portfolios and enabling these ventures to take off.

In term of funding needs, what used to be super-expensive is becoming much more affordable, with standardization of hardware protocols as well as general cost reductions of consumer electronics. Satellites can now be built and launched for less than half a million dollars, creating exciting opportunities to commercialize the technology.

9. Cyber Security for Infrastructure Becomes Critical

Are you worried about your car getting hacked? How about cyber criminals sneaking in through your air conditioner or refrigerator?  Well we are too! Cybersecurity is not new; and in fact, the investing landscape is quite crowded, and the playing field is highly competitive.

But we believe the key shift for investing in the next few years will be a move from protecting IT infrastructure to protecting all infrastructure. We are excited about companies that are designing full-proof solutions to protect everything from automobiles to electric grids and everything in between.

10. Autonomous Driving Picks Up Speed

Did you really think we were going to finish this top-10 list without mentioning the most overhyped tech trend?  We all know that autonomous driving is coming, but the question is when?  Should we still pay for our kids to get drivers licenses?

Thanks to core technology expertise and industry-leading companies such as Waze and Mobileye, Israel has become a global hub of automotive innovation. Now that we have a direct flight to Boston and Silicon Valley; our #1 prediction is that the next one will be direct to Detroit.

OurCrowd is one of the world’s leading global equity crowdfunding platforms for accredited investors. Managed by a team of seasoned investment professionals and led by serial entrepreneur Jon Medved, OurCrowd vets and selects opportunities, invests its own capital, and brings companies to its accredited membership of global investors. OurCrowd provides post-investment support to its portfolio companies, assigns industry experts as mentors, and takes board seats. The OurCrowd community of almost 17,000 investors from over 110 countries has invested over $400M into 110 portfolio companies and funds. OurCrowd already has thirteen exits to date, two IPO’s and eleven acquisitions.

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Robert Hoskins, a seasoned Front Page PR veteran provides more than twenty-five years of external communications, media relations, digital social media and SEO skills to Front Page PR’s crowdfunding PR and media relations service portfolio.
Robert Hoskins
(512) 627-6622
@Crowdfunding_PR


Mr. Robert Hoskins is a seasoned marketing veteran with a proven track record of helping entrepreneurs, startups, small businesses as well as Fortune 500 corporations launch successful marketing communications campaigns to gain market traction for a wide variety of products and services.
On a regular basis, Mr. Hoskins consults with crowdfunding campaign managers as well as crowdfunding sites, portals and platforms to deliver successful crowdfunding marketing campaigns.
Google search “Robert Hoskins Crowdfunding” to see why Mr. Hoskins is considered one of the industry’s foremost crowdfunding experts that has amassed a huge social media following, which is dedicated to supporting donation-, rewards- and equity-based crowdfunding campaigns.

OurCrowd to Host more than 5,000 Attendees at World’s Largest Equity Crowdfunding Conference on February 16, 2017 in Jerusalem, Israel

12 Feb

The event will feature 110 OurCrowd portfolio companies, 200 multinational companies, investors from over 80 countries, corporate partners, entrepreneurs, global delegations, financial and industry research analysts and leading fin-tech media outlets

By Robert Hoskins

Jerusalem, Israel – OurCrowd will host the 2017 OurCrowd Global Investor Summit, which is the largest equity crowdfunding event in the world, and the biggest investor event in the Startup Nation. Now in its third year, the Summit has hosted thousands of investors, venture and corporate partners, entrepreneurs, global delegations, industry leaders and members of the press. Attendees hailing from more than 80 countries gather in Jerusalem, the capital of the Startup Nation, to celebrate the global community’s collective drive for innovation.

Israel to Host more than 5,000 at World's Largest Equity Crowdfunding Conference on February 16, 2017

Israel to Host more than 5,000 at World’s Largest Equity Crowdfunding Conference on 2/16/2017

Each year, attendees come from all over the world to hear from expert industry speakers and participate in interactive programming featuring cutting-edge technologies and the future of crowd investing.  They also have the opportunity to support portfolio companies through significant fundraising and making strategic business connections to help grow their businesses.

Most of OurCrowd’s 110 portfolio companies making news are expected to participate. These include:

• Consumer Physics: together with Sichuan Changhong Electric Co., Ltd. (Changhong) and Analog Devices Inc. (ADI), demonstrating the world’s first material sensing smartphone able to scan the chemical composition of objects around it.

