Israeli tech start-ups win global prize


Israeli start-ups have taken the first and second prizes in the Global Innovation Awards in Beijing.

NiNiSpeech, a digital platform for treating speech disorders, beat around 3,000 competitors and was the second firm in two years from Israel to take first place.

Developed by Yair Shapira, whose own child has a speech problem, NiNiSpeech is used by clinics around the world and has won previous international awards.

AerialGuard, an autonomous navigation system for unmanned aircraft, took second place, and has the burgeoning civilian drone industry in its sights.

Both firms won $200,000 (£151,000) in cash - but the bigger prize in view is the Chinese market.

The two winning start-ups hope to emulate DIACardio, the Israeli health tech innovator that came top last time around and has already bagged its first Chinese customer.

This year's top-prize winners were backed by Jerusalem Venture Partners, which has raised over $1 billion and is ranked one of the 10 best performing venture capitalists worldwide. The competition organisers, Chinese management consultants the Shengjing Group, have already invested over $60m (£45m) in Israel.

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