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25 Israeli investors, entrepreneurs come together to connect companies and startups

Vallabh Rao
20th Jan 2018
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SOSA connects companies and investors with cutting-edge work from Israeli startups in the sectors of robotics, predictive analytics, IoT, Big Data, AR/VR, cybersecurity and Blockchain. 

Many large corporations often stay disconnected from real-time industry developments and changes, leading them to be caught unaware by industry shifts.

In the era of ‘innovate or die’, this can be the death knell for a major corporation. To plug this gap, SOSA has created a global innovation pipeline that gives investors and leading corporations a unique access point to the Israeli innovation ecosystem.

It also provides open innovation programmes, connecting MNCs and organisations to relevant tech startups, offering more than 150 global corporations and investors access to over 5,000 leading cross vertical startups. SOSA also hosts more than 150 delegations annually, and has facilitated around 3000 startup interactions with MNCs.

SOSA, or South of Salame, has been founded by 25 investors and entrepreneurs including Chemi Peres, Co-founder, Pitango Venture Capital; Rami Beracha, Managing General Partner, Pitango Venture Capital; Tal Barnoach​, General Partner, Disruptive VC and Barak Pridor, Managing Partner, Saban Ventures. 

SOSA has offices and co-working spaces in Tel-Aviv and New York. These spaces serve as landing pads for corporations, countries, cities, and governmental entities that are looking to tap into the innovation ecosystems. 

SOSA in Tel-Aviv

“SOSA was built to ​provide the world’s ​leading corporations​ a tech innovation​ channel to redefine the way they do business, and maintain their leadership position.​ All industries are undergoing a fundamental revolution and by providing access to tech innovation, we are enabling our partners to stay ahead of the curve and take advantage of this shift,” said Uzi Scheffer, CEO, SOSA. He also shared it has plans to expand to Europe, Asia and more cities in the US, in the future.

Startups for various programmes and initiatives are selected by constantly pre-screening the market, and the pool of startups applying to SOSA. It chooses tech startups to be part of its platform and then connects them to the market, thereby creating valuable opportunities, both for startups and MNCs who are part of the platform. 

Asaf Kindler, CEO of startup Seemba, which helps small businesses go online, shared how SOSA helped his startup: “For us, SOSA is a bridge. It's a bridge to investors, a bridge to corporations, a bridge to governments and countries, a bridge to the tech community.” 

MNCs and investors who pay a retainer to be part of the platform get direct access to a curated deal flow from within SOSA’s network in a variety of sectors such as robotics, predictive analytics, Internet of Things, Big Data, Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality, cybersecurity, Blockchain, and more.

This enables companies to stay ahead of the competition and tap into the innovation that startups are pioneering. “Through our partnership with SOSA, we've gained a broader and deeper understanding of the Israeli tech ecosystem, enabling us to adjust Munich Re's innovation strategy accordingly. SOSA has curated numerous effective meetings with industry leaders and entrepreneurs for executives from Munich Re's business units worldwide, which has allowed us to access valuable business insights and rising opportunities,” said Patrice Cohen, Innovation Manager, Munich Re.

Henry Chesbrough, Executive Director of the Center for Open Innovation at the Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley, who coined the term “open innovation”, says, “Open innovation is the use of purposive inflows and outflows of knowledge to accelerate internal innovation, and expand the markets for external use of innovation, respectively. (This paradigm) assumes that firms can and should use external ideas as well as internal ideas, and internal and external paths to market, as they look to advance their technology.” 

With young startups at the forefront of technological innovation, platforms like SOSA play an important role in connecting startups and companies and enabling open innovation.

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