• MedAware: discussing the recent Harvard study published in the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association (JAMIA), which validated its big data analytics and machine learning platform to identify and eliminate prescription errors.

• VocalZoom: which last year announced a partnership with Honda, recently demonstrated its optical microphone technology to enable voice control inside noisy vehicles at CES 2017.

NSLComm: whose revolutionary expandable space antennas will transform satellite communications.

• Freightos: demonstrating their new online international freight shipping marketplace.

Zebra Medical: discussing its machine learning platform for automated interpretation of radiological images.

“Participants at the Summit will have the opportunity to interact hands-on with many of the latest technologies changing the world,” said OurCrowd CEO Jon Medved. “The Summit provides a unique opportunity to evaluate and touch the remarkable pace of technology change together with thousands of friends and colleagues from around the world.”

Among the 100 + speakers  at the Summit will be noted author and WSJ Columnist Andy Kessler; Head of  Honda Silicon Valley Lab, Nick Sugimoto; Samsung Ventures lead  Gonzalo Martinez de Azagra; Joe Powers, Head of Commercialization, Johns Hopkins University; Horste Bente, Founder of the Dassler family backed LeAD Sports Tech Accelerator;  Andy Chan, founder of Kuaidi Taxi (Didi), which recently acquired Uber China; and Alec Ellison, former Vice Chairman of Jefferies, and new member of the OurCrowd Advisory Board.

Nick Sugimoto, Senior Program Director at Honda Silicon Valley Lab, said, “Honda has expanded and deepened our presence in the innovation ecosystem in Israel since the partnership between Honda and OurCrowd was announced at last year’s event. We are looking forward to sharing updates on our activities in Israel and meeting more potential partners who are focused on revolutionizing the future of mobility.”

Special events at the Summit will include workshops on collaborative innovation for multinationals, an investor Bootcamp, a Startup CEO interchange, investor hackathon, a due diligence drama, speed dating sessions between multinationals and startups, and the largest tech party ever thrown in Jerusalem, featuring unlimited Israeli microbrew beer tasting, plus entertainment provided by the iconic Israeli favorite band Hadag Nachash.

OurCrowd is one of the leading global equity crowdfunding platforms for accredited investors. Managed by a team of seasoned investment professionals and led by serial entrepreneur Jon Medved, OurCrowd vets and selects opportunities, invests its own capital, and brings companies to its accredited membership of global investors.

OurCrowd provides post-investment support to its portfolio companies, assigns industry experts as mentors, and takes board seats. The OurCrowd community of over 15,000 investors from over 110 countries has invested over $320M into 110 portfolio companies and funds.

For more information and to reserve your tickets please RSVP here.

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Robert Hoskins, a seasoned Front Page PR veteran provides more than twenty-five years of external communications, media relations, digital social media and SEO skills to Front Page PR’s crowdfunding PR and media relations service portfolio.
Robert Hoskins
(512) 627-6622
@Crowdfunding_PR


Mr. Robert Hoskins is a seasoned marketing veteran with a proven track record of helping entrepreneurs, startups, small businesses as well as Fortune 500 corporations launch successful marketing communications campaigns to gain market traction for a wide variety of products and services.
On a regular basis, Mr. Hoskins consults with crowdfunding campaign managers as well as crowdfunding sites, portals and platforms to deliver successful crowdfunding marketing campaigns.
Google search “Robert Hoskins Crowdfunding” to see why Mr. Hoskins is considered one of the industry’s foremost crowdfunding experts that has amassed a huge social media following, which is dedicated to supporting donation-, rewards- and equity-based crowdfunding campaigns.

Mike Mongo Launches InkShares Crowdfunding Campaign to Write New Astronaut Instruction Manual for Kids in Key West, Florida

2 Sep

The Astronaut Instruction Manual for Kids Lays Out Course to Become an Astronaut by the Year 2025 and Prepare for Careers in Space

By Robert Hoskins

Key West, Florida – Launching a campaign for his debut non-fiction space careers book, “The Astronaut Instruction Manual for Pre-Teens,” on web-based crowdfunding publishing platform Inkshares.com this week, professional space educator and self-described ‘astronaut teacher’ Mike Mongo is on a mission: to get your kids to space.

Mike Mongo Launches InkShares Crowdfunding Campaign to Write New Astronaut Instruction Manual for Pre-Teens

Mike Mongo Launches InkShares Crowdfunding Campaign to Write New Astronaut Instruction Manual for Pre-Teens

“Being a native Floridian, I am a life-long advocate of space. When it comes to converting for space, I was practically born into the role, “ says 49-year old Mongo. “It is one of the reasons I became such a dedicated proponent of space careers to students.”

In addition to his role as Chief Brand & Culture Officer for interstellar space science advocacy non-profit, Icarus Interstellar, and being a popular speaker at space science conferences, Mongo is the Key West-based author of HUMANNAIRES! Mike Mongo’s Astronaut Instruction Manual for Pre-Teens. After initially self-publishing, Mongo’s book has recently received a new burst of attention and activity from having been selected for crowdfunding by publishing startup Inkshares.com.

“Inkshares is a better model than traditional publishing,”said Adam Gomolin, Inkshares’ Chief Legal Officer, “one that is more remunerative for authors, and more sensibly disperses risk, but does not diminish quality.”

At Inkshares, books are selected by Inkshares editors and then prepared for crowdfunding. After a crowdfund campaign, the successfully funded books are then published for release and distribution in the general market.

“[Our] model allows us to gauge interest in a title and build a community around a book or piece of writing before it even hits the marketplace,” Gomolin explains, “It is like a traditional publishing house with all the editing, marketing and art support — the difference being the crowdfunding model and that our authors keep a lion share of their sales proceeds. In our opinion, everybody wins. And Mike Mongo’s Astronaut Instruction Manual for Pre-Teens is a title all of us here at Inkshares are very excited about.”

Mongo says the time is right to encourage middle-school age students to pursue careers in in space. “The difference from when I grew up during the Apollo, Skylab, and Space Shuttle eras, and today…is that today private industry is taking the space industry to unimagined heights. Companies like SpaceX, Virgin Galactic, XCOR, and Bigelow Aerospace are tomorrow’s Apple and Google, they are tomorrow’s Hilton and Ford. These are real companies that already offer real jobs, and soon those jobs with be in space. ”

The crowdfund campaign kicked off this past week for The Astronaut Instruction Manual for Pre-Teens and has already achieved nearly 15% of its $10,000 goal. If the campaign reaches its financial goal by the campaign’s October 15th deadline, the book will then immediately be prepared for publication.

“It’s exciting,” says Mongo. “I became an astronaut teacher and wrote The Astronaut Instruction Manual for Pre-Teens when it dawned on me several years ago how, for me, astronaut was no longer a viable career option. That epiphany is the exact reason why I became an astronaut teacher and why I wrote the book. I want to make sure all the young students today who want to go to space realize that they genuinely do have the opportunity to live, work, and place in space…and maybe one of them will be so inspired by my book and they will remember and hold a seat for me to come along too!”

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Get a Glimpse of Crowdfunding’s Power to Fund Public Access to the ARKYD Deep Space Telescope for Students, Scientists and Astronomers

30 May

Help Planetary Resources Fund an Immersive Educational Curriculum that Will Allow for More Access  by Students, Classrooms, Museums and Science Learning Centers

By Robert Hoskins

 Planetary Resources, Inc. launched a campaign to produce the world’s first crowdfunded deep space telescope to provide unprecedented public access to space and place the most advanced exploration technology into the hands of students, scientists and a new generation of citizen star gazers and astronomers.

Help Planetary Resources Fund  an Immersive Educational Curriculum that Will Allow for More Access for Students, Classrooms, Museums and Science Learning Centers

Help Planetary Resources Fund an Immersive Educational Curriculum that Will Allow for More Access for Students, Classrooms, Museums and Science Learning Centers

Planetary Resources’ technical team, who worked on every recent U.S. Mars lander and rover, will provide direct access to an ARKYD space telescope making space widely available for inspiration, exploration and research. “I’ve operated rovers and landers on Mars, and now I can share that incredible experience with everyone. People of any age and background will be able to point the telescope outward to investigate our Solar System, deep space, or join us in our study of near-Earth asteroids,” said Chris Lewicki , President and Chief Engineer, Planetary Resources, Inc.

Using Kickstarter, a platform for supporting innovative projects, Planetary Resources has set a campaign goal of US$1 million. The company will use the proceeds to launch the telescope, fund the creation of the public interface, cover the fulfillment costs for all of the products and services listed in the pledge levels, and fund the immersive educational curriculum for students everywhere. Any proceeds raised beyond the goal will allow for more access to classrooms, museums and science centers, and additional use by individual Kickstarter backers.

Peter H. Diamandis , M.D., Co-Founder and Co-Chairman of Planetary Resources, Inc. said, “When we launched Planetary Resources last year, we had an extraordinary response from the general public. Tens of thousands of people contacted us and wanted to be involved. We are using this Kickstarter campaign as a mechanism to engage the community in a productive way.” Diamandis added, “In the last 50 years, space exploration has been led by national governmental agencies with their own set of priorities; and now we’re changing the nature of exploration. We’re developing the most advanced space technology ever made available to the public.  Let’s explore the cosmos together!”

Eric Anderson , Co-Founder and Co-Chairman of Planetary Resources, Inc. said, “Since the public announcement of Planetary Resources last April, the company has doubled in size, brought on key strategic partners, was awarded numerous contracts and is on track for its primary mission of identifying and prospecting asteroids within this decade.”

Pledge Level Highlights:

  • Your Face in Space – the #SpaceSelfie  For US$25, the team will upload an image of the campaign backer’s choice to display on the ARKYD, snap a photo of it with the Earth in the background, and transmit it to the backer. This space ‘photo booth’ allows anyone to take (or gift) a unique Space Selfie image that connects a personal moment with the cosmos in an unprecedented, yet tangible way.
  • Explore the Cosmos: Higher pledge levels provide students, astronomers and researchers with access to the ARKYD main optic for detailed observations of the cosmos, galaxies, asteroids and our Solar System.
  • Support Education Worldwide: At the highest levels, pledgers can offer the K-12 school, science center, university, or any interested group of their choice access to the ARKYD for use in interactive educational programming to strengthen STEM education worldwide. The full pledge list and ARKYD technical specifications can be found here. 

Sara Seager , Ph.D., Professor of Physics and Planetary Science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology said, “The ARKYD crowdfunding campaign is extraordinary. Not only does the telescope have the technical capability to increase our understanding of space, but it can be placed in orbit for an incredibly low cost. That is an economic breakthrough that will accelerate space-based research now and in the future.”

Planetary Resources is joined in this adventure by a large group of campaign supporters including the Museum of Flight, Griffith Observatory, Liberty Science Center, Museum of Science and Industry, Perot Museum of Nature and Science, Virgin Galactic and The Planetary Society. Bill Nye the Science Guy, CEO of The Planetary Society noted, “It’s a fantastic convergence of spacecraft technology and crowdfunding. Students everywhere can get involved – around the world and now above the world.”

The campaign will run for 33 days and end on June 30, 2013.  Detailed information regarding the campaign is available on the Kickstarter website.

Planetary Resources, Inc. was founded in 2009 by Eric Anderson and Dr. Peter H. Diamandis .  Our vision is to establish a new paradigm for resource utilization that will bring the Solar System within humanity’s economic sphere of influence.  The company will conduct low-cost robotic space exploration beginning with the Arkyd Series of space missions that will identify the most commercially viable near-Earth asteroids. These initial missions will assist the company in enabling the retrieval of raw materials from these select asteroids, including water, precious metals and more.

Planetary Resources is financed by industry-launching visionaries, three of whom include Google’s CEO Larry Page & Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt ; and Ross Perot, Jr. , Chairman of Hillwood and The Perot Group; who are committed to expanding the world’s resource base so humanity can continue to grow and prosper for centuries to come.  Some of the company’s partners and advisors include the Bechtel Corporation; film maker and explorer James Cameron ; former Chief of Staff, United States Air Force General T. Michael Moseley (Ret.); and Sara Seager , Ph.D., Professor of Planetary Science and Physics at MIT. Members of the company’s technical staff have worked on every recent U.S. Mars lander including Spirit, Opportunity and Curiosity, and include other key non-aerospace and safety-critical disciplines.

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